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An observation on Retro racing


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#26 Samiam

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Posted 20 February 2016 - 04:55 PM

It is my understanding that the idea behind Retro was to take the motor out of the equation making it a "chassis builders class". It seems to me that just the oposite has happened.

 

My take on the "Retro Mission Statement" is that their intention was to take motor building out of the equation, not the motor. There is no possible way to nullify motor performance in any form of motor sports. In any scale. Under any set of rules. 
 
I wonder what the hot topic is on the Pinewood Derby forums?


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#27 James Grandi

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Posted 20 February 2016 - 05:06 PM

Probably how to make carbon fiber look like wood.


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#28 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 04:14 PM

 Maybe just taking those Ti22 bodies away from the 'pro' class drivers... just to slow them down to what the rest of us can do.


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#29 Bill from NH

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 05:08 PM

I wonder what the hot topic is on the Pinewood Derby forums?

 

What's the best way to polish nails. :)


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#30 Joexemm

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Posted 02 April 2016 - 10:51 AM

I have only run a few races. Built a few cars. Learned a lot. Motor is only 1/a quarter of the equation. Body is a lot. There are a few different variations of the Ti22 that do different things at different times. Seems to me there is a lot of tuning to do there. Basics win races. Tricks only work when basics are rock solid. Tires are a game i never had to play with flexi cars that was always straightforward. I dig it a lot. i feel there is more to be done to master these Retros than the body choice... way more.


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#31 Les Boyd

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Posted 06 April 2016 - 06:36 AM

The statement that there where several types of chassis showing up on the podiums (as to how true that is I make no claim) shows that the IRRA® rules are working and doing what was intended.

 

Although my observations is that different chassis work better at one type of track. So each specific track has only one or two types of chassis that will have the best performance.

 

That is what I like about IRRA® you can build a chassis suitable for the track you intend to race on.

 

We see different types of chassis, because there are different tracks, some flat, some banked, some high speed, and some more of a driver's tracks.


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#32 Racer36

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Posted 06 April 2016 - 07:45 AM

I dont have a lot to add from a technical perspective, but I will echo what Noose mentioned. I have just jumped into Retro after years of flexi racing and a short sabbatical.

 

I am hugely impressed and grateful for all of the offers of help from racers in the Penn-Ohio Retro series. I could not get out of my own way despite having a really good chassis, but with some help I got going fairly well. Now it is just a matter of getting more track time.

 

Thanks to all!


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#33 Arne Saknussem

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Posted 06 April 2016 - 08:44 AM

As a widely acclaimed poster of the obvious, I suspect that the chassis look a great deal alike simply because most of the main brass parts in use are sourced from a very few suppliers. I think we are all well aware that the specs and locations of all the bits that connect those brass parts are the determinants. 

 

Hence, the lap times attainable by one car assembled by Racer A may be very different from another assembled by Racer B (even assuming A and B are similarly skilled). The number of possible permutations is astronomical.

 

The differing chassis designs that are easily observed here on the Blog demonstrate the great variety shown among successful entries. West Coast designs have evolved quite differently to those on the East Coast, no doubt due at least partially to motor and allowable body differences.


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#34 Dennis David

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 01:24 AM

My money is on the fact that chassis have become less important vis a vis aero and as long as the chassis is flat, straight, and of a reasonable design that isolate vibration and has some flex it's down to the "response" it gives back to the driver.

Get rid of the "handling" bodies and the chassis design will become more important.

Well that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it. ;-)


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#35 Noose

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 05:53 AM

Dennis,

 

I will tend to disagree with you. The frames are made and fine tuned for different tracks. Only a few frames in my stable, actually only one, has worked as I wanted it on flat tracks, Hillclimbs, and Kings. All with the same body.

 

The good news is a lot of frames have been around for longer than a week like in the old days. And remember back then we still always had a predominant body used.


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#36 Dennis David

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 10:25 AM

Maybe to be more accurate what I was trying to say was they all work but react differently for each track and it's more of a driver choice which chassis works best for a given track. With less of a handling body the differences in chassis may be wider. Feel free to disagree and this is of course only a theory of mine.
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#37 Half Fast

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 11:13 AM

What amazes me is that chassis with completely different design philosophies can all work well.

 

For example: GVP chassis are very flexible. Bartos' are very stiff and Tony P's are in the middle. Yet they all work amazingly well.

 

Cheers,


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#38 Uncle Fred

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 01:52 PM

I feel that chassis flex, weight, and weight distribution are all important but tires (hardness, width, and wheel diameter) can offset these attributes.


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#39 Tim Wilkins

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 02:48 PM

 West Coast designs have evolved quite differently to those on the East Coast, no doubt due at least partially to motor and allowable body differences.

 

No minimum weight limit has led to many new West Coast designs.


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#40 bbr

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 06:40 PM

What amazes me is that chassis with completely different design philosophies can all work well.

 

For example: GVP chassis are very flexible. Bartos are very stiff and Tony P's are in the middle. Yet they all work amazingly well.

 

Yeah, I tried many chassis and you can get them to perform the same with set-up, what is different is how they respond (snappy, soft).

 

The chassis that suits me right now in F1 is the Kamo. I have a Kamo CA too, but haven't tried it yet. I'm pretty sure I will like it, too.


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#41 Arne Saknussem

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 10:21 PM

Beware overthink.


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#42 Dennis David

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 10:22 PM

I want a Kamo chassis!
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#43 Superbird

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 08:53 AM

Another out of the box thought about 'Retro' racing:

 

Weren't "Retro" cars supposed to be a fashionable imitation of an earlier style of racing, specifically 1967 in the Golden Era of slot car Pro racing? Isn't that why Retros are stuck using the horribly obsolete in-line motor format with all the devilish driving challenge of torque roll? 

 

I'm not alone in owning and driving vintage cars from that era and anybody will tell you that today's "Retro" racers are nothing like the challenge of driving back then. In those days, when motor power was exploding, chassis builders were making ever heavier designs to retain control of the cars running on rubber painted surfaces and layouts that included hills, vertical drops, and intentional lateral zig-zag esses. You might be able to reproduce the motor types of that time (although nobody does) and force the bodies and chassis to reflect actual cars from that time but you will not be able to race on tracks from 50 years ago.

 

"Retro racing" is an artificial modern category that ends up being just a tad slower than the equivalent Flexi-wedge offering. 


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#44 tonyp

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 09:21 AM

Retro racing started in California by a bunch of old guys that just wanted to build again and get together to run their cars.

There never was the intention to exactly recreate the cars of the '60s, more like what inlines would look like if anglewinders never came about. I am thinking inlines were chosen over anglewinders because they were easier to build.
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#45 slotcarone

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 09:29 AM

Hi Pete,

Am I correct in assuming you have not driven a modern Retro car? These horribly obsolete inlines handle real well!! You are welcome to try mine out any time you are in the New York area!!
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#46 Cheater

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 09:37 AM

Weren't "Retro" cars supposed to be a fashionable imitation of an earlier style of racing, specifically 1967 in the Golden Era of slot car Pro racing?


No, it wasn't. The idea with Retro was to get back to scratchbuilding and the craftsmanship and design that was a large part of that era. It was a paradigm flip, from custom motors (of ever-increasing power unintentionally generating lower participation) and standardized chassis to custom chassis and standardized motors.
 

"Retro racing" is an artificial modern category that ends up being just a tad slower than the equivalent Flexi-wedge offering.


OK, just what slot racing class isn't an "artificial category"?

And there's absolutely no evidence to support the assumption that "faster is better" in regards to slot racing. In fact, the historical evidence strongly supports the opposite viewpoint.


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#47 Brian Cochrane

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 10:18 AM

Retro racing is a blessing for the whole slot car industy. Retro racing and it's racers are like a big family. Just because some are better at it than others doesn't have anything to do with anyone switching to race a different class such as flexis because they might do better at those.

 

A point was made how Can-Am was to easy drive because of the downforce Ti22 and its spoiler. I personally find it my hardest class to be competitive in.

 

Retro racing will live a long life because it is fun, it has many loyal racers, and it runs like a finely oiled machine... Also, any racer can go and buy a competitive car from top name builders... so the rest is up to the driver.

 

The price we pay for motors is crazy low and they perform great.


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#48 John Streisguth

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 10:18 AM

The "Jail Door" class of cars was an attempt to scale back to something more like what was run in the 1967 timeframe, and it has very restrictive rules to keep modern concepts out.  

 

Tracks have been made smoother and faster, rubber for the tires have improved. Impossible to fully go back in time, but the Jail Door class is a pretty good approximation.


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#49 Samiam

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 10:56 AM

OK, this is about the tenth time I have posted this but here it is again:

 

IRRA® Mission Statement

The purpose of this organization is:

  • to promote a return to the spirit of slot car racing fun from the ‘60s, using scratchbuilt slot cars
  • to define slot cars that reflect the appearance of actual racing cars from the above time period
  • to provide a unified set of rules for regional, national, and international competition, and
  • to create a rules structure that is cost-effective for the racer as well as the raceways.

These rules were developed after a careful review of all regional Retro style rule sets, in a process begun at the first national Retro race held in Chicago in 2007.

 

Based upon the success of that event, a group of racers representing various regions agreed that a unified set of rules for major events could be established to ensure that all cars currently running under regional rules would be legal to run in national or international events with little, if any, modification. The primary goal was inclusiveness. Regions running Retro series are encouraged to adopt these rules for their regional events.

 

Though the result of careful consideration by a body of experienced slot racing participants, these rules will undergo revision if required and therefore may evolve over time. However, the intent of this organization is to revise these rules only when doing so is clearly necessary and beneficial for all parties concerned.

 

That is what it is. Nowhere is a specific date mentioned.

 

I just can't understand why so many people try to demean or diminish Retro's standing in the slot car hobby. Comparing its performance to a flexi car is moot. It just amazes me every time I read one of the "My toy race cars are better than your toy race car posts." Every class of slot cars has its fans and proponents. Are they all perfect? Of course not. Find one you like and race it. Or don't.


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#50 tonyp

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 12:21 PM

Retro for the most part have the closest finishes of any class of slot car racing I know of. Many races decided by number of feet instead of ten or more laps.


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