Open Track diecast racing

GspeedR Thursday, 9/29/2011

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This is just an idea that I've been toying with(pun intended) for a while. After visiting http://www.dcraction.com, I realized my idea really isn't "new", but I think it has the potential to add some depth to diecast car racing.

"Open Track"...imagine 6 to 8 cars racing simultaneously on a <<wider>> version of Sizzlers Fat Track laid out in a very large, symmetrical gravity coarse. Like DCR, individual lane track could be used for the starting gate and to allow the cars to acquire some speed before hitting the open track. After that, the cars would mix it up with no barriers between them. In the interest of making the the coarse even, a spiralling figure-8 design could be used with a long starting straight away, 1 200deg banked RH curve, another long strait section, 1 200deg banked LH curve, and then a long run-off straight away to a finish line. The track itself would be 10"-12" wide with 'stability grooves' similar to those used on Fat Track to aid vehicle tracking and help reduce spin-outs. (The grooves could be ~.5mm taller on the high-banked curves to further aid with stability.) As you can imagine, this gravity coarse would be BIG with 3 straight away sections, each measuring 50-70ft leading into & out of the curves. There would be no bumps, jumps, uphills, or flat sections...just a constant, gradual downhill run that would allow the cars to build momentum slowly and finish with blistering speed. I figured that a constant, low downward angle in the coarse might give spun-out cars a chance to regain momentum and finish the race.

Now, if you really think about it, using existing methods of choosing cars to race on such a coarse go right out the window. Outright 'weight' will be most likely over-ridden by more favorable 'center of gravity' and 'weight distribution' characteristics. Also, 'tracking'(ie: a car's ability to go strait) probably becomes "king" on the open coarse. Even narrow-axle cars might stand a chance on the grooved track. Car design also may be a major factor. Open-wheeled/exposed-wheel cars may be at a disadvantage on a crowded, wide track. As they say, "rubbin' is racin'" and other cars rubbin' against those exposed rolling wheels could be a momentum killer.

Well, that's my idea in a nutshell. I have many other unmentioned particulars that would go into building such a coarse...if I ever get that far. The specific design is still in my head and I haven't actively begun evaluating materials for building it yet. However, I do value the experienced opinions here and would welcome any insight or criticism...so, fire away!


Discussion

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markkaz 9/30/11

The next downhill track I build will be will have open lanes but
not 6 or 8 cars wide. Maybe 3 or 4 at most.

Search the boards for the Gravitywerx Track by georgeb for one example.

Search the internet for Swifty's Garage and check out the racing section for Banger racing.

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Mcjiggles9 9/30/11

I have been thinking about that idea for some time now and i tried making my own using classic hotwheels racing track, its a blast. You should totally do and make sure you post some pictures and videos!

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georgeb 9/30/11

I have been thinking about that idea for some time now and i tried making my own using classic hotwheels racing track, its a blast. You should totally do and make sure you post some pictures and videos!

How far did you get?

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Mcjiggles9 10/1/11

Well when i made it consisted of a three lane down hill entrance into the sizzler track, because the sizzler track can only accept three lanes. From there the cars traveled down a flat 20 foot length run to the finish. I think the solution is what you said, putting the open track at a constant downhill as well so all cars can get to the finish.

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GspeedR 10/1/11

I think the solution is what you said, putting the open track at a constant downhill as well so all cars can get to the finish.

Exactly...and the constant downward angle would also be incorperated into the high-banked curves. In other words, the entry to each curve would be slightly higher than the exit. And the banking on the curves would be near vertical on the 1st curve and completely vertical on the second which should help account for the increase in speed as the coarse progresses without hindering momentum.

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georgeb 10/1/11

Unless the track is heavily grooved, which would mean it's not really "open laned", banked turns pose a problem. The end of the straight must also be banked which causes the car to drift to the inside where it climbs the banking smacking the wall at angle that will not allow it to follow the turn properly and sometimes crashing. Having the entrance to the turn higher in elevation than the exit exacerbates the problem. On my track, about a foot before the banked turn, there is a fixture that twists that area of the straight to level or a little beyond to try to route the cars to the outside of the banking. It is only partially successful. A better solution would be to avoid 180 degree turns in favor of 90 degrees or less but would require more space. Would also solve loss of momentum problem.

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GspeedR 10/1/11

George, like Fat Track, the small raised slightly higher ridges on the outer, high 'G' areas of each curve. Basically, the track design would work in conjuction with the 'laws of physics' in an effort to level the playing field as much as possible.

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georgeb 10/1/11

Any effort to confine the cars to a lane will defeat the purpose of having open lanes. Without open lanes you will have no contact or blocking. Any crash that occured would likely occur every time with the same car. Also you will have a situation where some lanes are better than others, and someone will have to decide who gets what. It would be nothing more than a drag strip with turns. My track has a few problem spots, but all the cars hit them, with no grounds for complaints from competitors.

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GspeedR 10/1/11

http://youtu.be/tjlokE6CfT8

I re-posted this video(not mine) of Sizzlers racing on Fat Track to illustrate a few of the things I mentioned earlier. You can see the raised ridges in the track on a few of the close-ups. Notice how the ridges don't necessarily everyone...so keep `em coming!!

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georgeb 10/1/11

I could not follow the tracking of the cars in the video, it was too fast. Also were talking motorized vs. gravity-powered. Sizzlers maintain a constant manageable speed suited to the tracks they run on. Motors pull them around banked turns without worry about loss of momentum. Ribs on the track and front tires keep them pointed down the track. I suggest getting a hold of some sizzlers track and running some experiments with HW cars. There is some footage on Youtube of a track that starts as a drag strip that dumps out onto a sizzler banked turn then another sizzler straight. The cars appeared to stay in their ribbing through the turn fairly well. Turn was level as was finish straight. Would like to see a longer version with several turns. Would need to buy several sizzlers track sets. I'll try to find that video.

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GspeedR 10/3/11

There is some footage on Youtube of a track that starts as a drag strip that dumps out onto a sizzler banked turn then another sizzler straight...I'll try to find that video.

George, I'd really like to see that video if you manage to find it.

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I've begun some preliminary planning for constructing the "Open Track". I realize that I presently lack the space needed to build such a industrial gutters & mouldings. I'll keep you posted.

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georgeb 10/4/11

My track is made out of metal stud runners. I was looking for some at the HW store the other day for a possible track expansion. The only kind they carry have a set of dimples on the side rail to mark the location of studs. Then I came across some vinyl siding. The 16 ft sections had 3 channels about 3 inches wide. They could be cut longways and joined for a single channel of 48 ft. They were less than $20 ea. I couldn't find that sizzlers gravity vid.