During the 1960s when the slot car craze was in full swing the United States could rightfully be considered the center of the slot car universe, fast forward 50 years and Italy along with Spain can be described as one of the centers of multi-polar slot car world, with flexi and retro racing centered in the United States, Eurosport in Eastern Europe, 1/32 and 1/24 Scale Racing in Italy and Spain with a strong push for composite chassis LMP racing in Germany and 1/32 Scalextric racing in the United Kingdom. The slot car scene is of course is more diverse than that with scale racing taking place in the Pacific Northwest of the United States and Flexi racing in Spain but each type of racing has a distinct center of gravity. In this article we will attempt to travel this multi-polar slot car world stopping at various spots to discover the richness that makes up our hobby.
At a high-level the European Slot Racing Organization Committee, ESROC, is the organizing body of the annual Wing Car European Championship race. It organized its first race in 1970 and has cooperated with the former NPRA (National Professional Racers Association, Brazil) and USRA (United Slot Racers Association, USA, on a three-year cycle (Europe – Brazil – United States) to host the Wing Car World Championship race. The venue being chosen by general agreement of the World’s top wing car races and the clubs/raceways that are deemed capable of holding the race. After the 2017 race in Europe it will be Brazil’s turn to host the race in 2018.
ISRA Is the one true international slot car organization that focuses their energy on a set number of classes 1/32 – 1/24 Eurosport, 1/32-1/24 Production (Flexi) and 1/32 F1. The International Slot Racing Association was officially founded in 1994 though they recognize the international race held in the Czech Republic in 1992 as their first World Championship.
To hold an ISRA race you must meet strict requirements regarding your facility and the track you intend to race on. Building a new track and preparing for a World Championship race will set you back $20-30K but for some, the prestige is invaluable and goes into their marketing efforts to attract racers to their raceway.
Lastly the tracks and clubs that we have listed all existed at the time of this writing unless otherwise noted, but slot car racing is a hobby practiced by mostly amateurs and racing centers/club unfortunately come and go.
Argentina Slot Car Racing
In Argentina, the focus is on ISRA Eurosport style G12/G27 classes. The Eurosport chassis is made of EDM or laser cut steel and are some of the most advanced chassis available. Top chassis are manufactured in Eastern Europe but lately several home-grown chassis have become available. The class relies heavily on aerodynamic bodies to produce some of the fastest racing available. To feed a hungry public there are also two radio shows that cover slot cars: Mundo Slot and Rincon del Automodelismo.
The country has seen a resurgence of interest in slot car racing within the last 2 years. CeFeSA or Certamen Ferderativo de Slot Argentino, a new rule making body which was been established within the last year (2016) is one of Argentina’s most active organizations. CeFeSA sponsors races at their member clubs that result in an overall champion in both of their classes. A recent race saw 59 entrants in attendence.
Club Scene – Some of the member clubs who currently race under the CeFeSA banner include Danger Quattro, Rosario Slot, Rafaela Slot, Pergamino Slot and Alta Gracia Slot. Danger Quattro in Buenos Aires has a new 6-lane track 60-meter track. Rosario Slot founded in 2007 is in Rosario, Santa Fe and has a 6-lane track. Rafaela Slot located in Rosario and one of the older clubs was founded in 1986 and has a 6-lane 50-meter track. Pergamino founded in 2015 has a 6-lane 152ft track in Pergamino, a city 227 kilometers west of the capital, Buenos Aires. Alta Gracia Slot in central Argentina’s Córdoba province has a 6-lane 155ft Blue King.
Other groups that organize races including UPS (G12 Touring Cars) and COFCAS (G12 Sports Cars) and the Asociación Centro República de Automodelismo Slot (ACRAS) – La Rioja. Other clubs include Haedoring Slot Cars, a long-established club in Buenos Aires. The club, which has existed for several decades has a membership that fluctuates between 30-40 racers who race on a 6-lane 70 meter banked track. Fuego Euro Slot also located in Buenos Aires has a 6-lane flat track of approximately 45 meters. Mendoza Slot in Mendoza near the border with Chile was founded in 2010. The club has about a dozen members who race on a routed 6-lane 56-meter wood track.
Luis Brescia of Argentina Slot in Cordoba has a 6-lane Blue King and has operated a retail business for over 15 years that provides parts and support for the racers. Also, in Córdoba is the ACV slot car club.
While much of the news from Argentina is associated with G12/G27 slot cars there are a number of clubs that run scale cars including cars from the legendary Argentine road races of the 1940s with famous drivers such as Galvez, Gonzalez and Fangio.
RAC, an Argentine company produced these cars from the Argentine Turismo Carretera, a road race over courses that are at times almost 10,000 kilometers in length, often over dirt road and high mountain passes. Driven by such legendary names as Juan Manuel Fangio, Froilan Gonzalez and Oscar ‘El aguilucho’ Galvez. The cars represent Ford, Chevy and Dodge as well as more modern touring cars. Sadly these cars are no longer produced and are now valuable collectors items.
Two clubs that compete in a championship are Añeslot which is also a business has a 6-lane 64 metre Ninco track as well as several rally tracks, where they also hold competitions while Slot el garage has a 4-lane 30 metre wood track using their own custom timing system.
Every Tuesday afternoon at 4:00 PM Coco Calos takes a break from his hauling business to talk about his beautiful hobby that he has loved since he was 6 years old, model racing cars. Growing up in his native Argentina his father would take him to school each day which was a block from his work. In the early 60s he would pass a slot car track on the way and soon he would stop, first just to look but soon to race. He began to spend every day at the track. What is unique to Coco is rather than talk “slots” to a small circle of friends he talks to the thousands who listen to his 1-hour radio program which he has hosted since 1995.
Australia Slot Car Racing
The American slot car racer would feel right at home visiting Thunderbird Slot Racing Center in Pooraka, Australia. This is definitely a commercial raceway of the American type and only challenge would be in getting there. Having moved to their present location in 2012, the raceway boasts 7 tracks including a 1/32 scale dragstrip and a Blue King high speed track. The raceway located in a suburb of Adelaide is eight hours from Melbourne, fourteen hours from Sydney and twenty-eight hours from Perth! Even still hardy racers from these two cities will travel that distance for a big race.
In 1998 a resident slot car club, Slotmasters was formed. The club with it’s 50+ members races mostly 1/32 scale cars with club nights on Wednesday and Friday. The raceway has twice hosted the Australian Scale Model Nationals in 2012 and 2015 and in late September the raceway will play host to the annual Australian Plafit Championship for 1/32, 1/24 and 1/27 scale cars using the Japanese manufacturer’s chassis and sponsored by Ace Hobbies of Australia, the importer of Plafit in Australia since 1994. Ace Hobbies also produce truer to scale clear lexan bodies.
Between the early 60s and 1981 in Australia, tin top motor racing had been a competition between Ford, Holden (GM local build) and Chrysler, with loyal followers for each. Chrysler stopped building vehicles in 81, so it just became a Ford Vs Holden battle.
In 1991, a new series began, V8 Supercars was born, and it was strictly Ford Vs Holden up to a few years ago. An Australian racer, Cameron Neilson, the winner of 20 scale racing titles, decided to developed a slot car series to emulate the big boys, so he created a class of 1/24 scale cars to represent Ford, Holden, Volvo, Nissan and Mercedes and sent cars out to some of the best drivers in the country to get feedback. Neilson, Senior Technical Officer in Engineering, at the University of Wollongong designs and manufactures the chassis in Australia, while also creating the moulds and his own vac former. The cars utilize Plafit running gear though the rules allow for the substitution of Scaleauto running gear, both popular brands in Australia. The overall effect of the cars is stunning and their handling is smooth and consistent. To promote his cars Neilson has developed the rule set for racing these cars. Slotworx cars have now become a 1/24 class in many local, state and national competitions, with the cars forming a class within the Australian Model Car Nationals.
Located in Jamisontown, NSW, Penrith Slot Car and Hobby Centre, a family owned operation opened in March 2013. Catering to all scales the raceway currently has six tracks including a Kingleman as well as a drag strip. Xtreme Trax in Dapto, NSW is located around 100 km south of Sydney in the suburb of Wollongong. The raceway currently has more than 6 tracks at any one time in both wood and plastic including a dragstrip. Races are held in 1/32, 1/24 and 1/27 scales. In 2014 the raceway hosted the Australian Scale Model Championship. At that time the following classes were held:
1/32 Ninco GT
1/32 NSR Classic
1/32 SCX NASCAR
1/32 Slot.It Group C
1.32 Scalextric GT/ Magnet class
1/32 Open class LMP/PROTOTYPE (Plastic Body)
1/32 Plafit DIV1/DIV 2 (Plastic Body)
1/27 Plafit Mini Z
1/24 Plafit Can Am (Scale Lexan Body)
1/24 NASCAR (MJK steel chassis / Plastic Model Body)
Austria Slot Car Racing
The following tracks in Austria all race scale cars, most as part of the 3-Länder, ASSR24 Cups and Austrian LMP Endurance Race series races that involves clubs in Germany, Switzerland as well as Austria. This has served to improve the competitiveness of each club.
The Race Track Altach on the border with Switzerland, was founded in 2001 has a 4-lane 42 metre wood track. The club races scale cars in all scales; 1/32, 1/27 (MiniZ) and 1/24. Slotcar Club Bludenz has a brand new 4-lane 52 metre wood track and is located in the town of Blundenz in the Austrian state of Vorarlberg in the Western part of Austria. The Slot Racer (TSR) is located just South of Vienna and races on a 4-lane 36 metre wood track. Austria Slotcar Racer (ASR) is located in Vienna itself and races on a 5-lane 45 metre wood track.
Slotcar Freaks SCFS in Salzburg races various classes 4-lane Carrera track. The club races both analog and is in the process of adding a Scorpius Digital System. Some of the classes the club races include a GTC Mini Z class using a Motor Modern MP14V metal chassis and a Fox10 motor. One sure to be popular event for 2017 is the Beetle Battle Cup for 1/32 Group 5 VWs from Carrera.
Slotcar Club Halbenrain, just over the border from the Czech Republic has a new 5-lane wood track of 36.7-meters. The cars raced include a club class, Mini-Z and SSR24
The Baltics Slot Car Racing
In common with their Russian neighbor, the Baltic countries primarily race slot cars to ISRA rules on wooden tracks and like Russia, youth indolent in the hobby is strongly encouraged. Many if not most of the tracks are located in government supported facilities such as youth or technical centers and are part of a wider program to encourage education in technology and related fields. In Lithuania you can actually opt to donate 2% of your income tax to a local Technical Center that supports education and exposure to various technical fields including “Traction car radio” or slot car racing, a technical sport.
In 2011 the European Union funded a two-year program run by governments in Sindi, Estonia and Limbaži, Latvia to build up ties between the youth from the two towns, united by the hobby of slot car racing. Within the project, the municipalities of Sindi and Limbaži developed slot car tracks and organized cultural exchange camps for the youngsters. On April 5, 2013, the largest slot car track in Latvia was opened in Limbaži County High School. This track, a part of Estonia – Latvia Programme co-funded Hobby Slot Car Racing project, is similar to the one opened the previous August in Sindi, Estonia. The tracks help to teach the hobby slot car modeling in Estonia and Latvia, as well as host organized competitions between school children of both countries.
Situated between it’s Baltic neighbors, Estonia and Lithuania, Latvia has a strong slot car presence for a country of relatively small size. Twice it has hosted the ISRA World Championships, in 1998 and again sixteen years later in 2014 while two of it’s racers are currently in the top ten in ISRA’s world driver ranking. Latvia also plays host to the annual Baltic Open Championship, which in 2017 will mark the 35th edition. Latvian racers also compete in the East European Championship which in 2017 will be held in Ventspils, Latvia.
Prominent venues in Latvia for slot car racing include Motormuseum in Riga, Jelgava, Rūjiena, Valmiera and Limbaži. In Lithuania that are slot car tracks in Kaunas, Siauliai, Klaipeda and the capital, Vilnius. In Estonia you can race slot cars or Automudelismi as it is called in Estonian while visiting the seaside resort town of Haapsalu, at the Youth Center in Sindi which has hosted a slot car track for over 16 years, in Äksi and at the Nõmme Youth House in Tallinn, host of the 2015 Estonia Cup.
Belarus Slot Car Racing
Belarus is another former Soviet country with a strong technical focus and it is reflected in their approach to the slot car hobby or Car Modeling (автомодельному). There are currently four tracks in the country. They are located in Soligorsk, Orsha, Grodno, and the capital of Minsk. All are sponsored by the local government in those cities.
There is a vibrant racing scene with both local, national competitions and amongst teams from Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine. A common thread is they all center around the concept of technical creativity of children and youth.
Minsk is also the home of Yury Dubick, champion racer, and owner of Dubick Engineering Slot Racing Products maker of professional-grade components. Their focus is on ISRA style racing throughout Europe and the company is wel-known for their chassis.
Belgium Slot Car Racing
Belgium has a number of slot car clubs that race a variety of classes. One series supported by Michael Niemas promotes scale racing with Formula 1 cars using variations of his chassis and hardbody Formula 1 cars constructed from plastic kits or custom GFK molds. The Klasse 1 series for Belgium is currently held amongst four clubs including the Slot Racing Club Seraing (SRCS) which was inaugurated in 2010. The club has a 36 metre 8-lane wood track dedicated to scale 1/24 and 1/28 racing.
Other clubs in the series include Slot4000, Dison Mini Racing (DMR) and CSR24. Like many clubs in Belgium, DMR has not converted to wood and still races on a large 50 metre 6-lane Carrera track.
The Belgian Scale Racing (BSR) organizes 1/24 scale racing in LMS for bolt-on chassis and Scaleauto classes. Clubs that race these series include the Mini Racing Club Nieuwpoort with their two tracks including an original American Orange, Slotfreaks located east of Ghent with their 30 metre Fleischmann track, Slotracing Merlijn near Brussels on their 8-lane routed wood track and Speedlines Slotracing Club with 4 tracks to choose from including a Ninco rally track.
Slot Racer Leuven (SRL) is located in the city of Leuven near Brussels. The club races on a 27 metre 6-lane wooden track. Currently the focus for its racing is 1/32 scale racing cars from Carrera, Ninco, Slot.it and NSR. The Brussels Scalex Club was started in 1989 and races 1/32 scale slot cars on a 6-land Carrera track and is located naturally near Brussels.
Brazil Slot Car Racing
You would think that Brazil, the birthplace of World Champions Nelson Piquet, Emerson Fittipaldi and Ayrton Senna would have embraced slot car racing and you wouldn’t be wrong. Autoramas or slot racing centers have existed in Brazil since 1963. After the slot car fad subsided most of the original autoramas closed but in recent years new autoramas are sprouting up again. Autorama Slot Cars Brazil at one time produced slot car tracks for customers all over the world. Brazil is also the home of top slot car racers; Ricardo Teixeira, “Gugu” Bernardino, and Alexandre Leite. In 2011 Brazil was the site of the ISRA World Championship.
Club Scene – Slot Car Sao Paulo is a club dedicated to racing 1/32 scale slot cars on their 5-lane 44 metre routed wood track. Also in Sao Paulo is Octopus Autorama, that has been in business for 19 years and has a six-lane track called the “Paperclip”. The raceway supports a wide range of racing activities from Flexi to scale and maintains its own online store.
The Monza Autorama opened its doors for the first time in 1981. Monza offers three routed wood tracks including a Blue King and a Monza road course. It has been the scene of world championships with Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton recently visiting the Autorama in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s cultural capita. The raceway supports a full program of wing cars, eurosport, flexi and scale cars. It also is available for rental to parties and corporate events.
Originally founded in 2004 DG Slot Racing, located in Morumbi, a district of Sao Paolo. The raceway has a 6-lane 35 metre routed wood track. DG Slot has decided to go in a different direction than ISRA style slot cars popular at other Brazilian clubs and promotes 1/24 scale racing though lexan cars are still raced. 1/24 BRM and 1/24 Scaleauto Championships are held each year.
Red Fox Raceway is a company owned track that is only open for special events. The company, well known for their bodies and guide shoes and owned by champion racer Luis “Gugu” Bernardino, has a high-speed Blue King track at its disposal.
Canada Slot Car Racing
Slot car racing has gone underground or more accurately in the basement all over Canada. ONO Speedway, a club in London Ontario runs on an Olgilvie built King track in an old warehouse and conducts races on Thursday nights.
Veteran racer Ernie Mossetti has plans to open a raceway with a 1/32 Policar track and 8-lane Ogilvie wood track in the Toronto area.
Mossetti has a thriving slot car business and plans to start a racing program that features his products.
Mossetti produces a wide range of parts including a Eurosport-Flexi hybrid chassis, a popular line of flexi chassis, a dragster chassis and a 1/32 line of scale cars under the Mr. Slotcar brand, products that can support a full racing program.
In Edmonton, Canada there is the aptly named club, Slot Car Racing Edmonton that operates three routed road courses plus a drag strip. Formed approximately 10 years ago they currently have 12 active members.
Czech Republic Slot Car Racing
Association of Modelers of Czech Republic (SMCR) is a registered association of clubs with jurisdiction over the Czech Republic. The basic mission of the association is organizing modelers including aviation, shipping, automobile, rocket, model railroad and plastic models. The association has approximately 400 member clubs with a membership base of 6680 members, including youth, which represents 1/3 of the base. SMCR is a member of the Association of Sports Unions of the Czech Republic and a member of the international sports federations.
Having a well deserved reputation for some of the fastest slot car racers in the world, with Czech drivers occupying the top tree slots in the current ISRA World ranking, much of slot car racing in the Czech Republic is based upon speed with Eurosport and Wing cars enjoying strong support. The national organization coordinates with ISRA for eurosport and ESROC for wing cars.
Club Scene – Two clubs stand out with their size and influence. One club is the AMDK Pilsen, located in the Western part of the Republic where this year a new world record of 1.347 seconds was set by Brad Friesner from Toronto Canada during the Czech Nationals, and the other is the Slot Racing Center Lustenice, located 35 km North East of Prague with their 4-lane 22 metre plastic track and their high-speed Blue King where the current track record is 1.408. In 1997 a club with more than 40 years of history and one that hosted the first ISRA World Championship in 1992 closed it’s doors. But after retirement a number of former members were left with little to do so they decided that their club, Mini Racing Club – Česká Lipa would make a comeback! AMC Slot Racing Club in Prague races on an “Orange Queen”, an 8-lane 40 metre flat track and will serve as host of the 2018 Czech Masters. One of the oldest clubs in the Czech Republic, its origins dating back to the early 60s is SRC Brno. The club races on a 6-lane 40 metre routed track that was recently constructed. Major competitions include the Moravia Open, BPA Cup and a round of the Honda HSV Tour. The club also sponsors an extensive youth program.
Some of the series run in the Czech Republic include the Honda Cup which is a flexi chassis class for x12 motors and lexan Honda HSV bodies, Grand Prix which is a series of races for Eurosport cars for the Championship of the Czech Republic and is open to international participation, Euro Cup, Cahoza Cup and SPCV.
There does not seem to be any scale racing on inter-club scale. Most clubs have youth programs that are sponsored by local cities. Attan E-Shop provides slot car parts to the racers in the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic is also the home of Cahoza Slot Racing Products, started in 1975. Cahoza is one of the largest manufacturer of gears, guides, tools, motor cans and setups for G7, G27 and G12 slot cars.
Denmark Slot Car Racing
Slot car racing in Denmark follows a common pattern for the hobby outside of the United States with most of the activity revolving around local clubs. There are a few commercial establishments but these do not cater to walk-in traffic but rather rent out thier facility to groups. These groups can be in the form of one time events such as birthdays to team building or for the purpose of holding club races.
The DMRU or Danish Mini Racing Union was established on September 28, 1968 when delegates from a number of clubs met in Silkeborg, Denmark. Clubs can choose whether to host DMRU official championship races or not, these are usually 6-8 lane tracks. Average membership in these clubs are 12-30 racers and are spread throughout the country. While membership in DMRU is free not all clubs are members.
This national organization supports two forms of racing, what is called Slot Racing, similar to what we see in the US at our commercial raceways and Scale Racing where appearance forms an important factor. The main slot racing classes are Production16 and Open 32. The main scale racing classes are 1/24 Scaleauto, 1/24 RetroF1, 1/24 Can Am and 1/32 SCX Digital.
The 1/24 Production16 rules should look familiar to most US racers. The rules stipulate an ISRA approved flexi chassis and body powered by a sealed 16D motor. While the rules do require operating front wheels, interestingly there are no rules covering the rears as long as the over all width of the car does not exceed 83mm or about 3 1/4 inches. The cars are lexan bodied saloon cars which we would call NASCAR but also included are European Touring Cars. The Open32 class is for 1/32 ISRA Eurosport cars with high downforce LMP lexan bodies. These cars are very fast and take expert driving skills. They have even been restricted from a few tracks because of safety concerns with these high-speed bolides
One of the most popular Scale classes is for 1/24 Scaleauto GT cars that are run almost entirely stock with a minimum weight of 190 grams and a minimum body weight of 55 grams. The series leans heavily on rules established by Scaleauto in order to receive official sanctioning. These same rules are universal wherever 1/24 Scaleauto GT cars are raced and provides a strong single make series similar to Slot.it 1/32 Group C.
The 1/24 Can Am class up to recent years was based upon the old German White-Point chassis and motor. When the chassis went out of production an equivalent 3D chassis was produced by Niels Elmholt Christensen in attempt to keep the series alive. The WP motor was replace by the Carrera 18V Black motor and finally in 2017 a modified Scholar inline chassis would be allowed if any chassis movement was limited to the H-Bracket and in most likelihood would make all the other chassis obsolete. Bodies are Can-Am from the 60s made from fairly thick lexan (0.020) with no additional airfoils allowed. Originally made by Lancer, Russkit, Revell and Pactra they are now available from Patto and John Dilworth The restriction of 60s Can Am was a conscious effort to limit the use of any high downforce bodies with the earlier cars also being much smaller.
1/24 Retro F1 is a relatively new class for 1960-68 Formula 1 cars. Niels Elmholt Christensen was talking to his friend, the late Jan Juul on how they both liked the D3 Retro series just then gaining popularity in Southern California. Juul had been behind the White Point chassis based F1 Can-Am series. They discussed starting a F1 series based upon the cars that they had seen. These were the American Jail-door Retro F1 cars with replica Lancer and Russkit bodies. Christensen built a chassis that would be limited to 30mm in width and powered by Fox 10-25K motors. Replicas were created of the Lancer and Russkit bodies supplemented with bodies by Englishmen John Dilworth. The cars would race on both plastic and wood tracks using either urethane or sponge tires. The first scratch built chassis was made in May 2008 and in September the same year they held a support race with 8 cars for a White Point National Championship Round in Ikast, Denmark. This was an immediate success and at the DMRU meeting in November 1:24 Retro F1 was approved a new National Series for 2009 and in 2010 it became a full National Championship class. The class is now run in Germany and Spain with sales of the cars from Vejle, Denmark to all racers and collectors all over the world. Retro F1 “Danish Style” continues to gain in popularity.
One prominent commercial track is RaceFun in Albertslund, Denmark. Not geared to casual walk-ins, the track hosts club races, corporate team building, birthday and bachelor parties. Groups can be as little as 4 and up to a practical limit around 32. The tracks are permanent, although RaceFun is currently investigating another model with a portable 3 lane track that would be rented to i.e. auto-dealers shops for promotional events. The portable track would need to run unattended or “rent and forget”. For the ordinary rental business, the host organizes and runs a race, usually in two rounds. One to get people to understand the concept, and then the race for the bragging rights. The price is 200 DKr (~40 USD) per person for an event with a set minimum of 1600 DKr (~320 USD) per event and to make it all work you basically need a minimum of 4 or 5 events a week. Racers who get thirsty can purchase coffee, water and beer. Simple snacks are also available. RaceFun supplements this income with a web shop Slot World Slotcar Shop.
Finland Slot Car Racing
Like most other countries, slot car racing came to Finland during the 60s as part of the worldwide slot car boom. According to prominent Finnish racer and track builder Kimmo Rautama, the Finnish Championship of 1964 had upwards of 300 entrants. With the commercial raceways long gone any slot car activity is only in private or community clubs. Since slot car racing is thought of as an appropriate activity for youth most of the clubs have strong youth programs and the average age for a slot car racer in Finland is quite a bit less than it is in the United States.
Slot car racing in Finland is almost universally geared towards 1/24th, with most tracks resemble “American-style”, banked 6 or 8-lane tracks or ISRA Eurosport tracks. The classes follow ISRA rules with some local modifications with six classes; Gp.7, Gp.27, Int.15, Eurosport, G-15 Eurosport and G-15 Stock cars being the most popular. In 2000 and again in 2009 Finland hosted the ISRA World Championships.
There are a few clubs that focus on 1/32 scale cars including the Hämeenlinnan Slot Car Club. Viihdevuokraamo Oy, an entertainment rental company that can supply DJs also has an Autorata or slot car track for rental.
Finland is also home to a dedicated group of wing car racers that race over several tracks, usually some version of a Blue King layout. These tracks can be found in Kouvola, Seinäjoki, Hämeenlinna, Vaasa Huutoniemi and the Laihia Mini Racing Club and their 2010 built Gerding Black Ice track which hosted the Wing Car Worlds in 2014 and will host the European Slot Racing Organization Committee (ESROC) sanctioned European Championships in 2018. Slot Racing Club, Hyvinkää was founded in 1976 when the then church ward leader Vilho Viitala and Hannu Nurminen wondered how small electric car activities could be done in Hyvinkää. In 2014 the club hosted the Finnish Championship.
Finland has been selected to host the 2018 ISRA World Championship.
France Slot Car Racing
The Slot Racing Club de Bordeaux was founded in 1980 and hosts many types of events but the VEC (Vintage) International race has achieved international renown for the quality of the entrants. Held once a year, usually in June, builders from all over the world look forward to this event where the cars are judged both on appearance and race results in a combined score. The race is held on one of the few routed wood track left in France though that situation is due to change. Slot Racing Cognin (SRC-73) is a club located in Cognin situated in South-Eastern France and home of the 24Hr of Cognin slot car race. This year all the teams will race 1/32 Ferrari 458 Italias from Black Arrow on the club’s 4-lane 40 metre Carrera track. Other popular races held last year included 1/32 Avantslot, Black Arrow, Rally Cars, NSR Classic, Slot.it Group C and 1/24 McLaren IROC.
The Modeling Maurepas Club a 40 year old hobby club that also races RC and a slot cars on it’s three tracks including a 6-lane 30 metre track for slot cars. The Gaul Slot Club has been located in Royat near Clermont-Ferrand since September 2008. The club has a 30 metre four-lane Carrera track that is equipped with the Davic digital system. In November of last year the club hosted the French National Championship for 1/32 Digital Cars – Final. Dijon Racing Slot, a club in Dijon has 3 tracks for their racers to choose from. One 6-Lane 35 metre Ninco track and two custom Scalextric rally tracks. The current focus is mostly on 1/32 scale slot cars including some fantastic scratch-built vintage cars. Jouef, the famous French slot car brands still has many fans and several clubs and individuals still race these vintage cars.
Recently another routed wood track became available to French slot car racers when the famous Course de Slot Racing Régionale à Pont Saint Esprit slot car track was resurrected. The track, scene of many famous French Championships has been fully restored to it’s former glory and now hosts both 1/32 and 1/24 scale races. The club is in discussions for 2018 regarding the renewal of a Championship of France for 1/24 and 1/32 slot cars. The regulations are in still being formulated but it should involve at least two classes of production flexi slot cars. The candidate tracks to date for this Championship are as follows:
Pont Saint Esprit: South of France
Bordeaux: South-West France
Maurepass: Near Paris
Strasboug: Eastern France (the track is under construction)
The championship will be determined by the series overall points winner for each class. Slot car racing is set to be reborn in France in 2018.
The Slot Racing Club de Caudan races every Friday night on a Carrera 4-lane 32-meter track equipped with the “DAVIC” digital system. The club competes in a digital 1/32 slot car championship with three other clubs (Caudan , La Mothe Achard , Le Mans, and Rennes) in Western France. Information on this championship can be found here: Championnat Ouest.
As you might imagine, endurance racing is very popular at the club, with a 12-hr event held every year.
Slot Racing du Gard is a French language forum that brings together slot car racers from Southern France. In the village of Aubais a commercial wood track made by Revel in 1966 and marketed as a commercial track you could have in your home was restored and lengthened from 15 to 25 metres. The refurbished track is currently hosted in a private residence that opens it’s door for monthly races.
The original track was featured in an article published in Model Car & Science magazine in July 1966. The entire restoration project is described here. Sadly for Wing Car racers in France there are no current tracks suitable for them to race their cars forcing the adherents to this form of racing to travel to Holland or Germany to race their lightning quick cars.
Germany Slot Car Racing
Currently there is no National organization and the various series and clubs organize amongst themselves. Germany has a very diverse if not fragmented slot car scene based up clubs that race everything from old Fleischmann and Carrera to wing cars, Eurosport, Scaleauto, Production 16 to high-tech LMP and Formula 1 cars. In addition there is DSC and DTSW for different types of cars.
The oldest club in Germany is the Stolberger Automodellclub (SAC) in Aachen was founded in 1963. Located in a government owned building the club pays very low rent. The club races on a 6-lane 30 metre long wood track with popular classes; Production 16, Various Flexi Classes w/X12 (not common in Germany), and 1/24 Scaleauto.
In Bruhl near Cologne there is the Blue King Club that is seriously into speed and racing the fastest Wing Cars. Recently they played host to the Wing Car Worlds. The The Northland Racecenter in Neumünster (Schleswig-Holstein) is located 30 minutes from Hamburg and has two tracks, a 34 metre routed wood track and a 35 metre Carrera plastic track. Northland is a commercial track which rents out it’s track for events (parties, etc) and hosts an in house club. Each has its own racing program with the club racing the following series which are typical for most clubs in Germany.
1/24 DSC – Classic racing cars up to 1974. There are two classes driven, GT’s and prototypes on professional chassis.
1/24 DTSW – Modern racing cars from 1975 onwards It is a very fast series, technically high-tech.
Class 1 This category includes all GT2, GT3, GTS, DTM, STW, JGTC, ETW, roadworthy, super sports cars and the like.
Class 2 This includes all vehicles of categories GT1, LMP, WSC, Gr.C, GTP, etc.
Class 2A: Closed Grand Touring Prototype (GTP), Group C, Year to 1,992
Class 2B: FIA GT1 Le Mans Prototype (LMP), WSC, open Grand Touring Prototype (GTP), etc. From 1993
1/27 Mini Z – Race bolides with prefabricated bodies Also a beginner series. The car bodies of the company Kyosho are slightly smaller (1:27) and are finished lacquered (but also own lacquers are possible). The chassis is freely selectable.
1/24 Scaleauto – Modern GT vehicles Our starter series. The cars of the company Scaleauto can be driven almost ‘Out of the Box’. Changes are only allowed to a very limited extent.
1/24 Scaleauto Pro – Allows the racer to use any chassis.
1/24 Retro F1 – Old Formula One racing cars until 1968 Formula racers from past days with a high fun factor. Light-weight Lexan bodies and simple chassis (transitioning to hand built brass chassis) ensure fast racing.
The Deutscher Slot Classic Cup (DSC) is a growing class that organizes 1/24 classic vehicles driven up to and including 1974. Starting from a single league, the LeMans Challenge organized by Dieter Jens for the first time in 1995 has evolved into six regional racing series:
DSC-South (Switzerland, Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg) DSC-Ost (Berlin, Saxony), DSC-Mitte (Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia), DSC West (Nordrhein-Westfalen), DSC-Nord (Hamburg, Schleswig Holstein and Lower Saxony), DSC-Euregio (North Rhine-Westphalia, Belgium and the Netherlands)
Two clubs that race flexi and Eurosport cars in Germany are the Slot Racing Club Bannewitz e.V. in Dresden and the Slot Racing Centre Gotha in Thuringia founded during the mid 70s when the city was still a part of the Communist East Germany. One member from the club’s founding is still active in the group at the age of 75. In 2016 the club was one of four raceways that were a part of the EuroCup series (Praha-Pilsen-Brühl-Gotha) on their 6-lane 45 metre routed wood flat track. The club focuses on Production16 (Flexi) and Eurosport class racing.
Founded in 2008, The Slot Am Ring built the Renncenter Hockenheim. In May 2008, a 37-metre-long Carrera and a 24-metre-long Ninco train were put into operation. An expansion in 2011 saw the Ninco track replaced with a routed wood track. The new wooden lane attracted a whole group of new members and new racing series including DSC, NASCAR, Truck, DTM and Formula 1. The club now plays host to several regional championships. The German capital of Berlin has several slot car clubs that offer track time for non-members during regular open hours. Slot Freunde Berlin has three tracks, a small track for children, a 38 metre 6-lane Carrera track and a 5-lane 47.5 metre routed wood track. Slot Arena Berlin is a Club that races on two Carrera tracks (40/25 metres) in both analog and digital format. Europe Raceway Berlin has a large 68.5 6-lane routed wood track that supports multiple racing series including DSC, DTSW, SLP, MiniZ, Scaleauto, Scaleauto Pro and Modern NASCAR.
Greece Slot Car Racing
Creative Hobby was founded in 2004 by Chris Niskopoulos for the importation and distribution of products related to the hobby of slot cars. Creative Hobby carries the major brands including, Slot.it, SCX and Ninco.
To help grow the hobby in Greece the company established the Hellenic Slot Car Club in 2007 and organized races including championships in many categories. Currently, the club races on a 4-lane 25 meter Ninco track.
An SCX 2-lane 45-meter rally track is also available for the racers. The club is open on Fridays and Saturdays with racing every second Saturday.
Greek toy company Mister P manufactured and distributed toys between the late 60s and the late 70s including a series of slot car sets.
Italy Slot Car Racing
Slot racing in Italy is in some ways dominated by the Italian slot car manufacturers, Slot.it, NSR, Nonnoslot, Ninco and MB Slot who all sponsor large races or their own one make Championship Series throughout the year. These large races are attended by racers from throughout Europe. Some of the largest races are held in rented facilities with huge temporary layouts that are set up just for the event. Slot.it recently held a race on a replica of the Monza Autodrome. 100+ racers are a normal size for a major endurance race. Rules are set by the Associazione Nazionale Slot Italia. While tracks built with Ninco plastic track is still used widely in the clubs you are seeing more and more CNC routed wooden tracks created by companies like MB Slot. These tracks are so smooth and perfectly constructed it looks like you could almost eat off of them.
One of the most active clubs in Italy is the Slot Club Acilia in Rome. The club runs an amazing number of series. Just for 1/32 scale cars there is the Slot.it GT-LMP, NSR Mosler Cup, NSR GT3, Nonnoslot Formula 1, Slot.IT Group C WEC, Classic NSR, Sideways Group 5 and the NSR Fiat 500 Abarth Super Cup. Ascoli Slot’s 12-13 members race on a 6-lane 43 metre track that’s supplemented by a large temporary 8-lane track for national endurance events that see teams from all over Italy compete. The club is located in the town of Folignano with a population under 10,000 people is a municipality in the Province of Ascoli Piceno. Model Drome near Milan attempts to combine Slot Cars, Drones and VR Sim racing in one large facility, with Drone Racing catching fire. Biella Slot Rally Club in Biella, Italy beside running the usual classes also offer a rally track that is also a popular form of slot car racing in Italy as it is in Spain. These tracks are an attempt to recreate the environment one would find at a WRC Rally with hills, dips and low traction areas of mud and snow which their four-wheel drive slot cars have to navigate. Races are often run as a timed even with a single car racing at one time. The Autosprint Slot Club Genova was founded in 1974 in Genova, Italy. 1974. The club’s main track is a CNC routed 6-lane 43 metre wood track.
The VISLOT club has moved to a new location, Autopiste Elettriche Vicenza in 2018. The club, now four years old has three tracks; a Ninco track, a wood routed track and a rally track.
Spare parts to complete cars are available through a number of online retailers including Slotcars.it and Crazy 4 Slot. Both online shops concentrate on 1/32 cars from the numerous Italian manufacturers as well as spare parts for maintaining and tuning the cars.
On the 6-14th of October 2017 the ISRA World Championship will be held at the Hotel Santacroce, east of Rome in, Italy.
While some of the bigger clubs have replaced their plastic tracks with routed would courses and the big events now being run on wood, the vast majority of clubs in italy still run on plastic track, primarily Ninco. The Brama Slot Club BSC in Perugia is another typical Italian slot car club that races 1/32 scale cars on a 6-lane 36 metre Ninco track. The club track is located in a hobby shop amongst slot cars for sale, planes, ships, drones, games, trains, and even 3D printers! The club has a bar, often serves meals and is open till midnight on Fridays.
PRS is an Italian company producing high-detailed resin slot cars, accessories, rims and tires for 1/32 and 1/24 scale slot cars. The PRS tires are some of the most used in Italy and since 2007, PRS are the official supplier to the Italian Association of Slot tires for classic category. PRS produces a beautiful range of wire wheels and tires for 1/32.
3D and CNC manufacturing continues it’s growth in Italy with PRS producing replacement aluminum chassis for Carrera’s beautiful 1/32 and 1/24 scale cars. The 1/24 scale chassis requires Scaleauto uprights and motor attachment to complete the chassis while the 1/32 chassis allows the use of a Slot.it motor pod which will greatly improve the performance of the car. PRS supports a series of races (GT ANSI) held at various clubs, one of which is located in Rovigo, just south of Padua. The club was founded in 2006 and currently has around 20 members. They have two tracks available to them, a 4-lane 35 metre wooden track and a 6-lane 67 metre Ninco track. Some of the races are for digital cars using the Oxygen system. Napoli Slot Promotion races:
Gruppo C Slot.it
The club has a 6-lane 43 metre Ninco track located in Naples, Italy.
Japan Slot Car Racing
When the Japanese Mabuchi Company made their small electric motors available it transformed the slot car racing hobby. In Japan raceways dotted the country but as the fad began to fade and Mabuchi finally left the hobby all that was left were a few isolated clubs, but the hobby never died in Japan though it may seem invisible to some.
One such club is Team Fox located in the city of Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture on the Ise Bay. The club was founded ten years ago and the 10 friends that belong to it race a eclectic assortment of slot cars, trucks and caravans on their routed wood track. Many of the 1/24 scale slot cars the club races are based upon plastic kit models that are readily available in Japan from several manufacturers including Tamiya, Fujimi and Hasegawa, kits that are also very popular in the United States. Chassis are usually Plafit type metal chassis with sponge rubber tires.
In Tokyo a group of racers led by Haruki Kan decided to race the cars that were used during the late 60s so they started a club racing Retro slot cars and had a Blue King track built by Gary Gerding in 2011. For their rules they chose the popular American IRRA rules. They currently have 45 registered members with around two dozen active racers. The racers at the Retro Tokyo club have also scheduled a number of trips to the United States to race, the last being to the Retro Palooza where 8 of their members were warmly welcomed at the Port Jeff Raceway in New Jersey. One of their members, Koichi Kamoshita has become particularly adept at building custom jewel-like chassis that are in high demand. While the club focuses on Can-AM and F1 during their Sunday race meetings, consideration is given to adding Stock Cars and Can-Am Plus with the first chassis kits for stock cars now being introduced.
Yokohama in Kanagawa Prefecture is the home to Banpro Project, the manufacturer and distributor of Plafit slot car products. Besides the factory producing the slot car parts the company also maintains a race center that is open to the public as the Plafit Club Course. Yokohama Slot Racing is a 1/32 scale club that runs on a 6-land 34 metre Scalextric track and is also located in Yokohama. Like other raceways, Yokohama also caries RTR Slot Cars and Parts. Racing Paradise Machida is a large commercial raceway that operates as a club selling membership to eager racers. It is located in Machida, Tokyo Prefecture. The club currently has 5 tracks including a dragstrip. The raceway operates a full racing program with 1/24 plastic kit bodies using Plafit type metal chassis being the most popular. One series that the club races is for 1/24 American NASCAR slot cars, with most of the bodies coming from various Japanese plastic model kits of which there is a well kept stock of them at the raceway. The club also maintains a strong relationship with a few 1:1 racing teams and drivers.
Mexico Slot Car Racing
Autopistas Slot Mexico, founded in 2013, first as a hobby and as a business 3 years later is involved in the rental of slot cars for parties and events. They work with numerous brands including Ninco and Scalextric.
Club Scene – Most of Mexico’s informal clubs revolve around small businesses with a number of such clubs around Mexico City that focus on 1/32 scale slot cars. Slot Club La Pista which also operates a retail store in the Northern part of the metropolis provides help in designing layouts using the Ninco brand of track. The company are also importers of other major slot car brands into Mexico including Cartrix, MRRC, Slot.it and NSR. They currently have a 6-lane Ninco track of approximately 36 meters in length.
La Pole Autopistas Electricas is a small commercial raceway open for rentals and parties. They have a 4-lane Ninco track of approximately 25 meters in length. South of Mexico City there is a slot car club called Overspeed while Restaurante Pit’s Top with a Formula 1 theme has a temporary slot car track that guests can race on. This would be the place to go during Grand Prix weekend.
The Netherlands Slot Car Racing
SlotRaceClub Eindhoven was founded on February 5th, 2009 by Paul van den Hurk and Jeroen den Broeder and currently has around two dozen members who race a variety of classes with a focus on 1/32. Popular classes include: Slot.it Group-C, 1/32 Classics, EC32 (Open), Sideways Group 5 and NSR GT3. The club races on a 6-lane 46 metre Ninco track based upon the Suzuku GP circuit and a 6-lane 55 metre Carrera track. The Ninco track is fitted with the Oxygen Digital System allowing for both analog and digital slot car racing.
SlotRaceClub Eindhoven wanted a new series to race and some suggested they race F1, and this was decided by the club but with a twist. The club would produce the cars that would be raced. Using the white body by AllSlot they designed a 3D chassis that would replace the stock chassis and provide better performance. Team members were selected to paint and assemble the cars that would then be sold to whoever wanted to race. The costs would be a very reasonable 50 Euros.
Slipstream Slotcar Racing in Zwaanshoek, South of Haarlem has a 6-lane wooden track as well as a future rally track. Slipstream, founded in the Winter of 1999 currently runs about a dozen classes including two that involve the old slot cars from the German Model Railroad company, Fleischmann. Other classes are for VW Buses with small trailers and the well loved Ninco Classics.
Slipstream also takes part in the Techno Challenge by Techport. Techport is the name of the region where the focus is on the energy, offshore, manufacturing and top sector high tech systems & materials sectors. The core of Techport is in the IJmond (The IJmond region consists of the municipalities: Beverwijk, Heemskerk and Velsen), but the focus is on cooperation with all parties in the Metropolitan Region of Amsterdam and North Holland that are active in these sectors. From the Techport region, companies, schools and governments work together to innovate and implement the Technology Pact NH.
The Slot Car Challenge is a program where students collaborate intensively. As a team they face the teams of classmates in an exciting competition with electrically powered slot cars on a model race course. During the Slot Car Challenge, control, patience and performance are central. That only works if all team members do their job well: the focus is on collaborations. The students fulfill the role of team leader, driver, mechanic and job officer. This makes it clear what the students like and what they are good at. They discover their talents, learn to consult, listen and learn to adapt to changing circumstances. The students build the final car, race the car and make a pit stop during the race to change the tires. The team that best shares the tasks and manages the nerves under high stress wins. Especially for boys this is a real challenge. The experience teaches that girls usually go home with the main prize!
X12 Wing Car racers in Holland can travel to Uden and the Mini Racing Team Uden (MRTU) to race their cars on the club’s 8-lane Hasse Nilsson built Blue King, the only king track in The Netherlands. The club also has a 2-lane 20 metre and a 6-lane 29 metre wood flat track suitable for Eurosport and other 1/24 slot cars. The club also organizes a Youth League of racers with the local schools. One of the major series that the club is involved in is the Lowlands Trophy where the competition involves 2-man teams from clubs in Belgium, Germany as well as the Netherlands. The GT12 Cup involves racers from The Netherlands and Germany. Note that most club races are done using the “Dutch” system which does not use qualification for heat assignment but assignment are done randomly by the computer.
New Zealand Slot Car Racing
While New Zealand no longer has any commercial raceways, it does have a national organization, the New Zealand Slot Car Association and a number of clubs throughout the country. The NZSCA holds several national championships including:
RTR National Championships – For 1/32 plastic body/chassis cars that are basically ready-to-run with minor tuning.
Slot-it Group C
1/32 National Championships – Lexan bodies
Grp 3 Flexi Chassis
Grp 2 Open Chassis with FK Motor
Grp 1 Open Chassis with G12/25 or Open Motor
1/24 National Championships – Metal Chassis with various motors
GTP – High downforce body with long side plates. Open or closed cockpit sports cars.
LMP – Lower downforce body with short side plates. Open or closed cockpit sports cars.
Classic and Can Am – Low downforce ‘scale’ body.
Eurosport – G12 and Open classes
Wing Cars – G12/15 Motor
1/32 RTR Team 12-hr Endurance
1/24 Team 12-hr Endurance
One of the premier clubs in New Zealand is the Wellington Slot Car Club located in Porirua about 18 km north of Wellington on the North Island. The club’s main track is a 6-lane 54 metre wooden slot car track at 12.5 Volts. This new layout was built between March and April 2012 after the club moved to the Porirua premises from their old Ten Pin Bowling Site in Petone.
The club races both 1/32 and 1/24 scale cars including Wing Cars and Eurosport. The club will play host to both the 1/32 and 1/24 National Championships in 2017.
In 1962 in the heydays of slot car racing the Henderson Miniature Motor Racing Club was founded. The first clubrooms were an old barn in the suburb of Swanson in Auckland. Today the club races on a 6-lane 30.5 metre wooden track as well as a dragstrip. The Christchurch Slot Car Club has a new 4-lane 55.2 metre routed wood track to race on. The Pitlane Slot Car Club in Dunedin, 2360 km south of Christchurch on the East Coast of the South Island focus on 1/32 racing on their 6-lane 32 metre wooden track.
When discussing slot car racing in New Zealand, we would be remiss if we did not mention John Warren, probably one of the best resin body fabricators currently working when he’s not teaching school. Most of John’s work is from masters provided by diecast, kit, old slot bodies or by clients. Those that wish to purchase a body should contact John directly through his FB account for his latest stock list.
Norway Slot Car Racing
Askar Mini Racing Club has been in existence for 30 years and races BoxStock, Flexi Saloon (ISRA Production 24) and Flexi Sport/GT on a Hasse built 155′ Blue King. Askar being relatively close to Sweden finds itself crossing the border often for inter-club racers.
Damstredet Racing in Oslo Norway has five tracks and a small Formula 1 slot car museum with many of the cars depicting Ronnie Peterson. The club has been going on since 2003 and Damstredet sports team was officially established (with the local government) on 11 September 2008. When the members are not racing they compete in running including several marathons, definitely not something you would expect from most American slot car racers. Trondheim Bilbane Center (TBC) was founded in 1998 by nine slot car enthusiasts and has an 8-lane 55 metre routed wood track. The club place host to major competitions including the Nordic Cup. There is also a junior club run in cooperation with the municipality of Trondheim. The 2018 Nordic Endurance Championship is scheduled to be held in January at Trondheim, Norway. This event is for 1/24 Scaleauto cars and is rotated between Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland. The race last 6 hours and each country can send two teams 3-4 members to compete in the race. As with most Scaleauto races the cars are mostly stock with hand-out tires. All cars will have their motors checked permitting 7230 rpm measured on the rear wheels with no load.
Portugal Slot Car Racing
Like Spain, there is no national slot car organization and rules are set either by the sponsoring manufacturer or the local club. Major clubs include GSC – Guimarães Slot Clube, Slot Clube do Porto, GTTeam ART Slot Clube and Aeslotclub Slot. Azislot is another club that races both circuit and rally on a pair of Ninco tracks. Even without a national organization inter club racing takes place in several series including the Open Slot Arrábida 2017/18 run by Slot Arrábida, the Portuguese slot car retailer just outside of Lisbon.
Most racing is focused on 1/32 and 1/24 hardbody scale racing on Ninco and Carrera track. Raid and rally racing is very popular in Portugal and slot cars of this type on rally tracks is raced by several clubs. The cars feature suspension, drop arms and four-wheel drives., rally and raid cars on Ninco track. Popular slot car brands raced are Ninco, NSR, Scaleauto, Slot.it, Black Arrow, Arrow Slot and Thunderslot.
Clube Slot de Braga races on a 40 meter 6-lanes Carrera track and recently held an NSR 2020 Formula One Championship race for the new series of cars that are proving quite popular,
The Slot Car Club of Trofa, North of Porto was founded in 2004, initially as a slot car club but is now a sporting and recreational association with around 250 members that is fully integrated with the Portuguese Institute of Sport and Youth. Besides slot cars the club also has other activities such as billiards, video games and, more recently, old and classic vehicles. Once a year the club hosts the 24 Hours of Trofa Slot Car Race.
Olifer Racing was founded in the late seventies as a slot race team, participating in hundreds of competitions in Portugal and abroad. Now run by second-generation racers, Olifer is a taking advantage of modern technology with a range of 3D printed slot car chassis and motor mounts, compatible with several brands including Scalextric, Ninco, Fly and Avant Slot
Russia Slot Car Racing
In Russia, a nation that puts a lot of value in math and science slot cars racing is actually an officially sanctioned course of after school study for school age children as “Young Engineers” where they learn how to build cars from scratch using bench top drills, milling machines and lathes to build everything including the chassis, motor, wheels and gears. Fans of the hobby are just not able to convince local schools and government in the US on the benefits of slot cars to teach our youth about technology. In images of slot car races in Russia you are struck by the young age of the competitors. Something you will rarely see in the United States unless it’s a birthday party or scouting event. There is a reason for this, all clubs in Russia are operated as a government entity for children under 18. Adults who wish to partake in the hobby must stay more or less under the radar and for any serious competition must travel outside the former Soviet Union. The clubs are managed by an adult instructor that receives a government salary. In St Petersburg there are 7 of thee types of clubs and countless others dot the Russian countryside. The government in Russia has contracted a number of Russian companies like Boild to help build and organize slot car clubs throughout the country.
These building skills will stay with the student for a lifetime and if they choose to stay in the hobby they tend to gravitate to the fastest cars in the hobby which are wing cars and Eurosport. There does not seem to be much of a market for hard body cars with the vast majority following the ISRA rule set with 5 classes being the most popular.
Formula 1 32
There has also been a Russian National Championship for the last 20 years. Other important races are the White Nights Tournament and the Russia Cup.
Slovakia Slot Car Racing
Mini Automodelársky Club Revúca has a 8-lane 42.5 meter routed track at their disposal. The club annually hosts the Slovak Republic Championship, takes part in the Honda Castrol Cup and races at various other events in the Czech Republic.
The Modelársky Klub Púchovv, a non-profit organization in cooperation with the Leisure Center Vůelka in Púchov organizes both RC (Radio Control) and slot car racing courses for local youth.
Children will be building a complete car starting with the molding of a resin body. The body will be grinded, cemented, sprayed with acrylic paints, and glued with stickers in the colors of various club sponsors. The 3d printed chassis is mechanical components such as gears, wheels, tires and axles are provided by several manufacturers. Additionally, the children will complete the chassis, including mounting chassis parts, using various tools in grinding, drilling, soldering and gluing the complete car. They will learn preparation such as adding weights, truing the tires, lubrication at the end of the year they will compete in a series of races as part of their grading. The Púchov Championship will also award trophies and other prizes to the contestants.
A new 4-lane wooden track is being built in Košice, a city in eastern Slovakia. This effort is being led by ISRA racer Jozef Lapčák with the sponsorship of the city government. The club will race under the Young Technician banner.
South Africa Slot Car Racing
Slot racing in South Africa became popular with with the introduction of Scalextric around 1960. A number of ‘Scalextric’ clubs sprung up all over the country and many leisure and sports clubs also had Scalextric track layouts.
The hobby really took off in a big way when commercial raceways opened. Miniways, which opened in 1966 in Cape Town had three large eight-lane tracks made by American Machine and Foundry (AMF) which at one time was one of America’s largest recreational equipment companies that built bowling alleys all over the United States. The tracks were a 155′ Blue King, a 110′ Orange Monarch and a 90′ Black Prince. The raceway also had a vast inventory of cars, controllers and spare parts.
By late 1969 the worldwide slot racing boom was already over and the raceway closed down. Luckily many of the clubs that had started continued to flourish though on a smaller scale. During the 1970s it was not uncommon to have entries of 60 to 80 drivers at a SAMCA national event. The South African National Championship was contested over four rounds, at four different tracks each year, with a driver’s best three results counting towards the championship.
Slot racing at national level in South Africa has always been extremely competitive; in order to even things out, drivers were graded into three classes – A, B and C – depending upon ability and experience, with a national title bestowed upon the winner of each of the classes. The SA National Champion title is awarded to the overall winner in Open Class, regardless of driver grading. Currently SAMCA has championships for GT12 with open chassis and Production 32 and 24 using flexi chassis. SAMCA do not at this time have a scale championship though recently there has been some discussion with regards to adding a 1/24 scale series using truer to scale lexan bodies sourced from Ace Hobbies in Australia with possibly a Plafit chassis or something similar powered by a JK Hawk 25 motor.
A few of the clubs that were founded during the 60s are still in operation to this day. The Ecurie Elite Slot Car Club is the oldest established in 1963. The club located in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal has a 6-lane 34 metre wooden track at it’s disposal. The East London Slot Car Club (ELSCC) caters to all ages and meets every Thursday to race a variety of model Slot Cars classes on their permanently 6-lane 42 metre wood track. The Cambridge Slot Car Club in Cape Town races scale cars on Tuesday evenings and SAMCA spec on Friday evenings on their 6-lane 43 metre track. Some other popular clubs in South Africa are the Pretoria Model Car Club, the Malmesbury Slot Car Club, Hotslots in Pietermaritzburg and the Port Elizabeth Model Racing Car Club. Many of the clubs that had focused on 1/32 scale have added 1/24 scale classes to their race calendar.
Spain Slot Car Racing
Without a strong national organization Spain looks to the manufacturer or hosting club to provide any rule set with some clubs incorporating German rules. !/32 like most countries in Western Europe out numbers 1/24 in terms of racers, with 1/24 scale activities concentrated in 1/24 Scaleauto GT3 and to a lesser extent Production16 (lexan) and LMP (Metal/Carbon) chassis.
If there is one city that could be called the epicenter for all things slot car racing that city would be Barcelona in Spain with 6 raceways within a 30km radius and the largest slot car shop in the world in Cric Crac. The Basas family also own Scaleauto, build routed slot car tracks as well as run a thriving distribution business, IBB Auto Racing. Barcelona is also the home to Ninco, which seems to be moving away from slot cars and of Scaleauto a leading manufacturer of 1/32 and 1/24 Scale slot cars. It is their 1/24 GT3 cars that are raced in Spain and all over Europe. Scaleauto sponsors huge endurance races with entrants from all over Spain, Holland, Germany, Italy and Finland. The 2017 race has 68 teams comprised of 245 racers for the event. The Catalan region of Spain also has a strong regional organization, the ACS. The L’Associació Catalana d’Slot was founded in October of 1999 to promote the slot car hobby. For the last 20 years there has been a Championship of Spain Slot Racing Festival for both 1/32 and now 1/24 scale cars. The cars raced include rally, endurance and trucks.
Located in Igualada, Spain, ICAR Indoor Slot Racing started out as an RC club but has since converted 100% to slot cars with a membership of over two dozen racers the club maintains an active racing schedule on their two large routed tracks. This schedule includes races for Klasse 1 (Formula 1), cars, 1/24 Scaleauto, 1/24 Production16 (Flexi Cars), LeMans Series, GT Pro and Group C Legends.
Another prominent club also in Igualada is Tim Comarca, founded in 2006. The name Tim Comarca actually refers to a region (though none in particular) and not the name of a person. The club has a beautiful Ivan Basas designed, CNC routed wood track and has started to use German rules with one of the most popular series being the GT Pro series but the club also races the “Danish Style” Retro F1 cars as popularized by Niels Elmholt Christensen. Recently the club started racing trucks as introduced by German racer Andy Pregler. Truck racing in Europe is quite a bit different that the NASCAR Truck series in the US with actual trucks being used.
Spain has a number of companies creating after market parts for the slot car hobby but RC manufactures have for the most part stayed away. Technical Racing Products (TRP) an RC specialist has produced a a chassis that will work with Kyosho’s 1/28 MiniZ RC cars. The chassis built in Spain is being marketed under their GroupZ label.
Minibólidos Chamartíin is located in Madrid Spain has been in existence for 15 years with four tracks including one of the first BLST tracks in a club setting. The BLST or “Best Lane Slot Track” is a digital slot car track that automatically selects the best racing line.
Built in France by its inventor David Caille these BLST circuits incorporate an anti-collision system, a computerized race management system that allows the car to automatically switch lanes, refueling management with pit stops, safety cars and self-driving “ghost” cars. The club with about 17 active racers compete in a variety of 1/32 and 1/24 scale classes including GT/GTP/LMP, Digital Group C, 1/24 Scaleauto, Group 5, Ninco GT, 1/24 Muscle Cars and Classic Le Mans.
In Madrid there is a 6-land 44 metre track operated by A+ Slot, a club that focuses on 1/24 scale racing using primarily cars from Scaleauto. On May 2017 the club held a 5-hour enduro racing these cars.
A new track inaugurated on the 17th of June 2017 is said to be the largest track in Spain. The 6-lane track at the Center de Modelisme de Les Franqueses located in Barcelona is more than 60 metres with a main straight of 13 metres. The club originally focused on RC Cars but in 2004 that focus switched to slot cars. The club with more than 100 members races many different categories including 1/32-1/24 Rally; 1/32 GT, LMP, Classics, Trucks, 1/24 GT Scaleauto , Classics, Group C and 1/28 Mini Z. For Raid and Andros ice racing the club uses flour to simulate the real conditions of snow or desert sand.
Sweden Slot Car Racing
In Sweden there is a sister organization to the Danish DMRU called Swedish Slot Racing Association SVESLOT, formed on 1 December 2002 to cover slot car racing or miniracing as it is called in Sweden. Traditionally the Danes have raced a lot with the Swedes, especially the clubs that are just a few miles from Sweden. Races are also held at regular intervals between clubs in Sweden, Denmark and Germany.
Sveslot organizes a number of series including:
Serie Öst 2017
Sveslot also supports scale racing with the BCC and the Scaleauto Cup. The rule sets currently used include Slot-Z, Scandinavian Slot Classic (SCC), Scaleauto and the Scaleauto Nordic Championships which was held in Sweden in 2015 and scheduled for Norway in 2018.
Some prominent clubs include the Malmo Slot Racing Club which will host the North European Championship and the Scandinavian Masters. The track hosted the ISRA Worlds 2012. Önneköps MRK is one of Sweden’s oldest yet active slot racing clubs having been founded in 1963. Unfortunately the club is no longer active and the title has gone over to Go-69.
The GO-69 in Partille, Sweden has as its name the abbreviation of “Gothenburg 1969” which is the place and the year when the club was formed. The Club organizes regular competitions in all formats and several of the club’s approximately 25 members also go around and compete, both domestically and internationally. The club is home to the Gothenburg 1000 which has been run every year since 1972, and almost always on the first weekend in December. The race is for Production24, Open12 and Eurosport 24 slot cars, with entrants from Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and the UK.
Wing Car racing is the focus at Norsjö MS / Miniracing which will host the 2017 European Wing Car Championship. Åtvidabegs MK Miniracing races on a large 8-lane 49.8 metre flat track with Eurosport and Production 24 slot cars, hosting the Swedish Open. MK Ran Askersundnis is a slightly more relaxed club located in the Eastern region of Sweden. The club is involved in Folk Racing which is and entry level form of Nordic Rallycross for cars, motorcross racing for motorcycles and slot car racing. The club races slot cars on a 8-lane 44 metre flat track built in 2012.
Switzerland Slot Car Racing
Switzerland, for a relatively small country has a number of slot car clubs many of them with routed wood tracks of 100ft or more. They race mostly 1/32, 1/27 (MiniZ) and 1/24 scale cars.
These clubs include SlotClub.ch with their 5-lane 45.5 metre wood track, SBS Slot Racing Dottikon, founded in 1995, with their 5-lane 39 metre wood track, Slot Racing Club Ostermundigen traces its history back to 1976. In city of Basel there is the Slot Racing Club Basel (SRCB) with their 5-lane 44 metre wood track and in Adliswil near Zurich there are the Polar Slotters who have a 5-lane 37 metre wood track. Slotrennbahn Teufen in the canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden has a 4-lane 37 metre wood track. Highing Slotters, located in Obfelden, Southwest of Zurich has 3 tracks at their facility. A 4-lane 55 meter Ninco track, a 4-lane 22 metre Carrera track and a 4-lane 44 metre Ninco “mountain” track.
ORS a Swiss slot car distributor has two tracks and is located in Saint-Blaise which is West of Bern. They have two tracks that are open to the public, a 4-lane 63 metre SCX track and a 6-lane 40 metre wood track. Slotracing Club Mettmenstetten is home to Switzerland’s 8-lane Blue King high-speed track. The club races everything from scale cars to G27 Wing Cars.
ISSR, runs the 3-Länder Cup with clubs from naturally 3 countries, Switzerland, Austria and Germany. The races involve scale GT and LMP cars. For the last 12 years clubs around the Zurich area have held a championship for 1/32 scale cars called the “Züri-Meister” Slotracing Cup. The series has 2 classes and a total of 10 races are run throughout the year.
The Slot Racing Club Ostermundigen just outside of Bern traces its roots back to 1976. The club races on a 4-lane routed wood track built in 2016 with a length of 34.63 meters.
Turkey Slot Car Racing
Slot car clubs in Turkey tend to focus on scale cars from manufactures such as Scalextric, Carrera and Slot.it. Slotcar Türkiye operates 1/32 and 1/24 mobile tracks that involve unique features that draw in casual fans to the world of slot cars.
These features include bicycle and voice propelled cars something probably not recommended for your average American slot car racer. Rather than opening a shop and waiting for their customers come through the door, Slotcar Türkiye goes to where the customer is, whether it is a shopping mall, an automotive event or anywhere there may find a group of young people. The company also produces an extensive range of product for the slot car and model railroad hobbies under the Proses brand.
Ukraine Slot Car Racing
Slot car racing (автомоделювання) in the Ukraine is similar to the racing scene in Russia which is what one would expect with a focus on racing ISRA classes. In 2013 Kiev served as the site for the ISAR World Championships. Like Russia, slot car racing is thought of as a useful tool to teach young technicians in the Ukraine and many of their clubs are geared to children both young and old. Projects organized by the Ukrainian State Center of school education (UDPTSO), the leading institution in scientific coordination of technical, artistic and aesthetic areas of the school educational institutions involve slot and radio control racing cars. Ukrainian Model Auto Sports (UFAMS) is the National Organization that used to organize slot car racing in the Ukraine but it has shifted it’s attention towards RC cars.
Prominent clubs in the Ukraine include Valico, Kiev Palace Raceway (KPDU) and The Center of Scientific and Technical Creativity (SFERA) while in 2016 a Championship of Ukraine for youth was held in Chernigov.
The Ukraine has built a solid reputation for electronics in the amateur radio hobby and S&K, a manufacturer of slot car parts including gears, controllers, tire truers and power supplies continues that trend. The company located in Kiev maintains their own club track while S&K’s controllers have been especially well received. Slot Racing Ukraine is another manufacturer of slot racing parts, producing power supplies.
United Kingdom Slot Car Racing
The United Kingdom where modern day slot cars were invented maintains a strong national racing calendar with races conducted all over the country. There is one major organization, the British Slot Car Racing Association (BSCRA) has been organizing a National Championship since 1964. The BSCRA organized five main series with multiple classes under each series. These series: British Open Championship (BOC), Southern 32, British Slotracing League (BSL), Pro Am and the British Wingcar Championship. Additionally there are two rule making groups that have created rule sets that are available free for clubs to run under and useful for inter-club events. These are the United Kingdom Retro Racing Association (UKRRA) which runs a British version of the American D3 rules as well as the Tottenham Open and the Classic Slot Car Racing Association (CSCRA) for hardbody racing in both 1/32 and 1/24 though the smaller scale is much more popular.
In 2016 The Digital Slot Car Association (DiSCA) ran two events using pop-up digital slot car racing circuits at popular UK club venues. The events were well received, and in response to the enthusiasm for our GT3 formula we are pleased to announce three dates for the forthcoming season.
One of the largest slot car retailers Pendle Slot Racing serves the British public as well as the entire slot car world with an extensive online business. Founded in 1993 by Sean Fothersgill Pendle operates out of its facility at Lomeshaye Industrial Estate, Nelson, where it also maintains a custom 115ft, 5 lane MDF track for club gatherings. In 1999 the firm launched its first website. Pendle supports various events including sponsoring the Slot.it Digital Le Mans 24hrs race held in Henley-in-Arden and the annual UK Slot Car festival. Another premier online retailer is AB Slotsport that serves an international clientele with the latest slot car equipment.
England has many famous clubs, chief amongst these is the North London Society of Model Engineers (NLSME) was founded in 1944 and where the earliest diesel rail cars, forerunners to modern day slot cars were first demonstrated. The aim in which the Society was originally founded still remains today, and that is to promote and encourage model engineering and its related pastimes. The NLSME has an active membership that has steadily grown over the 69 years that the Society has been in existence and the society has established different sections for Locomotive, Stationary Steam & Traction Engines, OO & O Railways, Slot Cars, North American HO Railroad, Marine, Video, Junior, Garden Railway and Ground Level Railway. While the slot car section holds many races the club is still dominated by the model railroaders.
The Rockingham Slot Car Club track, a 117-foot six-lane braided wooden track with a smooth gloss painted surface is designed for BSCRA-type 1/32 – 1/24 and UKRRA Retro 1/24 racing. Race control is through the latest version of the SlotMaster race management system. Controllers are connected through the usual BSCRA 3-pin 2 amp plugs that are standard in UK slot racing clubs. Oaklands Park Model Car Club, is the oldest slot car club in England, which would make them the oldest club in the world. Raceway 81 is the new home of the Newcastle Slot Car Racing Club, originally formed in 1990. Skyline Raceway in Essex has a new 6 lane routed wood track that will allow it to run anything from 1/32 hard body cars to BSCRA 1/24 Wing Cars. Viking Scalextric and Slot Car Club in Kent was launched in 1997 and races on a 6-lane 140 foot Scalextric Sport Track where they race 1/32 hard body cars. Scalextric, a name synonymous with slot cars no longer organizes a National Championship though many clubs base their racing activities on the plastic cars and those of Pioneer. Most of these clubs racing Scalextric also run on plastic Ninco or Scalextric track. In addition to Scalextric, the Italian company NSR promotes a national championship around their GT3 cars. Interestingly Scaleauto which runs 1/24 series and Slot.it with their Group C which are raced all over the world have not made a large impact on the UK market. Liverpool is home to the Hawthorne Park Slot Car Club. The club has two wooden tracks and races mostly 1/32 scale cars. The smaller of the two is a rally track which is rare in the UK while the larger track is 4 lanes and 100 feet per lap.
They toil away in a dozen workshop in England producing replicas of cars that have not seen a racetrack except for vintage events for the last half century. These are resin body builders in the image of master “panel beaters” that includes Penelope Pitlane, Pre-Wing, and George Turner. At his workshop in Twickenham there resides a violin maker and restorer by the name of John Dilworth who when not working with his musical instruments produces vintage vac-formed bodies of 0.5mm PETG for slot car racers, but don’t look for a website or online store because John does not maintain a standing inventory and most of his bodies are produced upon request. With many of his bodies not available through nay other source John provides a critical service to those that want clear but scale appearing bodies.
Handbuilt resin or wood bodied cars are raced at special events such as the Wolverhampton Slot Car Club’sEarly Birds Race for vintage scratchbuilt Grand Prix and Formula 1 cars. Another club that still finds the times in their busy racing schedule to race vintage slot cars is the Southend Slot Racing Club in Bowers Gifford, a small village in southern Essex where they race mostly 1/32 scale cars including Pre-67 front engine GT/Sports cars as produced by Ninco, Carrera and Revell, Early Birds (F1 and GP) and pre-1977, 4-seater European, Japanese or American saloons, which are race converted hard top passenger cars.
Chinese Speaking Countries of Asia Slot Car Racing
Writing about slot car racing around the world is not an easy matter. If you search for slot cars you’re likely to miss many countries where the term is unknown. If instead you use the term 電刷車 (Electric Brush Car) all of China, HK and Taiwan will be open to you. Of course one must not confuse this with 軌道車的 (Rail Car) which is the Chinese term for the Japanese Mini 4-WD drive cars.
Most of the slot car tracks are located in stores that cater to children and young families. Many of the tracks also play host to informal clubs of older racers who compete mostly for lap records and local bragging rights.
China Slot Car Racing
NIO Life, the lifestyle brand under NIO the Chinese electric car manufacturer has produced three EP9 slot cars together with traditional German slot car brand Carrera.
On May 12, 2017, the full-size NIO EP9 broke the existing lap record at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, achieving a lap time of 6:45.90. With acceleration from 0-200 kph in 7.1 seconds.
“With almost 100 Carrera outlets in Mainland China and a thriving community of more than 8000 active members, slot car racing gained a lot of traction in China.” adds Mr. Fabian Gruber, Managing Director, Stadlbauer (HK) Limited.
The South Korean company Lotte Children (South Korea), sometimes in association with Rakuten (Japan) has established or partnered in a number of plazas / entertainment complexes in China with many featuring a Carrera slot car track. A number of these are located around Xian, Xianyang City and Shanghai. Carrera has a dedicated shop at Nanjing Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai. Xian appears to be a hot bed for slot cars within China.
Hong Kong Slot Car Racing
During the 2015 Carrera Challenge Tour at Harbour City in Tsim Sha Tsui over 1,000 visitors attended the 4-day event with people from different ages and nationalities entering the racing challenge.
ARace Slot Car Racing Hong Kong is a new commercial slot car track that has a large digital Carrera layout. The raceway is open by appointment for private sessions, parties and school groups. This would be a logical progression from a toy store to one offering rentals. Clubs with their own facilities or home tracks are extremely rare in the high density city.
Singapore Slot Car Racing
InTrigg Hobbies was established in 2014 as a local hobby store. They are exclusive importers and distributors or several Slot Racing brands including NSR, Slot.It, RevoSlot and BRM. Their distribution channels for Slot Racing products cover Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.
InTrigg Hobbies is involved in planning events or parties around Slot Car Racing. They can also provide sets and cars for private use.
Taiwan Slot Car Racing
Iron Hero, a distributer of Slot Car brands, Scaleauto, Slot.it, NSR, Scalextric and Carrera has three locations and works with other leading businesses in Taiwan to support the slot car hobby. In 2016 a Ninco 6-lane 61-meter slot car track was set up at the Han Dynasty Grand Hotel in Kaohsiung to publicize slot car racing.
Shang Shun World, a theme park located inside a 6-story building in Miaoli County has a 30-meter Scalextric slot car track. There are also a number of small private clubs in the Taiwan metropolitan area.
The Taiwan Slot Racing Group has gathered racers from all over Taiwan who love slot cars to share and exchange technology, information, promotion, and training.