The Mazda 787B from MrSlotCar, modelled on the No.55 Renown Le Mans 1991 winning car, boasts to be an all-encompassing serious slot racers model. On first inspection it would appear that the hype is well justified. Here we strip it to the bones and find out just how much punch this new company will have against the already well-established brands. In future issues, SlotCarMAG want to put this car up against the best-of-the-rest by pitching it, running as a standard car, against all-comers, in a no-holds-barred “Formula Libre” series...
One, Ernie Mossetti (MR.SLOT CAR) who heralds himself as a world champion slot car racer is behind the design and production of this relatively new company. Mossetti has been designing and manufacturing race and championship winning chassis for many years, competing in 1/32 and 1/24 scales in what some would describe as “high-end” racing: Slot Cars with metal chassis and ultra-lightweight bodies.
It seems quite a while ago now that SlotCarMAG announced the company’s appearance on the stage and we had no hesitation in welcoming a new brand to the fold, although we held a reservation about the choice of their first car, since other manufacturers (especially Slot.it) had already produced excellent models of this very vehicle.
It would seem that Ernie has taken his time to think about how his car would be delivered (and we don’t mean the packaging here). Everything seems to have been well thought out and if you haven’t purchased one of the Mazda’s yet, you’ll be pleased you did when you take one out of the box. Ernie is using his past knowledge of slot car preparation and design to build cars that will give you an insight as to how cars should really be built. The Mazda will hopefully prove to be a launch pad for further releases into the ready-to-race hard-bodied slot car market place and with the promise of different add-on parts to come, are we witnessing a real challenge to what Slot.it have so successfully achieved so far?
The first cars to appear were the black “test” car and the white kit version. The “Renown” car is in the shops now and it has to be said, the finishing standard of this car is good. There are few slight blemishes on the tampo printing, but overall it’s quite crisp.
There was talk of a “rubberised” mount, which I eagerly anticipated, for the rear wing struts. How many times have you accidently rolled a car or ploughed into the barriers, only to find that a wing has been torn off and you’re going to have to get the supa-glue out again! This wing is (and should keep on being) very durable... Okay the actual struts might be slightly too thick, but I believe that it really is the way to go with wings, mirrors and aerials... time will tell (and the first crash) whether this idea actually works well, because as we all know, Slot Cars do crash hard and looking at them I think they will last longer than your average ancillaries, but... well they still look breakable to me!
The paint finish on this car is very good. It’s not too bright and plasticy (is that a real word?), sort of a silk finish rather than “Dulux Gloss” affair and that makes it rather more real to look at. The tampo printing is very crisp and clear and does the real car justice, although as previously stated, there are a couple of blemishes.
The chassis is a two-piece design allowing you (the driver) to adjust not just chassis “rock” but also motor cradle movement. Powering this Le Mans winner is a 22K small-can motor, that delivers smooth (if required) acceleration or a shocking punch it you want it out of the corners. Yes a motor that will please all comers. Personally, I hate driving with magnets and since I haven’t used a car with one for quite a few years it was a surprise to find how much down-force the bar-magnet produced. However, it’s not as “bad” as some other cars I could mention that can literally be stuck to a fridge door without fear of falling off. I was soon down to some serious lap times and was pleased that you could get the tail out slightly if you wanted. And my, was it quiet! No rattley-blonk that you associate with other (more expensive) brands. I could live with this!
With the magnet removed, the car really comes alive – but not they way I expected. The tyres supplied offered virtually no grip whatsoever and considering that I was on a grippy Ninco track I was rather surprised. The wheels were spinning all the way down the main straight and cornering was a proper test of nerve. I can only assume that these tyres are designed for the magnet racer and are not compatible with the kind of driving I prefer. No amount of taping or prep of the tyres would bring them to an acceptable standard, so I found a brand new pair of Slot.it P5s and they thankfully fitted the rims. Now I could go driving.
On my home track, which is a 4-lane 50 foot affair, the car had no problems and the times easily tumbled. I wish that the tyres hadn’t proved a problem as I think that if all the cars are supplied this way, people might not like having to spend another fiver to get grip.
Whilst testing on my home circuit I soon began to feel that the cars legs weren’t being stretched enough. Therefore a trip to my local club (Nascot Wood) was in order where we have just lengthened the main straight to over 30 feet. The track design is varied enough to show any weaknesses that the car might have and I am pleased to announce that even without any tinkering the car was on the pace. Another racer there, fortuitously had brought along his Slot.it version of the same car and we battled neck and neck for numerous laps basically running at the same speed the whole time. This is a good sign, because as I said, I hadn’t even started to tinker with the set up of the chassis.
A few adjustments brought it another couple of hundredths nearer the “normal” lap times for this type of car and once again I was impressed with the smoothness and quiet running of the entire unit.
I do feel that even on a large track it is very slightly over-geared. The motor was still gaining speed when I had to break for the bend at the end of the main straight.
All-in-all (apart from the tyres) this car is near enough equivalent to the best Slot.It Group C model, but, as Slot.it cars at the moment are cheaper, the price may prove to be an Achilles heel.
However, to really test this against the opposition, I will enter it into the Formula Libre Championship and leave it bog-standard to see if it can match itself against other brands that are allowed to change everything from gear ratios to tyre sizes and motors to a maximum of 30K. I can’t see it being a match for an NSR, yet maybe, like the real-life car, reliability and consistency will take it through to some high points scoring positions at the club. If I can finish near the top of the table with a standard car, I’ll know that I have something really special in my hands.
In 1990 Mazda the all-new The Mazda 787 debuted Le Mans. The chassis was designed by Nigel Stroud and built in England. The cars were finished in Japan, being completed by Mazda’s racing subsidiary, Mazdaspeed. The car itself was slightly less powerful than it’s main rivals, but it’s reliability saw Bertrand Gachot, Johnny Herbert and Volker Weidler take the flag at the 1991 24 Hours of Le Mans setting a record that still stands today, being the only car to win using a “Wankel” (or rotary) engine and also the only Japanese team to triumph in the race.
• 4 x Aluminium Wheels
• Adjustable motor pod
• Screw mounted guide
• Inline 22,000 RPM high torque dynamically balanced motor
• Brass pinion drivetrain (9/28 Ratio)
• Machined Bronze hub axle gear for reduced rotating mass
• Adjustable front axle/wheel ride height
• Machined bronze axle bushings
• Removable traction magnet just ahead of rear axle
• Break-resistant rubber rear wing mounts
• Damage resistant mirrors
Above: The only way to get grip was ditch the supplied tyres and fit some trusty Slot.it P5s!
Above: A very smooth and quiet drive – the result of well-made gears, bearings and chassis.
Above: The chassis itself feels solid and although floating motor pods are nothing new, you’ll like the fact that everything just fits together so well and small adjustments can be felt instantly.
Above: Tampo printing is good as this close up shows.
SlotCarMAG came about as the result of a post on www.slotforum.com by Wayne Tooke in February 2011. In his post, Wayne wondered why nobody in the U.K. was producing a general slot car magazine. Amongst the large number of replies from slot car racers pointing out how difficult it would be to do, Wayne received a response from Marc Abbott – an experienced (“don’t say veteran”) racer with a great deal of expertise in layout, design and printing - which described how it could be done, and at that moment SlotCarMAG was born. As they discussed the format, Ric Woods, a former music writer and long-time racing adversary of Marc’s, went on record as saying that in order to be successful, any new magazine needs to be properly edited and proof-read. The others somehow took this as a job application, and SlotCarMAG had its editor!
From the first issue, the team have endeavoured to produce a magazine which not only looks great but also covers the myriad aspects of the hobby in an entertaining and informative manner. The concept of a ‘paper’ magazine seems to go against the modern technological flow, but has been welcomed with open arms by many enthusiasts – even to the point where it did exceptionally well in the SlotForum poll of new innovations for 2011! Given that a ten-year-old computer will struggle to give any service at all, it would appear that there is a lot of life left in the ‘future proof’ format of old-fashioned paper, and magazines which can build into an easily-accessible reference library for years to come. A magazine is only as good as its writers, and the SlotCarMAG team are quick to acknowledge how fortunate they are to receive high-quality contributions from slot racers and enthusiasts from around the world; they are also extremely grateful for the support they have received from SlotForum.
The magazine is published bi-monthly, and is available in three ways. A limited number of paper copies are available from the UK’s largest dedicated slot racing shop, Pendle Slot Racing (though these tend to sell out quite quickly), or alternatively paper copies can be purchased online from the self-publishers www.lulu.com. For those who really can’t bear to be parted from a screen, downloadable PDFs are available from the magazine’s own website, www.slotcarmag.co.uk.
Tags: Slot Cars