How the track changes over time

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How the track changes over time

Postby HomeRacingWorld » Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:44 pm

Back in 2016 a water pipe took out the original Show-Me. Making a new track was not a big issue, what REALLY broke my heart was that all the years of racing had created a surface so smooth, with so much grip that there just is no "quick fix". There is no paint, texture, nothing that can replace TIME.

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So here it was all new.

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And today.

We run a variety of tires here. Never has a silicone ruined a thing. From 1/24 foam rubber to silicones and everything in between. Mostly Paul Gage urethanes. No greasy kid stuff, no spray glue.

Over time and racing this surface is now really improving the grip. The reason is between the rubber "baked" in, the racing just polishes this surface over time. Meaning at the very close level, just a bit more tire is making contact.

Last year during the Showdown, a 2.7 lap time was hauling the mail.

This past Shakedown? 2.5 was the time to beat :)

Anyway, I know many have different tracks, tire rules, surfaces, etc. But it is interesting how just time and racing can transform a track surface. Sort of like a 1:1 track.
Any old dirt racer will tell you that at the end of the Feature, that "dirt" is baked solid :)

Anyone else notice this on your track?
-Harry

"They didn't say you couldn't" - Smokey

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Re: How the track changes over time

Postby Gameover » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:04 pm

I need to route a track. Someday......
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Re: How the track changes over time

Postby waaytoomuchintothis » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:38 pm

Harry, you nailed it. 'Nuf said.
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Re: How the track changes over time

Postby historiceng » Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:28 am

I have a strange fascination for track bedding after time... Yes I know it sounds odd..
When I was young we would have little oval bicycle tracks with my friends, long after they had gone, I would walk around, intrigued by the worn areas. Later (in my 20's and 30's) I raced off road motorcycles and again found this curiosity, first in motocross and then especially in oval grasstrack (similar to your Flat track but on flat fields and with speedway type 500cc bikes). The oval tracks really illustrated the track formation including rubber deposits on the hot, dry summer meetings.

When I joined this group, that was one of the points that I found myself admiring, those rubber marks / patina really make the track special, just like an old pair of cared for leather shoes or flying jacket. It all tells a story :)
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Re: How the track changes over time

Postby Wobble » Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:15 pm

What I find really quite intriguing is how the weight transfer has caused a darker pattern on the inside exiting the corner than on the outside for the whole of the corner. Certainly looks better after all that running and good to see it works better.
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Re: How the track changes over time

Postby dw5555 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:24 pm

I don't know why painted wood would be much different than painted plastic. I've been running mine for over a year using PG tires exclusively and I have nothing.

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Re: How the track changes over time

Postby HomeRacingWorld » Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:16 pm

Well Dave, most of that you see is from running the occasional stock rubber (Carrera mostly) and the foams from the 1/24 Mods and Bombers that visit here.

It's just what happens when you have that wide variety of tires.

Yes sir Mr. Wobble :) Sort of makes you take two or three looks before most put that together :)
-Harry

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Re: How the track changes over time

Postby btaylor » Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:43 am

Wobble wrote:What I find really quite intriguing is how the weight transfer has caused a darker pattern on the inside exiting the corner than on the outside for the whole of the corner. Certainly looks better after all that running and good to see it works better.

I am pretty sure the darker inside pattern is caused by the inside tire turning faster than the outside wheel when cornering. Since we don't use differential rear axles, the inside tire tries to scrub off some rubber at all angles other than straight. I am not an engineer, but this holds true in the 1:1 world, so I suppose its true at our scales as well. If you have ever tried to push a race car with a locked rear end, you can feel the resistance as soon as the front wheels go either direction off straight ahead.
just my 2 cents.

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Re: How the track changes over time

Postby MikeyAutobahn » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:03 am

My track is starting to show patterns too, and it's only a painted Carrera track. I was running PG tires on it for the longest time and had a pretty clean track, but didn't have enough urethanes to cover all my cars, so I switched back to factory rubber. That's when it really started happening.
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Re: How the track changes over time

Postby strangebrew » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:00 am

My guess for the rubber deposit on the inside of the turn exit would be the "fishtail effect".
The car drifts out a bit in the center & comes back on exit. So the weight will shift from side to side in this case. :think:
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Re: How the track changes over time

Postby slothead » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:38 pm

After taking a longer look at the 2nd photo Harry posted here's my 2 cent analysis. The darker tracks on the inside are more pronounced in the outer lanes, and get fainter as you go inside. When I race on an oval like this the goal is to slide the car through the turn just right so the car is pointed straight ahead in the direction of the upcoming straightaway just before it exits a turn. In the picture below, as I see it, the lead car is already pointed straight ahead even though still sliding through the exit to the turn.
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When you get this just right you can accelerate quicker out of the turn because the car's already pointed in the direction it will be going down the straight. If the back end were out a bit more the car will fishtail inward exiting the turn, and if the back end was in more (driving rather than power sliding through the turn) it would fishtail outward exiting the turn. This is the best part of oval racing for me because it takes skill and lots of practice, and even then when you hit it just right it's a special feeling - you nailed it! To me this is easier to do on the outer lanes with a larger radius, so more 'rubber' is laid down at the exit of the turn as you accelerate. And, it makes sense to me that the inside rear tire slips more with a solid rear axle because while it's spinning at the same speed as the outside tire it is also traveling less distance (slightly shorter radius and arc).

Even though the weight transfer on a slot car would be slight since there is no suspension, the outside rear tire does most of the work on an oval, meaning it has to 'hook up' the most with the track for the best lap times. Some of my modified cars get chirpy when I have high traction rear tires on both sides, but smooth out when I put a tire with a bit less traction on the inside (left) rear wheel. This can also be accounted for by slight differences in rear tire diameter, as is done on full size sprint cars which also assists with rolling through a corner. My oval track surface is hardboard (Masonite) which is slick and dark brown in color, so even after 10 years the tire marks don't show up near as well as on Harry's track, but are similar.
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