Tail of the Dragon track build journal, premise & insights
This build will be an Open Track design using Sizzler Fat Track, it will use some of the design techniques of Bootleg Run and will be set-up in the same location as well, the new 3D Botmaker Fat Track Start gate will be used and 3 single lanes will feed 3 cars into the Open Track section known as the Tail of the Dragon, where the cars will negotiate 4 180 deg turns that stage down to a Bottleneck Finish. I base most of my names and track back stories on places in my home state of North Carolina, this track is no different...the influence for this track is a road the Lady of Speed and I have run in her '96 300ZX during one of our visits to Z DayZ....the place...Deals Gap, NC....the road...Tail of the Dragon.
- If you are a Driving Enthusiast put this road on your Bucket List...just don't make it The Bucket....Nasty and Thrilling — LeagueofSpeed
While not nearly as long or well known, the annual Duryea/Pagoda Hillclimbs in Reading, PA are a traditional motorsports spectacle in my area. While the cars obviously race up the hill, it does have the classic "switchback" qualities.
- Sweet...nice section to let the machine unwind — LeagueofSpeed
Tail of the Dragon....Track Specs.
The track will take up 84" x 112" approx
4 - 180 degree curves
28' of Fat Track (14 pieces at 2')
1 Bottleneck Finish (track piece which funneled Sizzlers through the lap counter)
3D Botmaker Fat Track Start Gate
3 individual track lanes at 8' per lane coming off Start Gate and connecting to 2' of Fat Track entering Curve 1.
Curve 1 at 26" H
Curve 2 at 19.5" H
Curve 3 at 13" H
Curve 4 at 6.5" H
There will be 6' of Fat Track between the curves after cars leave Curve 1 and 6' and the Finish Section when the cars exit Curve 4.
The most difficult part of building a descending switchback is determining the angles of descent between the curves. Cars will have more opportunities to lose momentum on the wider track. You'll want enough of an angle for cars to regain momentum if it's lost but not so much that cars are literally falling down the track.
My thoughts exactly, the main reason Stage 1 from the Drop to the first section of Fat Track is 3 individual lanes and only 2' of Fat Track before they enter Curve 1...The cars really accelerate on Bootleg Run when they leave the first curve aka Widow Maker, so going to employ some of the strategies that went into Bootleg Run's design, as maintaining that speed will be critical on Tail of the Dragon.
I also like to add 2-3" barriers/walls along the fastest strait sections of Fat Track(I got the idea from DCR). Some cars with high front ends can easily 'jump over' the low track sides and exit the track.
And keep in mind that Fat Track is tunable...that is, you can utilize the track's flexibility to influence the cars to run favorable lines. Raising only the outer edges of strait sections by a few mm will encourage the cars to run in the middle, raising only the center of the track(aka:a crowned road) will make the cars run the edges.
I'm looking forward to the challenge of calibrating and tuning Tail of the Dragon, and I'm under no illusion that the cars will run the track like single lane racing...especially since the track will offer 3 wide racing, but a car that rolls straight or is modified to do so plus what will hopefully be a set-up that builds up good momentum on Stage 1 will provide some good future racing action and some fun thrills along the way....it's a well anticipated challenge!!!
This video will give some hint at the possibilities that lie ahead for Tail of the Dragon, as the only momentum is the Drop off the 6 Lane Raceway and the rest is flat Fat Track on the floor and the cars lose momentum by the foot, it's also 3 wide racing as well....Tail of the Dragon will stage down 4 times, I believe I'm on the right track....for the track.
- Also, I know my Modified Cars with set axels run straighter than Stocks and it's all Stocks in the video above — LeagueofSpeed
I will be using the Fat Track connector between the Fat Track and the 3 individual lanes...works great and gives a smooth change over to the Fat Track.
All the needed supplies are now in house....looking forward to working on my next three(3) track projects.
I'm considering making a Fat Track road course as well. Just did an all open lane race tournament with my boys this weekend and had a lot of fun. Just a 2 section drop to the floor and then (2) 180 curves with a section of Fat Track in-between. I'll have a video uploaded later so you can see the action. I need to get some more Fat Track to make it bigger and start working on a frame. I'll be following your progress for ideas.
- Sounds good Brother...I'll be on the lookout!!! — LeagueofSpeed
- and now... look at you, the biggest cause for people getting into the hobby. including me :) — GT_Diecast
Just scored my second (2nd) vintage 1970 Fat Track auction.....the Tail of the Dragon is coming to RLD