Wednesday, 25 July 2007

KVSR League Round 1

Well, it's been a while since I lasted posted here. Nothing much seems to be happening here but there's plenty happening in my slot life...haha.

The KVSR (Klang Valley Slot Racers) just had their 1st round of the KVSR Fun League last Sunday at Hartamas Shopping Centre. Although only 7 racers took part in the event, we had a pretty exciting session and managed to draw in a small crowd of spectators. We have about 4 rounds of racing in the league climaxing to the finals at the end of the year. Every race leading up to that final will have different themes. For this 1st round, all racers are required to race saloon & touring cars. I had very little to think of in terms of car choice as I had only 1 car to trusty Mercedes C36 AMG....which incidentally was a Deutche touring car...

The race had a revised format and we had to go through a 1 lap qualifying session to determine who would go into the A & B finals. The A finals race is for the 4 top qualifiers while the bottom 4 (in this case 3) qualifiers will duke it out in the B finals. Yup, those familiar with the F1 Qualifying system will be familiar with this....The timing & number of laps will be counted digitally on a computer so we can all keep track of our times without fiddling with stop watches & such.
Here's how my race went:

Qualifying: I totally messed up my qualifying lap...enough said. I had problems right at the start as the control was dodgy (it worked brilliantly during the practise laps before that...) and my car didn't budge an inch. Luckily, I was handed a new control (thanks Marco...) and I was on my out lap in no time. Just when I thought things were going well, my car flew off the track on the 2nd hairpin....on my FLYING LAP.... I eventually got the car going again, crossing the start/finish line at slightly over 10 secs. I ended last in qualifying as the other racers had a relatively major-accident free qualifying. The fastest time posted on the track was just over 5 secs...

The Race: After a dodgy qualifying, I naturally wasn't all that confident for the B finals. The race is 50 laps long although the 'crash & burn' rule didn't apply. When the lights went out, my car sped in front the other 2 racers. I thankfully had a trouble free race & managed to lead from start to finish. In all, I did 52 laps to finish 1st. The Merc was solid throuhgout the race and the only thought I had after that was what if my car hadn't flew off the track during qualifying...but I guess I won't have the satisfaction of winning as the racers in the A finals were really good...a cut above the rest...

Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera with me that day so I don't have any pics to post up yet. Round 2 of the league will be tentatively on 19ht August...and that round's theme would be LMP (Le Mans Project). Which means I'll have to get a new LMP class car by then. I'm currently looking at Carrera models at Mid Valley as they are more affordable (only RM 169). Therefore, I have a new dillema in my hands...I'm now deciding between an Audi R8R and a Panoz LMP. These are older models (circa 2002) from the brand and I can't find any reviews on the net about them. So if anyone out there has more info on these models or if you own any one of them...would like to hear your feedback on these beauties...

Here are pics of them:

Audi R8R

Panoz LMP

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Newbie Slot Jockey


This is my very 1st post (...starting up engines...haha). As the title suggest, i'm still relatively new to slot car racing. I've been 'racing' for more than a month now on a weekly basis at Hartamas shopping centre.

Yup, i race alongside Moonseraphim & just like her, i found slot car racing to be really fun if not addictive. Time seems to pass by so fast while i'm on track. Vin Diesel was saying how much he feels liberated when he's racing on Fast & Furious and well, that really sums up how i feel. Every week i look forward to sunday afternoons just to race my heart out on track (did i mention it's addictive??). It got to the point where i even dreamed of it at night (slot car racing with Ayrton Senna...hence my nickname) I won't blame anyone for thinking i'm crazy... ;P

I do think many of us have played with slot cars at some point in our lives, whether it's the world famous Scalextric models or the RM39.90 plastic slot car sets you get at your local toy shop. I got my 1st slot car set on my 4th b'day i think. It was a simple 2 lane figure 8 track and it came with 2 cars, a Martini Porsche 911 & an Alitalia Lancia (similar to the ones pictured below). The track also includes a bridge, railing and advertisement boards. I forgot who the manufacturer is but it's a Japanese company. The entire set (including the 2 cars) have gone to slot car heaven now, sad to say. How i wish i had taken care of my toys...

What's the big deal about these little cars? Realism. Realism in terms of aesthetics, details, features and even the performance. Moonseraphim mentioned that different cars behave differently, just like in real life. True enough, there is a marked difference in performace between say, an F1 & A1 car, although they may look similar at a glance. Same goes for the Le Mans, GT, Jap GT & WRC classes. Each class is unique and each car in the class are replicated to recreate the same handling and performance of the actual race car.

The realism doesn't stop there though. With sufficient space, we can customize the race track as well. The tracks are sold in sets (that come with cars & accessories) and these can be extended by adding more pieces of track to it. These extension tracks are sold in packs and include pieces for corners and straights and even for the pitstop. Accessories such as buildings, railings and pit crew can also be obtained to make the track more realistic. Ultimately, we can even recreate the Sepang circuit or Silverstone or even our very own custom track with proper landscaping.

My pride and joy is a Mercedes C36AMG DTM class race car. Yup, i have only 1 car at the moment and that cost me RM100. I'll try to get the photos up and give a review of it in my future blog. Until then, keep the engines running...

Saturday, 23 June 2007

My Living Legend

Yes. My living legend. An MG Lola, manufactured by the all so famous Scalextric. As mentioned in my last post, every car has its own handling. The MG Lola is considerably easy to handle. It's at least a whole lot easier to handle than the Mini Cooper. In fact, due to its flat and wide chassis, its got a really low center of gravity (CG) which really helps a great deal when it comes to hugging those tight corners. Its probably got the lowest CG among all classes (perhaps it's only match is the GT). And because of this, its really stable and sticks to the track like you've got super glue on its tires! Hug those tight corners at high speed and you've got no problems like what other cars would give you i.e. flipping off the track.

Not only has it got the magnificent stability, its also got the speed. Though it can't exactly compete with the F1 when its on a long stretch of straight (or maybe it can with a slight upgrade of motor), they can easily outrun the F1 if there are just a few curves on the track. And while comparing it with the F1, the Lola is also a lot more durable. Unlike the fragile F1 where you can't exactly get involved in an "accident", the Lola gives you that luxury to get into minor "accidents". But no, I'm not asking you to put it to the test and crash it.

Enough said. Let me show you my *ahem*, Living Legend...

It's won me quite a number of races. It's in fact managed to set a record for the most laps in the Bangsar track over a 3 minute race. Of course it has also got some 'warrior scars' here and there, but with a little super glue, its still fit as a fiddle. I find it to be the most stable Lola on the track, even when compared to others of the same class. This Lola, is definitely a class of its own.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

1 year and lovin' it

Time flies so fast I really did not realise that I've been into slot cars for more than a year already. But ever since my dad introduced it to me, I've been spending every Sunday afternoon with him at either the Bangsar track, or the Hartamas track racing away with our collection of cars. Ok, its not really "our" collection, its more like my dad's collection. But all the same, I personally find it a really interesting hobby. Well, I admit that I am the only female playing on a regular basis, and people do wonder why would a female be so obsessed with cars. I can't exactly tell why I am so into it as well. I just find it plain interesting and amusing!

To the general audience, this hobby may be just all about a motor with 2 wires assembled in a plastic casing and running it round and round the same track. But for those who knows about this, they would understand that it is more than just that. The motor is not just any other motors, but there is a difference in speed and power to each and every individual motor. Of couse we all know that there are different motors with different RPMs for sale, but to think that even 2 different motors with the same RPM can perform differently, that is something else.

Not only the motor, even the make of the car in general. The car can be of the same model and the same make, but tune it differently and you get a car that has totally different handling, speed and overall performance. There are just so much you can do with a new car. Upgrade the motor, run-in the motor, change the tyres, sand the tyres, clean the tyres, add/remove/alter the magnets, change the guides, and the list continues. Every slight toggle gives you a brand new car all together! Of course, you still have the option of not doing anything to the brand new car and run it the moment you purchase it off the shelf.

And the track. There are numerous track designs be it pre-designed or you can choose to be creative about it. And to note that you can actually have 2 different tracks with only 1 design! Scratching your head how that can be done? An experienced racer will be able to read me. Digital tracks and also certain makes of cars have the capability to run on "reverse" mode! And by running on reverse mode, the same track will be all different again!

If I were to list every single amazing thing about slot cars, this post will never end. But if this attracted your attention, then slot cars are definitely something you must try. I started it a year ago, and now I don't only love it, am obsessed with it. I sure hope to know that there are more like-minded people out there especially females because it does not feel nice to be "lonely".