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Is Retro too fast?


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#1 Eddie Fleming

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Posted 05 October 2023 - 08:16 AM

I was talking with a one of the better racers at a recent Retro race and he said, "These cars are too fast." I have thought about that a good bit, and I cannot disagree. 

 

Slowing the cars would not change who wins races or improve my performance in any way so this is not about if they were slower I could win.

 

I think Retro Can-Am cars turn better lap times than the open class cars we ran in the late '60s and early '70s.

 

So I am asking are Retro cars too fast and if so how would you slow them down? I will give three possibilities 

 

Narrower tires

Spec pinion

Less or no spoilers 

 

What do you think?


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#2 Bucky

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Posted 05 October 2023 - 09:14 AM

Your suggestion proposes two different approaches to slowing the cars down. A) Slow down the motors with a spec pinion or B) decrease handling by removing the spoilers or narrowing tires.

I like option B more because it would shift some emphasis to driving skill in racing slightly worse handling cars instead of squeezing every fraction of a second out of car setup. Same guys would win since theyre still the best drivers.

It would be hard to get the toothpaste back in the tube on any of this though.
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#3 Tim Neja

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Posted 05 October 2023 - 10:13 AM

The biggest problem is the "speed crazed" racers that won't give up anything in their quest to go faster. Yes, racing would be much better and just as much fun if we could slow them down a few tenths.  The easiest and simplest method would be a spec pinion. Just make 10 teeth and no smaller than 27 tooth spur and the cars would be easier to drive and your motors would last a lot longer.

 

I'm not in favor of reducing handling as that would create a crashfest instead of better racing. I'm in the "better driver" category so that kind of change would benefit me – but I don't think it's best for the overall racing programs.

 

This also would allow the current motor manufacturers to continue with selling motors they've already invested in! Win/win for all.


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#4 Cheater

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Posted 05 October 2023 - 10:29 AM

I've been concerned about what I then termed 'speed creep' since we started IRRA over 15 years ago, but nobody wanted to hear it then and they still won't want to hear it now.

The basic problem is the faster the slot car, they fewer people who will want to race them. I call that Wells' Law and the evidence over many decades is that it is undoubedly true.

But speed is addictive, almost as bad as heroin it seems, and most of the top Retro racers essentially speed junkies.


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Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#5 Roy Lievanos

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Posted 05 October 2023 - 12:34 PM

Is a beginner class like “F” wing car class next for Retro?

Only able to use spec motor, spec gearing and tires?


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#6 team burrito

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Posted 05 October 2023 - 12:38 PM

If only you guys started out with the Chinese 16D motors, you wouldn't have these problems.


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#7 Cheater

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Posted 05 October 2023 - 12:41 PM

You mean the really consistent, durable Chinese 16D motors that were available back then?


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Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#8 MG Brown

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Posted 05 October 2023 - 12:44 PM

Our Retro GTC class in SE TN uses spec 30K motors and spec 12/36 gearing. Seems to be about right for the Reverse LTD.

 

Maybe a future IRRA event might want to adopt this for GTC?


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That's thirty minutes away. I'll be there in ten.
 

 


#9 MSwiss

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Posted 05 October 2023 - 12:58 PM

Running a 30K motor on a flat track is a good idea, but most Retro racing is done on banked tracks.

 

IMO, eliminating spoilers or going to a narrower max tire width would just lead to racers running softer, bitier rubber, that would wear out quickly.

 

As far as a spec ratio, whenever I bring it up, it seems the racers who travel the most prefer to gear the motor as they see fit, and don't mind rolling the dice, running them black if needed, to compete for the win.


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#10 Jay Guard

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Posted 05 October 2023 - 01:50 PM

As far as a spec ratio, whenever I bring it up, it seems the racers who travel the most prefer to gear the motor as they see fit, and don't mind rolling the dice, running them black if needed, to compete for the win.

 

Why cater to the very top racers who travel the most? Maybe this (i.e. running them black) is fine for the very top guys but I think it's time to do something for the no-so-top guys. A spec pinion would reduce the pre-race thrash time a bit and help level the playing field.


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Way too serious Retro racer


#11 Tim Neja

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Posted 05 October 2023 - 02:05 PM

Why cater to the very top racers who travel the most? Maybe this (i.e. running them black) is fine for the very top guys but I think it's time to do something for the no-so-top guys.  A spec pinion would reduce the pre-race thrash time a bit and help level the playing field.


That's exactly what is needed Jay. The travelers are dedicated racers – and they will race NO MATTER WHAT! It's all the middle level and beginners where we need to grow. And spec gearing would stabilize that!


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#12 MSwiss

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Posted 05 October 2023 - 02:41 PM

Why cater to the very top racers who travel the most? Maybe this (i.e. running them black) is fine for the very top guys but I think it's time to do something for the no-so-top guys. A spec pinion would reduce the pre-race thrash time a bit and help level the playing field.

 

Jay,

Because they are the squeakiest wheels? LOL
 
I would prefer a spec ratio but playing devil's advocate, I'm not sure a ratio conservative enough to satisfy Eddie's need for less speed could be achieved.
 
Also, even a spec ratio meant just to take some of the abuse off of the CR10's, while you think it would cut down on the thrashing, I think it would just put a premium on searching for that top 1 per cent motor.
 
BTW, I never asked, how was the motor situation at Fast Eddie's race?
 
I've been real busy dealing with crazy issues with an entirely new roof going up in my plaza, and the facade of the plaza being extensively remodeled, but I don't recall noticing many DNFs in the posted results.


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#13 Modelville Guy

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Posted 05 October 2023 - 03:03 PM

A set gear ratio will put a bigger effort on that perfect motor for the track of the day.

 

Why not two motors one for Stock Cars and Coupes and one for F1 and Can-Am. Then you could slow down two of classes and come up with a solution before going nuts and trying to fix everything at once.


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#14 Clyde Romero

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Posted 05 October 2023 - 03:39 PM

Interesting stuff, what about IRRA unlimited which is what we have now same rules and IRRA Spec where we use a spec pinion. or Spec whatever.

 

With regards to racers who travel, personally I don't see it. 

 

The majority of racers race within 50 miles if that from their home track. 

 

I can count on one hand the number racers that branch out to other tracks for a series- not counting the 2 major events Retropaloza  and the Fall Brawl 

 

Slot car racing is like politics, its all local.   

 

Clyde 


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#15 Bucky

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Posted 05 October 2023 - 03:45 PM

In my experience with a set gear ratio it leads to a lot of experimenting with oil lite height and tire size to get the ideal rollout ratio. Its kinda counter productive if the goal is to decrease thrashing.
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#16 Dave Crevie

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Posted 05 October 2023 - 03:53 PM

The fault, my friends, is inherent in the beast. It is a competitive sport. More regulation won't fix the problem. Each new restriction will be bypassed by improvements in other components. Everyone wants to go faster. In retro racing we have seen it with the continually changing construction techniques in the chassis, and the allowance of things like ball bearings, re-designed guide flags, a longer list of legal motors, more bodies. IMHO we should have stuck with the rules as they were originally written. The exceptions would be components that had been discontinued. A reasonable replacement should be voted in. 

 

Real racing organizations have been dealing with this for decades. They keep coming up with gizmos to slow the cars down, but teams keep coming up with ways to circumvent the changes. No matter what you do, someone will be unhappy with it. and that starts the ball rolling. 



#17 blue&orange

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Posted 05 October 2023 - 04:08 PM

I have raised this issue with a few racers at various Retro East events and found at least some people sympathetic – I don't think anything would be lost if we were running just a few tenths slower.  That said, we usually have enough racers for three mains (now that covid is over) and most of us lower tier racers know where we belong and are happy there, though we enjoy a rare venture into a higher main (and that doesn't mean we aren't trying to get there some day). I second Tim's comment about appreciating what the motor manufacturers have invested in this hobby. So I think I will do my own experiment to see what a spec (lower) pinion might mean for certain classes so if anyone asks I have some hard data.


Chris Matthy

#18 team burrito

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Posted 05 October 2023 - 05:22 PM

You mean the really consistent, durable Chinese 16D motors that were available back then?

 

The Pro Slot 16Ds are quite good IMHO.


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#19 bbr

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Posted 05 October 2023 - 06:03 PM

Easy – turn down the voltage.


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#20 Danny Zona

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Posted 05 October 2023 - 07:09 PM

But speed is addictive, almost as bad as heroin it seems, and most of the top Retro racers are essentially speed junkies.

 

You can say the same about manufacturers with the latest and greatest new product that comes out.

Some top tier fast racers aren't necessarily wanting faster products but have no choice but to use them when they are legal.

Some are just keeping up with the Joneses.


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#21 DocSlotCar

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Posted 05 October 2023 - 08:13 PM

One thing we do is limit the number of crashes per heat to two per racer. On the third crash you are out until the next heat. We also do not allow the racers to call track unless it is under the bridge, off the track on the floor or there are more than three cars off in a corner. 

The crash rule has helped  as have the other practices. This has especially helped create new racers who stay on the track and race and have fun. 

Truth be told...  yes some may leave or left because they do or did not like the rules. they were replaced with others who liked the fact that it was fair and equal for all to win. 


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#22 Matt Sheldon

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Posted 05 October 2023 - 09:48 PM

While increasing the skill level required by removing aero and downforce (aka drivers class) may sound like a novel idea, it will lead to even worse on track carnage. Finishing positions would not change. Uniform or lower track voltage would be easier/better solution. Spec pinion size works well once past initial investment.


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Matt Sheldon


#23 Dennis David

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Posted 05 October 2023 - 10:53 PM

I like the lower voltage and maybe spec non-aero body.


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#24 team burrito

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Posted 05 October 2023 - 11:47 PM

You could try a time lock-out.


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#25 Hot Slots

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Posted 06 October 2023 - 06:46 AM

Are we talking about cars being to fast or are we talking about racers that dont have the reflex ,reaction times needed to keep up with the cars.

Im just the ***hole saying it, but every track I race at its usually the older racers that run the 30k motors in the FCR chassis or new racers that are still figuring things out.

In the short time ive raced slots cars off and on over the last 25 years, Ive seen top racers that now run b main cars. Its not that the cars are too fast for everyone, there too fast for racers that arent able to keep up with them. Its natural, it happens to everyone, I will probably be bitching about slots cars being too fast one day if there still around.

I get everyone wants to be competitive but are the cars to fast or are racers past there prime?
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