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Can-Am racing In Europe


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#101 Howie Ursaner

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Posted 11 April 2017 - 09:15 AM

No offense to any US racing groups, but I have to agree with Matt.
 
I've haven't seen anything, recently, that can rival something like the #16 cars, below.
 
post-29-0-35897200-1491315446.jpg

 

The #16 car built by Michael Niemas won the $5,000 concours prize in Belgium in 2010. I was there.


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#102 Eddie Fleming

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Posted 11 April 2017 - 10:13 AM

The #16 car built by Michael Niemas won the $5,000 concours prize in Belgium in 2010. I was there.

 

So that car has been around for at least seven years. It is hard to imagine it being raced much if at all and holding up that long.

 

On the other hand we don't know when the photos were taken.

 

Still outstanding cars.


Eddie Fleming

#103 Howie Ursaner

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Posted 11 April 2017 - 10:46 AM

The #16 car is beyond anything ever done to a slot car. It is a masterpiece

 

24155_1323340037931_5120156_n.jpg

 

24155_1323340077932_5933121_n.jpg

 

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#104 sportblazer350

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Posted 11 April 2017 - 04:00 PM

The quality of these builds amazes me, and even more amazing is the fact that they race these beauties against each other, and with the skill to not want to deslot at all, to not damage each other's car, and be competitive! The opposite of some of the racing i have experienced.

 

Howie, since you raced these cars, can you tell us more of that experience?


Glenn Orban
vintage slot car enthusiast
NJ SCALE Racing

Hardbody Racing at The Race Place


#105 Howie Ursaner

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Posted 11 April 2017 - 04:31 PM

When I was first introduced to these cars it was a challenge to get up to speed because there is a skill set to driving them. You have to push insanely hard and take it to the limit every lap without overdriving the car which will cost you time. If you go over the limit you will deslot. Most of the top drivers  over there basically don't deslot. You will lose the race if you come out at all.

Many of the racers get large blisters from the trigger. I did and it was the first time I ever got them and it was bad. You just push so hard and the cars handle fantastic. The tires and motors are all hand-out. They give them to you when you enter the race. This levels the playing field and takes motor and tires out of the equation as the car and driving are everything.

Those racers over there are commited and put in everything to design, build,  and compete at the highest level. They make their own carbon fibre bodies from molds they make themselves. They design chassis like real F1 cars, with carbon and aluminum on computers and tune them perfectly. It is extremely hard to compete with what they have. It took me awhile but i got it down. My team won the Plafit World Challenge at the ISRA Worlds in Chicago eight years ago. That was with cars they handed out to us.

With the help of European champion Nick De Wachter in Amsterdam building us cars, Chris Radisich and I as a team won the Enduro World Championship in Barcelona Spain in 2011. We also took first and second in the Can-Am Challenge that same week in Barcelona.

I love racing those cars with those drivers. They are slower, but so much fun. Tight racing at the limit is what it is all about, not overall speed. They could put faster motors in their cars but they don't. They are just right.
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#106 Larry Labounty

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Posted 11 April 2017 - 05:36 PM

Howie,

I can see how some could really get hooked on racing them.

Larry

#107 spudboy

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Posted 11 April 2017 - 06:46 PM

I seem to recall that the McLaren was equally well turned out but lost points because the builder overlooked the tire markings.
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#108 Howie Ursaner

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 12:38 AM

There were other fantastic cars entered in the concours but nobody was going to beat that Neimas Ferrari. Up close it was in a class by itself.
Howie Ursaner

#109 Dennis David

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 01:03 AM

What I've noticed and of course this is a generality with many exceptions that slot car racing in the US has its eyes on the past while in Europe their eyes are more or less on the present. We race mostly slot cars while they race mostly model race cars. The average age of racers in the states, judging from pictures, is a lot older here. The cars we covet the most are the reproductions of past winners with as many original parts as possible with building techniques developed 50+ years ago on tracks that have not changed much in decades.

It's quite fascinating the different outlook we have on the same hobby. Not to mention they serve beer and wine at their clubs. ;-)

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#110 don.siegel

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 05:21 AM

This type of racing is very particular to Germany and the Benelux countries (maybe without Luxembourg however...). Nothing like this in France or England that I know of, although I'm sure there are a few guys who could build to these standards. 
 
The contemporary competitive racing here is more focused on 1/32 cars (plus the BSCRA type "real" slot cars in England). And our vintage events are the usual old pharts... 
 
A few Germans came to the Bordo meeting for a few years, and some of their cars were fantastic, but they generally had different ideas on rules and approach, so haven't come back. 
 
I guess in a lot of ways, I like "slot cars," not rolling models - undoubtedly a product of my own history. And I like the idea of deslotting now and then... 
 
Don

#111 Dennis David

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 08:52 AM

True but the racing in Spain and Italy are generally similar but with different model racing cars. They're a long way from the "slot cars" we race.

In Spain rally cars are popular and they try to mimic rally courses. I don't see that beyond groups that run the very small ovals.

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#112 Dennis David

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 11:21 AM

Don,
 
After I finish my Can-Am section on my Grand Prix History website I will start a new article on slot car racing around the world. I hope to get some of your input.
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#113 don.siegel

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 11:42 AM

Be glad to help, Dennis - assuming Europe still exists at the time... 
 
Don 
 
PS: A few guys in southern France are trying to revive metal chassis slot racing, since a couple big tracks have survived there, and that was one of the centers of "real" slot racing in France, back when I started in the '90s. There were about a dozen clubs in a few regions of France that popped up and disappeared from the 1980s to the early 2000s. Bordo is still around, and I think they do some Flexi racing, but not sure - the plastic 1/32 cars seem to be more popular. And one old slotter is trying to introduce Retro, but hasn't seemed to catch on yet.

#114 don.siegel

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 11:53 AM

Sorry for the thread drift, but just found this in my phototheque: an old Bryan Warmack car from the R&C series, that PdL raced at the Bordo vintage meeting many years ago. To me, this is the essence of "slot car", and probably the most impressive thing I've seen over the years, partly because of my history of course - but it just seems right! 

 

Don 

 

WarmackBRM.jpg

 

WarmackBRMchassis.jpg


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#115 Dennis David

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 12:28 PM

Yep, same for me. Holds a special place but still nostalgia driven like I mentioned before.

I will be in contact.

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