Gotta have a timer

Go_Time Thursday, 10/1/2020

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Im convinced...after my last and very recent race at RPR where I was knocked out in the first round you need a timer to test cars....there I said it.  Let me explain.  I dont currently have my track set up which does have a timer so I thought "what the heck I can build fast cars" I'll just build a car and send it in...and probably won't win but fair pretty well.  NOT THE CASE AT ALL!  Actually I was knocked  out in the very first round (by a stock car I believe). See the difference between this last car and all the cars before is the cars before were tested on a track with a timer which allowed me to build, tweak, and tweak more if needed and ultimately find "THE ONE".  Some builders like LOS, not sure about Mattman, and a few others can build a car without a timer and be competitive if not win...not sure if they have a "zero car" or "baseline car" where they have a proven car to test against or what method they on the other hand I had a "track record" that I was always chasing. I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts on building with a timer vs without, and the different methods of ensuring you are sending the fastest car you have.  I'll bet most of the heavy hitters are using timers to build...also LOS is fixing to have a timer so I suspect his cars will definitely get a bit quicker...just saying. 


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Mattman213 10/2/20

I dont have a timer but would LOVE to have one!!!  I build and then race against other Mods I've built in the past to see where they go from there.  I have a "baseline" or "gatekeeper: of sorts thats pretty quick but worthless to send in and would be murdered first round.  If a mod im working on can't beat it I either get to work tweaking/adjusting or changing things on it or I set it aside.  From there it needs to hold its own with some previous known fast builds.  Unfortunately im struggling on certain tracks that aren't like my test track and havnt been able to get around it but im working on it slowly but surely.

Works for me and is much better than my early test track and procedures but a timer would really really be helpful.  One day.


  • I think your method (without a timer is spot on) and yes, I 100% agree about struggling on certain tracks. When I did have my track set up I seemed to do really well on tracks that had steep drops, but really struggle on tracks like D64 shelf track. Not quite sure how to remedy that either...? — Go_Time
  • Short of building a second track to better replicate the long, shallower sloped tracks i dont know either. Might just have to do so one of these days! — Mattman213

I do not have a timer either. When I was modifying cars in the beginning, I had a baseline Way 2 Fast FTE variant I would race my mods against. Once I built something faster than the Way 2 Fast, that would be my new baseline. Things have been so chaotic recently for me that the last few mods I have sent in went down a hastily put together single lane of track to make sure they would not fall off. If they did not, I would glue the weights in and send them off hoping for the best. I am optomistic that once things settle down and I can set up a permanent test track that my mods will get faster.

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Scoupe 10/2/20

As a Fat Track Guy, getting a timer was a huge deal. Previous to getting mine (a 2nd Gen Slanman Customs unit with trap speed), all I could do was continually race cars in trials until one started beating most, and then I loosely established a ranked pecking order.

After getting the timer, it was huge in tuning my track, making sure the split lanes ran very even in time before they broke wide-open to the Fat Track, and I was also able to see truly which cars are legitimately fast. 

(Pictured: My ranked Case of Speed)

The difference between me having a timer and not having one has been huge. I also use cars that have been timed on other tracks to determine where a current build would finish but I think a timer is key. That said I have ended up with a bigger pile of unused cars than I normally would have. 

  • Agree 100%, by the way your my opinion is probably the best way to go. That track is super nice, and seems really easy to setup and take down. — Go_Time

Thank you very much. Its a lot of fun and has really improved my races. It is pretty easy to take apart and store. 

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Peter_Bee 10/3/20

I'm not a winning builder yet, but my experience thus far agrees with the timer sentiment. Previously, I would have tournaments to find my fastest stock cars cars. But when I sent them to D 64, they got smoked. When I started watching Red Pill videos, and saw how he uses his timer for testing, my mind was made up. I got a timer, and found that what I thought were fast cars really weren't, they were just faster than the others I had.

When I started modding, my builds usually made my cars slower, which the timer pointed out to me really quickly. At least now I have an accurate measure of what works and what doesn't. That said, there are very succesful racers who don't use timers. So they aren't really a neccessity, but they do give you measurable data to compare. Bottom line is it's your preference whether to use one or not.

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Guyscars 10/3/20

Can anyone recommend a timer for the hot wheels orange track ?

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madmax 10/3/20

While some can build cars without a timer,  my real non toy car racing experience is a timer is a VALUEABLE tool. 

I do not have a timer , I am missing a valuable tool. 

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redlinederby 10/3/20
Site manager

I don't have a timer on my track for several reasons. First off, I just don't have one. But beyond that, I often wonder how valueable a timer is when you're not racing on the same track hardly ever with the same car.

If I had a timer on my track and made a car run super fast, that doesn't mean it will translate to another drag strip track (and certainly not a fat track). There's some satisfaction in knowing you've built your fastest car for your track but don't know if they help when traveling.

When I was running my fantasy league years ago, I had a timer and never added it to my track. The reason was because I felt having times listed per car would discourage eliminates the hope and wonder involved. If you know that Bob's car has a 5s time, but your car is a know before you even enter that you'll probably get beat. Without that time, you always feel like there's a chance you can win...there's enough doubt and reason to try. And maybe that's just me...I'm not looking to be that competitive anyway.

All that being said...I'd still like to have a timer for my track so I could run race formats that make use of it, but it's probably not a data point I'd offer all the time.

  • I perfectly understand the sentiment of “why race a 6s car against a 5s car.” Being a newcomer to the sport, I don’t have a timer, either. I’m just working on making the car run long, straight, and true for now, and I’ll worry about the timer later. — SpyDude
  • Even though I see your point about a timer being discouraging. When I see that my car doesn't cut it then I know what time range I need to shoot for. Without a timer I'm just trying to make my car faster than my last one. Either way we try to figure out the flaws in our builds and make adjustments. The biggest obstacle for me is weight distribution and "dialing my build in" for a particular track. — GhostRacing
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Peter_Bee 10/7/20

This image wil show the value of a timer. If you race against your other cars, like for instance, the top image, you might think you're fast. But in reality, the timer will show where you really stand, as in the bottom image.

I personally dont use a timer. I have one...... But I havent used it. I think in regards to D64's track mostly everyone that have raced that track for a while has learned the build for that track, most people also learned what cars are best for that that track. I feel that every track is different in there own ways and a timer may help a little but the way you actually build your car is what really is going to matter the most. When I started racing at D64 last year, I was in the top 20, now I am lucky if i make it into the top 10...... Some people already mastered that track and some newer racers are figuring it out as well. I am sure a timer will help out on some tracks.... but take note that some tracks don't require speed and heavy weight, all they need is just enough speed and weight in the right spots to win the race and thats what we all need to figure out?   

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Peter_Bee 10/7/20

I found that a timer helps becase now I can compare my times from D64 to the times my car gets on my track. Now I know what times I need to see on my track to be competitive at D64, although my building skills still aren't there yet. Not only that, but I can test things like different types of graphite, and actually quantify the degree of improvement or lack thereof. The timer is a great tool to assist in the learning curve. Spending time doing it is the most important part, for sure, but the timer is a valuable assistant, at least it is for me.

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