Slot Cars: Racing Tracks And Track Layout

Slot Car Tacks

Slot car racing is a competitive hobby in which enthusiasts race miniature version of real race cars. These model cars use slots or grooves to stay on the track as they race against each other. This hobby (many would also call it a sport) plays out in many locations, including home tracks to serious competitions in which contestants make or modify their own race cars to achieve maximum performance. Some competitions consist of series of races to determine the winners. Those winners then go on to compete in the national championship.

Home Slot Car Tracks

Home slot car tracks consist of injection-molded plastic snapped together to form tracks. These courses are commonly called plastic tracks. Home tracks usually have features that increase the fun and challenge of slot car racing. Such features include slots that wiggle or that join multiple lanes together. Some have airborne jumps, bumps, and uneven surfaces. Toy slot car tracks often have such features.

Competitive Slot Car Tracks

Competitive slot car tracks are hand-made and are called routed tracks. These tracks have guide slots sliced into a few large sheets that form a smooth surface. Such a smooth surface consequently enables the cars to perform at their best. Competitive slot car tracks are similar to road courses because they have many twists and turns. The most common shapes for these tracks are ovals and trapezoids.

Competitive tracks also often have banked corners with one part of the track connecting to another without any track configurations. Here is a list of the most common tracks used in slot car racing:

1:24 Scale Tracks

1:24 scale tracks, often used for competitions, usually consist of six to eight lane routed tracks. In addition, they have  they have plastic or wooden retaining walls. You will mostly find these tracks in commercial racing venues.

HO Scale Tracks

HO scale slot car tracks are competition tracks are usually 60 to 100 feet long and have four to six lanes.

Slot car tracks have a power supply that you can plug in to a regular electrical outlet. This power supply converts A/C current to D/C current. Usually,  the power supply delivers twelve to eighteen volts of electricity to the track, and one or two amps. Slot car racers control the power by using different power supplies for each lane. If you use additional power supplies,  you must sometimes modify the power to handle the extra power.

Track Layout

Most slot car enthusiasts spend their time upgrading and modifying their cars to improve racing performance. However, hobbyists also make elaborate tracks that include landscaping and other fine details. In addition, you will find many special track segments on the market that you can use to make the racing experience more true-to-life.

There are other track segments that force the slot cars to race closer together. This forces racers to accelerate to overtake the other car and avoid being pushed off the track. Still other pieces make sharp turns and inclines, forcing the racer slow down or accelerate at exactly the right moment.

Advancements in slot car racing include digital tracks that enable drivers to transfer lanes quickly. Digital tracks and slot cars have microchips that enable several racers to drive in the same lane. Read more about slot car track layout.

More Slot Car Tracks