Tips for racing on the Gravity Throttle Racing track

GravityThrottleRacing Saturday, 9/9/2023

Jump to last page

How do I start?  For anyone reading this, I can't express how grateful I am to have received your entries in the past.  I have learned SO MUCH and super appreciate this diecast community.

Today, I want to help builders understand what will help your performance on Shavano Mountain Raceway. 

Here are 3 important tips:

1. Clearance. From the start gate to the Shavano Creek jump is standard orange Hot Wheels track.  Why?  Because cars would jump cockeyed and crash on landing if not.  It's an 8 inch jump (43 feet actual scale).  The important thing to remember is bumper or scoop clearance with the track from the steep downgrade to the ramp.  The rule of thumb is to allow 2mm of clearance for every 10mm from the wheel centerline.  See pictures.

Nick Edmondson from Tiny Track Cars has 3D printed a simple jig you can use to quickly determine if you have a clearance issue.  Contact Nick on his RLD handle (TinyTrackCars) if you're interested in having one shipped to you.

2. Drifting.  We all love a great drift!  The science behind drifting isn't magic, but it does take A LOT of experimentation to get the car to drift consistently.  The biggest factor is entry speed, believe it or not.  That's my job as the builder of the track.  Some diecast models are inherently better than others.

So, what about wagons?  Until last night, I was convinced the Datsun 510 Wagon was one of the best.  I discovered that the long body Ford and Chevy station wagons with tucked wheels actually do better!  And the tucked wheels work all the way down my homemade track.  Tucked wheels have slightly narrower axles, so the possibility of them going off the jump cockeyed is higher.  They tend to flip over on The Scrambler more, but they still cross the finish line because they don't flip over until 2/3rds down The Scrambler.  What I'm saying is, don't be afraid to enter one of these.  Yours just might win!

3. Adding weight.  Under 60g has been proven to be ideal.  The rule of thumb with weight distribution is 50% on the front axle and 50% on the rear axle.  The problem is it's nearly impossible to get there with a wagon.  My advice is to put your added weight as far forward as practical and don't stress too much over this detail.  I have over 80 wagon entries at the moment.  If 60% of them overdrift (or spin out all the time), I will modify my drift pad to make for competitive racing.  This means tilt angle adjustments and possibly guide barriers on the drift pad to increase consistency.

Braggin' Wagon entries are due November 21.  You have time!  I am excited to send every wagon down the track during the Time Trials.  In fact, our commentary will focus on providing instant feedback on what we see, so hopefully, you the builder can benefit from this experience whether you win it all or have an early exit (like I did in the last 3 tournaments that I entered).


Mark Hoyle


Page 1 of 2

Great info... I really appreciate it! I need all the help this noob can get! You will be getting my first race car... hope it works well! Thanks for hosting this race on what looks to be an epic track!


F'D Racing

  • FYI - Nick has a 3D printed jig to measure clearance if you contact him. See the new picture in the article above. — GravityThrottleRacing
  • Good luck in your inaugural race & welcome to the fray!! — G_ForceRacing
View member profile
redlinederby 9/9/23
Site manager

This is great to see and a wonderful guide for your track. And while these are tips for the GTR track, they're actually pretty good guidelines in general.

View member profile
RaSungod 9/9/23

So glad I saw this, as I shall now delete my front bumper. Or at least shave it down.

  • FYI - Nick has a 3D printed jig to measure clearance if you contact him. See the new picture in the article above. — GravityThrottleRacing
View member profile
MrDarq 9/9/23

Thanks for this info!! Love it

  • FYI - Nick has a 3D printed jig to measure clearance if you contact him. See the new picture in the article above. — GravityThrottleRacing

Thanks for the tips.

Also, I was wondering, what's the height between each "scrambler layers"? I'd like to know for clearance purpose and also maybe to try and make myself a mini scrambler at home to see how my suspension system handles it. Thanks 

  • Great question. You're not alone. Before the truckin' tournament I was shocked how many builders made replicas of the Scrambler. Each 'step' is 3/16". The Scrambler is approx 6" wide. It's made from fiberboard. The surface isn't smooth. There' are little bumps. It comes in 4'x8' sheets is used mostly for public restroom walls. Some builders have tried dabbing glue on cardboard to simulate the rough surface. Hope this helps. -Mark H. — GravityThrottleRacing
  • FYI - Nick has a 3D printed jig to measure clearance if you contact him. See the new picture in the article above. — GravityThrottleRacing

Can I get in with my AMC Eagle wagon. #19??

Variat SkunkWorks

View member profile
G_ForceRacing 10/10/23

I don't know about anyone else but I love engineers!! Thank you Mark!!

I'm really looking forward to this race, I only hope I can qualify with so many great builders coming! ( I didn't qualify my last two races! But I'm a rally kinda guy!)

Thanks for the info! Really looking forward to racing on your awesome track!! Your channel is what really got me into this hobby.

Good to know.

View member profile
AbbyNormal 5/16/24

Very useful info hopefully my wagon won't barf or biff on your awesome track. 

Great insight Mark!

Thanks for this info and Thnak You & Nick for going above and beyond to make sure people have cars set up to run your track. Great stuff!!!!

Will send Nick a Mesg to get one of his guides ordered... 


to join the conversation or sign-up now