Perhaps the most detailed component of slot car racing is the track layout. While the main objective of the hobby is to race, collect gorgeous cars, and enhance these cars’ performance and capacity, there are plenty of enthusiasts who take pains to build elaborate slot car tracks with layouts that would cause even the best drivers to be envious. As if the layouts for the track weren’t elaborate enough, many track builders go so far as integrate very intricate details into the race track, making these look as realistic as possible.
But designing the track isn’t just for making it look cool. Enthusiasts build highly detailed tracks to make them more competitive for the racers. For instance, builders would often design, build or buy track pieces that can bring the cars closer together. Doing so will inevitably cause the racers to fight for the advantageous lane, motivating them to speed up and speed past other cars. Otherwise, they could be pushed off of the track. There are also other track pieces that can be built from scratch or can be bought from stores that will create steep inclines and sharp curves which could test the skills of the driver.
For builders who want to simulate real racing experience, creating a realistic track is an option. Those who don’t mind their slot cars getting dirty would build real rally course-like environments, complete with elements typically associated with tracks used for this type of race. The off-road conditions of rally courses can be simulated by adding elements such as cocoa powered for dirt and flour for snow. There are cars available in the market that are especially built for off-road course-like tracks. These have optimized performance to deliver better performance in these courses.
Those drivers who prefer to race on traditional courses will find that conventional courses are not lacking. Most of these, for the sake of keeping the cars from crashes, have altered layouts. Others, however, who enjoy watching their cars crash into the trees or into each other could change the layout of the courses a bit to enhance racing experience.
Big fans of NASCAR, Formula 1, rally courses and many other enthusiasts take cues from actual racetracks and bring the details of real-world tracks to their own layout. This allows them to bring their favorite racetracks to their garage or basement. This also gives them a pre-made layout which they could follow without having to design the layout themselves.
In creating layouts, most builders often rely on paper and pencil. Recent developments in slot car technology, however, have brought forth computer programs that allow builders to create their layouts on computer. Among the top choices are the Ultimate Race 3.0 and the Tracker 2000. Both offers excellent track layout editing tools that can do layout designing as well as race management.
Ultimate Race 3.0 can be downloaded for free from its website. It is an all-in-one management system that has layout editing tools besides inventory management and other functions. Tracker 2000, on the other hand, has top-notch layout editing tools that can be adjusted to different brands of slot car.