Dear reader, new entry and continuation of my journey as a newcomer to a slot club. In this case, it is the turn of the Raid category. This slot car discipline exceeded by far my initial expectations. We begin…. Ready, 3,2,1… GO!
When you look at a raidslot track for the first time, it’s obvious that it has nothing to do with a rally stage, let alone a speed circuit.
The markedly bumpy profile, the unevenness, as well as the setup as an essential element to immerse ourselves in a «Dakarian» environment, are surprising.
When looking around the layout, reasonable doubts arise as well as a certain level of astonishment. The question “are they really capable of going through here?” becomes inevitable.
In this, apart from the typical tracks available from commercial brands, many clubs assemble their own tracks and additional elements by hand, in order to give them an extra point of demand and emotion. Tracks that require some extra adjustment and tuning so that a raidslot car can complete realiably a whole lap in each of the lanes with certain guarantees. As a starter, check this short video. As you will see, these are not clumsy or slow cars at all.
Choosing a car well, and setting it up properly is something that I understood first hand when with a strictly standard car (out of the box) I was unable to do a single lap. This is where one already understands at first glance that certain trial routes require a car with a suitable height and an appropriate swingarm and guide. Lesson learned.
Therefore, after a first solitary contact test, the first thing I did before «going back to the desert» was to see how the other club members test and adjust their cars, and take references to clear up techincal doubts as well, and ask about certain aspects of the regulations that were not clear to me.
The first thing that stands out is the precision with which a well-balanced raidslot car -in addition to being well driven- can deal with bumpy areas as well as jumping and moving on around the track.
Witnessing this helps to gain confidence, since until I saw it in person, I took it for granted that landings in the race were going to be a lottery of disasters. Not at all….
It is a discipline in my opinion as rewarding as rallyslot or speed tests can be. If you take the leap (never better said), the next question to answer is knowing in which category you are going to compete, and with which model.
«AS IN EVERY CATEGORY, TAKE YOUR TIME TO ANALYZE AND CHOOSE YOUR CAR»
In this sense, as I have always said in this blog (and I will not tire of repeating it), it is best to go to the expert voices of the club to ask for advice. In the end I decided on a model that although it is not the total revolution in Raid, it is one of those that works, and corroborated by not a few slot connoisseurs.
IS THE RAID GOVERNED BY ANY NATIONAL REGULATION? YES!
In Spain, the reference in regulations is the U.R.S.S. (translates into English as Unification of Raid Slot Regulations). For those who want to visit their page, it is available on Facebook:
As a summary, the categories contemplated in this regulation are:
T-2 Improved Series
WHAT DIFFERENCES ARE THERE BETWEEN ONE CATEGORY AND ANOTHER?
In order to explain the differences between a strictly series raid car, an improved T2 Series and a T-3 (prototype), nothing better than a comparison based on a model that, despite its age, continues to attract attention. on any Raidslot track: the SCX VW Touareg, in three different interpretations: production model, improved T2 and T3 Prototype.
In the standard «as is» raidslot car, highlights for the uninitiated:
- Compared to other brands’ raid cars, the very long rocker arm. This element is already essential in helping the car navigate the obstacles and irregularities of a raid track, while progressing through the lane.
- The original damping has a compromise between enough travel and the ability to absorb irregularities.
- The stock transmission may be a bit noisy, but with proper bench break-in, it can be smoothed out.
- The motor is a Scalextric RX10.3 specific for the VW Touareg, with a motor shaft of specific dimensions to reach each one of the axes. Without being explosive, it is an engine more than enough in my opinion to «climb the dunes» and the hard Dakarian slopes of our club track.
On an upgraded T-2 Series, the chassis must remain the original one. However, and to summarize it, we can incorporate improvements at the level of the engine, transmission, wheels and suspensions within what is allowed by the regulations. In the particular case of my unit:
- Regarding transmission, upgraded crowns; they also provide a small extra weight to each axis, helping with traction.
- Mitoos rims + tire set, with the extra traction and grip that it entails. On a sliding climb they are appreciated. Compound much more rubbery and adherent than the stock tire. Although it is a 1/32 scale, these details are noticeable, and a lot.
- Ballasted to comply with the minimum weight of regulations.
- The same RX10.3 engine has been preserved, which has sufficient performance for this category, and which, together with the aforementioned improvements, make this T.T. a good ally in a raidslot race.
In this Touareg T-3 Prototype, we are going to find many more differences compared to the previous two that we have seen:
- Metallic chassis with defense included with such solidity that it could fall from a fifth floor, and it would not flinch.
- higher performance engine
- transmission by pulleys
- Suspensions with springs with greater absorption capacity, and more travel.
- And a specific rim-tire set
In addition to the Touareg that I have used as an example, there are very attractive and varied options, both on the new and used markets. From buggies with that characteristic charm, passing through the BMW X3, Mitsubishi Pajeros, Minis, Hummers, trucks, and even resins that reproduce mythical models of the Paris Dakar (Nissan Patrol, Lada Niva)…. The grills of a race of Raid are proof of this.
In short, it is a highly recommended discipline if you like your car to be half the time in the air, either jumping or bouncing over potholes, and at the same time praying that the car will continue on the lane when landing.
Due to its spectacularity and noise on landings, it lends itself to ruckus, and to a certain level of exaltation and shouting by both spectators and competitors; Quite the opposite of speed slot racing, in which sometimes a silence that seems almost sepulchral is requested.
Thanks for reading, and see you in the next article… Or in the next Raid race!