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Slot Car Racing Clubs

Home > London > Clubs | Fun for Children
Published December 17th 2010
Squeeze hard on the straights and ease off on the bends or else it might come off.

I am, of course, talking about the best way to use the throttle controller when playing that age-old slot car racing favourite, Scalextric.

The game, which first appeared in the 1950s, was the hobby-of-choice for every Stirling Moss wannabe, though arguably it peaked in the 80s when every Tom-Dick-and-James Hunt had one.

Some kids built elaborate racetracks, winding hither and thither through the lounge like a miniature model of Birmingham's Spaghetti Junction, while others, like me, had the basic set; not even a figure-of-eight, my figure-of-zero provided hours of fun though left me deeply hypnotised at the end of every session.

But slot car racing is still going strong, and it's not just for boys. Grown men and women are meeting up across the capital on a regular basis to indulge their passion for the popular racing game, talking track design, confabulating about cars, and enthusiastically squeezing their Scalextric throttle controllers.

For starters there's the London Scalextric Club in Winchmore Hill, hosting a 31-metre track with a whopping six lanes. The well established club, racing since the Queen's Silver Jubilee (1977), welcomes everyone - young and old. You don't even need to be a member.

The London Scalextric Club meets every Tuesday at 8pm. Whether you're an experienced racer with your own car, or simply curious and want to see what it's all about, the organisers will be more than happy to meet you.

Alternatively, you have the Slot Car Club in Burnt Oak, which recently celebrated its 21st anniversary.

They've just laid a new six-lane Ninco track that covers a distance of more than 30 metres. Your first visit to the club is free, and they'll provide you with a car and throttle controller so you can try your hand at racing.

The Fulham Digital Scalextric Club offers racing nights for a mere 1 and features six-car races, lane changing, simulated fuel consumption and pitstops (to refuel!).

Racing every Thursday night at 7.30pm, the West London Scalextric Club, based in Uxbridge, offers various classes of cars, so there should be something that takes your fancy.

As for what makes a great slot-car racer - deftness of touch certainly helps, as does good hand-eye co-ordination, an intimate understanding of the track on which you're racing, and an ability to stay cool under pressure take that final bend too fast in an over-excited effort to get ahead of the car in front and before you know it your own motor will be flying off the track and across the room. At least no one ever gets hurt.
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Why? It's a fun and competitive night out without having to expend too much physical energy.
Where: Various venues across London.
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