Strategies for building fat track cars

redlinederby Wednesday, 2/26/2020
Site manager

The Fat Track Mountain style of tracks have become all the rage, with them springing up all over the place on YouTube channels. Tracks like 3DBotMaker's Race Mountain Speedway are super fun to watch, but when it comes to making cars to race, I'm at somewhat of a loss.

I haven't really dipped my toes into the fat track racing because I don't have a good grasp on what makes a car good or bad. The open track racing just seems to boil down to luck, at which point, what's it matter what I do to a car? I might as well just grab some rando and hope for the best.

Is it all just luck?

Assuming there is some skill to building a winning fat track racer...what are your strategies and build methods to make such a car?

Do the old ground rules of good, heavy weight in the back and smooth wheels still matter? Or is open track a bit more forgiving when it comes to those things?

Should you build a car like a tank so it can just bash its way through to the end?

I never thought there would be an "old school" method of diecast racing but it seems like I'm stuck in it, and now I'm looking to spread my wings a bit.

Do you enjoy the open track racing? If so, what's your approach for building cars?



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213Racing 2/26/20

I'm no expert, but from my experience so far, getting through the first turn in 1st place is a huge advantage. Even if a car slows down there is the probability that a faster car will strike it from the back and push it down the track, so whatever you can do to make a car faster to the first turn is an advantage. Also, the inside lane car has an advantage as long as it isn't completely behind any of the other cars, because it will strike and push the outside cars up the track (I'm still trying to find a good way to nullify this).  I think weight here would be an advantage.

Not from my experience, but from watching other's races, long or wide cars are harder to pass and take up more track in the corners.

I've run nearly 200 unmodified cars through my fat track, and so far a Twin Mill III has been unbeatable.


  • I’ve also noticed the longer cars take the turns better. However, they don’t always win the championships at RMS. — RustBeltRacing
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WorpeX 2/26/20

From a spectator perspective, open tracks are WAY more fun to watch than drag racing. There is always that chance that a car can wipe out at any second.

From a car building perspective, I don't really think there is much of a difference. The fastest cars that can stay in a straight line will win more reliably than slower cars who can't stay straight.

The biggest quirk about fat track racing is really just about choosing the right casting. You want something which, like 213 racing said, is harder to pass. I would also steer clear of any open wheel cars which might get their axels bent easily. Also look for cars with a sleak body which wont get get extra bits (like exhaust pipes) hung up on the track.


  • Agreed that open track is far more exciting to watch, especially when you go all in like 3DBM. Drag racing can't compete, man. — redlinederby

Wide Track Stance is a must and Weight Dynamics are different than gravity drop drag racing and my Fat Track builds are completely different than my Straight Drag builds...and you can make a car to fast for Fat Track Racing...the car needs to be quick but not the fastest in your fleet.

.

Just from watching a lot of fat track racing on YouTube and taking notes, I'm trying this set up for Hot Car Track in Australia. Wide front axel, short rear. I'm anticipating better handling around turns and, hopefully, more aggressive on the straightaways. But the rear might just whip around haha First time on a fat track.


  • Has this had an outing yet RBR? I'm interested to learn how it fared. — PeteB
  • No it hasn’t yet. I’ll let you know when he hits the track. — RustBeltRacing
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gstackert 4/30/20

I am not a big Hotwheels modifier like a lot of y'all, but I do know from 3dbotmaker's races that Lancer Evolutions typically do pretty well from the mainline. As for customs, a lot about success is due to a car's weight distribution. Great examples of custom cars that do really well in 3dbotmaker are James Klemen's "The Heavy" and Red Pill Racing's "Mad Catter". Both of these cars are +200 grams and due to their superb weight distribution, they don't wreck much and are extremely fast. Also, FTE/NPA's are not necessarily the best choice with heavyweight cars, as their extreme turnover rate can cause cars to go out of control. By the way, I am new here and I love the community here, so nice job redlinederby!   

The Mach Daddy was built for Sizzler Fat Track...it didn't preform the same on the Mag Track...holds the fastest time ever on either of the first two Race Mountain setups of Sizzler Fat Track...4.092 seconds..and FTE'S we'll have to disagree on the FTE'S.

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Uncle_Elvis 5/9/20

Late to the conversation, but I will piggy back on what a lot of the previous posters have said about weight distribution and cast's length and width.  The other thing with the fat track vs a drag track is wheel width.  On a drag track, I would think skinnier wheels result in less friction than fat ones (less contact with race surface).  Less friction=more speed.  On the fat track, wide wheels seem to be the ticket.  Cars slide and spin nearly every race.  The wider tires allow the car to slide as well as roll, helping to keep the momentum.  

Also, if you watched the Mopar Madness tourney, you would notice a slightly higher center of gravity (as in many of the mopar castings) is no good.

The Mach Daddy has Fats all the way around and preformed as designed on Fat Track 

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Rusty 5/10/20

"Fats all the way around"

I too belive that is the way to go.If you look at the old original SIzzler cars,they had

a lot of rubber on the road..

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72_Chevy_C10 5/10/20
Event coordinator

Hey Guys,

For my 2 cents on this topic, I think you want a very 'neutral' car...balanced weight front to back, and as wide as the rules allow.

Some of it is luck, and the faster car doesn't always win...but, that's what makes it fun to watch.

Yes, sizzler type fat track certainly can create some of the most spectacular racing, and also brings in an X factor of trying to predict races!

There is a lot of work that goes into building a great track. Testing, adjusting, angles in and out of corners, drops, over and over to promote the best in racing! On the Hot Car Track Channel there are also several track build videos.

Having watched tons of races, built test fat and mag tracks, (tested own cars)as mentioned above, having a fast, low, well balanced car is the key! And test, test, test. (However I would not suggest coned or racers edge wheels, as LoS mentions I also think having "fats" on a well weighted car is a good way to try. (With my insurer now settled with me, I can start to rebuild my mancave, race shed, which wash demolished by my neighbours tree)

Cheers all

Heavy and low center of gravity, with a long wheel base.   The old top fuel type dragsters do the best, because it's difficult for them to spin around, are heavy, very long wheel base, and low center of gravity...just put some good axles on it, cut of the big plastic wing out back, and you have a super fast open lane racing winner !

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