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Hey guys, I am new to this forum, but have had slot cars since i was a kid. I have just got the boxes of track out of the closet and have set up a couple different kinds of tracks, built a timer with the lap timer 2000, and bought 5 life-like fast tracker nascar cars. My friend and I have been experimenting with different 4 lane set ups and originally had a "road course" that allowed for some pretty even racing and even times for all the lanes. I don't have enough of the 12" 1/8 turn track to make a real good road course. I have talked to a lot of my friends and we are talking about starting up a league this summer since i have the track we need and the newly acquired fast trackers. We are kinda nascar buffs so i was thinking about running a tri-oval track (sadly without banking) and a martinsville track set up. My friend and I set up both tracks on saturday and tried them out, to my dismay the outside lanes were about 4 tenths faster on average than the inside lane, and second lane. It was the same story with the martinsville track we set up also. Is there anyway i can change this so that it is more even timewise and puts the racing into the drivers hand instead of the lane he is in? I know you guys have a ton of experience and insight so any help on this would be great.

Thanks
-Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Oh i forgot to mention we are currently using tyco track and i have silicone tires on the cars right now. One idea i had was to put the original lifelike tires on the cars on the outside lanes to even it up. Let me know what you think.
 

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We do the same as Crimnick, but also add that the cars stay on the same lane the whole time and just the drivers switch. IROC racing!
 

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Like these guys are saying, running through all 4 lanes is the defacto standard anywhere you run. All lanes are NOT equal and they never will be, which is why you switch lanes.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ok, thanks for the response, i have been reading about how to format a race and I read about the heats but i just didn't put two and two together. Thanks for the links on that track too.
 

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One other Idea besides the standard run all lanes equal time would be to adjust the voltage down for the outside lanes until you get the lap times in the same area as the inside lanes. One of the longer running and largest attended racing groups did this, so they could run races up to 100 laps or 500 laps staying in the same lane. This still can't make up for the margin of error factor, but worked for them. They had winners come from every lane. The goal was to get each lane within 2 hundreds of a second. According to the owner, the racers had no idea he had done this.
 

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This might be helpful to understand common slot car racing formats. The type of format described here is called Round Robin.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slot_car_racing#Competition_formats

Another thing to add is the use of lap segment markers. Divide the track into 10 segments, marking each equal segment after the starting line 1-9, with the finish line being final segment 10. Race programs running track relays will shut off track power after the set heat time has finished or the first car has completed the set number of laps, leaving the cars in different positions around the track when power is shut off. If one or more cars are on the same lap in the final heat, the difference is in the final lap segments completed.

-Scott
 

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It is not difficult to design a track where all four lanes have equal length but you can't do it with a simple oval or tri-oval. A balanced track design would work better for casual racers who may find it tedious to keep switching lanes and cars every couple of minutes. Another idea is to use time trials to determine lane selection. Everyone gets two laps on whichever lane they want. Fast time picks his lane for the race. That concept would seem consistent with the thinking of nascar buffs.
 
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