View Full Version : ISRA Brasil 2011 - an overview from a backmarker

Greg N
10-10-2011, 07:40 AM
I thought Iíd write a little bit about the look and feel of the race. Chris R, Mia, and some of the participants did a great job of getting the race results out. Please understand that this comes through eyes of one of the slowest drivers at the race.

First of all, although slot racing history doesnít really mean much (except to all of us :-) ), this was a historic race. Most of the worldís fastest flat track racers were here this week, and Horky, Gawronski, Castricone, and Flyr certainly had their A game on. (Gugu was fast and had great stuff, but he was visibly tired, as youíd guess.) It is positively amazing that one person would win all 4 races. I think that all of us here were amazed at Paoloís feat. Hats off to him!

I had a great time. I learned a lot, and I think that Iíve improved a lot. God willing, Iíll be back next year in Sweden, hoping to improve from the bottom 1/3 to the middle of the pack. Iím pretty sure that that is achievable.

The really big picture: Except for Howie U and Tracy C (who spent a day and night in Rio), I think that none of us did any traveling in Brazil outside of Aruja (the little suburb on the outer edge of Sao Paolo where the race was held). Aruja is a nice little place. Very friendly and welcoming people, a very vibrant and industrious economy (in total contrast to the way the US currently feels). There are very many little sidewalk pubs. We spent most of our evening time in one of them, and it was great. In addition, all of the raceway staff were friendly and helpful.

Redfox Raceway is located on the outskirts of Aruja, at the very top of a large hill. All of us spent the entire race up on the hill. Happily, Carla (Guguís wife) had a nice food and drink service (warm and cold sandwiches, Brazilian kebabs (these are ubiquitous in Aruja), coffee, soft drinks, beer, and occasional margueritas, all delicious) going from early morning to late at night. The building is large, with plenty of pit space, and a second floor which houses Red Fox International.

The track is great. It is actually a little easier to drive than it looks. It has 2 distinct rhythms (one for black, purple, yellow, the other for red, white, green), and once you get these down, you can start working on going fast (easier for some than others!). Iíd guess that overall the track is not harder to drive than the Mid-America track in Chicago. The track was very stuck for the entire free practice session (we were using treated tires in F1 if you can picture that). For the races, the track was very stuck as well, but somewhat less so. I donít know of anyone who needed treated tires during the actual races. The braid height on the track is variable: 0.010Ē on purple, 0.010 Ė 0.005Ē on much of the rest, and 0.000 to perhaps 0.005Ē above the track on red.

Lars Harrysson is a great race director and a very nice guy. Totally different style than Andy, but just great nonetheless. There were 2 very hard-working assistants, Artur, and Jao Carlos (? spelling). I donít know Arturís background, but Iím guessing heís a track owner in Brazil. Jao Carlos is a top wing car racer. Both took the whole week off to help us. Both are amazingly friendly and helpful people. As an aside, I never saw anyone change a motor better and faster than Jao Carlos.

Petr Krcil told me 2 things early in the race that I think proved to be exactly correct: 1) The racing at this race was not about motors and chassis, but rather about guide heights and tires. 2) There is a fairly large number of very fast drivers (Iíd guess 10-15), who can absolutely drive the doors off the cars on all 8 lanes with only very rare deslots. He feels that any of these drivers is capable of winning, but that small differences in car set-up, making the cars easier to drive, most often decides who will do well.

Some more specific comments:

Team Production race: The x-25 chassis really worked out well. The motors, as was the case last year in Chicago, were closely matched and had nice even powerbands. Paolo T and Michael Landrup (the winners) were in my heat. They were unbelievably fast. I looked at their car carefully after the race. I wish that I could report some magic set-up trick, but I didnít see one. Iíve got some pictures, which Iíll upload when I get home.

The controllers: a totally mixed bag! In the 1/24 final there were 2 Czech Pro 2ís, 2 Third Eye FETs, 1 30 band Difalco, 1 Speedshop/Ruddock, and 2 controllers I didnít recognize (one maybe a NSR, the other unknown to me).

The tires: I donít know exactly what everyone was using. I saw JK plastics and many used Mid-Am Ruff-cuts (including Paolo in all 3 of his wins I think), and I think that there were Red Foxes, Speedshops and Hermanators as well. The Czechs were most interesting tho: They all had 2 cars for each class, I think with similar or identical set-ups. In front of their boxes theyíd have rows of tires. Iím pretty sure that these were a variety of compounds that they were testing. All were mounted on Cahoza fiber hubs. Someone will now write that all rubber is the same, but itís not true. Iím pretty sure that whatís going on with the Czechs is that they collect different lots of rubber, then select an appropriate assortment of tires for each big race.

The driving: As I wrote above, there were 10-15 drivers who really fly. I marshaled the lead-on of the A heat of the team race. For 5 of the 3 minute intervals no one came off in my corner. There was a total of 4 deslots in my corner, and one involved 2 cars. The other, harder thing is that in the finals of all 4 races, the best drivers ran within 0-1 laps of their orange/blue averages on black and within 1-2 laps on red (this with 5 minute per lane).

What I learned, lots really, but most importantly:
1) Tune more carefully, in particular guide height and tires.
2) Get the car so that itís so easy to drive that youíre on or off all of the time and only use mid-range in esses. (I think that this is one of the reasons that Lee Gilbert's Speedshop cars do so well at most big races, and I think that it's what George Russell is trying to get at with his Slotcar Racer thread.)
3) Learn to drive so that I can run near max for 3 minutes without falling off. Then take my blue/orange average lap times and get within 0.1 secs on red and black without falling off.

Lastly, this time really in the name of everyone I think, I want to thank Gugu and Carla for all of their hard work, and the huge amount of stress that they (and Lars, Artur, and Jao Carlos) had to endure. It was to a good end, as the race was fabulous. Thanks so much to all of you!!


ArturLuis (BR)
10-10-2011, 02:19 PM

Really fantastic race of ISRA, never seen anything well organized, rules, practices, timetable and so many people involved in the event.
When it comes to Gugu, can be assured of great events and was not different. I'm just a friend of Gugu and more like a crazy slot and organize the races in NPRA (wing cars- www.npra.com.br ) and it was great to meet other people in the world, and we hope to see you soon anywhere in the world.

10-10-2011, 02:36 PM
Please elaborate a little more on guide heights.

What are the secrets?

To get the chassis to sit as low as possible without dragging on the track surface? 10 thou clearance under the ears?

What exactly? :)

10-10-2011, 03:09 PM

Yes Greg is right on guide heights. Every track you go to may need a different guide height. Your care runs on the front outer "skids". When the braid height is different in different lanes move your guide up and down using .005 spacers and try it on the different braid height lanes. You will want to end up the setup that gives you the most forgiving car on all lanes. I never go off track times, only car feel. Many drivers go off the dirt they see on their chassis to set guide height. This is a mistake. Only car feel while driving will give the right guide height. Nice report Greg.

Greg N
10-11-2011, 01:05 PM
Thanks, Lee.


The particular issue here was how to get as low as possible while still not losing contact on purple, in particular on top of the bridge, where the recess was greatest. I think that the very best racers tried hard to barely make it across there, so that they could be where they wanted to be on the other lanes. What I learned was to go down 0.005" at a time until I lost contact on the bridge. As I wrote, you couldn't go by adjusting for any one spot on the track, as the guide height was variable.


10-11-2011, 02:07 PM
Thanks Lee and Greg :)

The track braid issue sounds strangely familiar :( :(

10-12-2011, 06:06 AM
Great report. I know guide depth is sometimes hard to controll. At least everyone had a handle on how to deal with it. I am sure the next time GuGu rebraids the track the track will be rerouted evenly.

The other controller were they or look like the Brazilian made Promodel? http://promodelonline.com/controladores.html



Greg N
10-12-2011, 12:12 PM

Thanks! I don't recognize that controller.


Greg N
10-17-2011, 08:54 PM
It occurred to me that I screwed up in my report when I talked about the controllers: I correctly mentioned all of the controllers that I saw during the 1/24 ES main. What I didn't do was to mention that Carsteen controllers were used a lot, probably the most common controller at the race, and that Steen Michaelson (?spelling) of Carsteen was always available to help any of us with a controller related issue, whether or not we were using a Carsteen. Truly a nice guy and a great asset to ISRA style racing. Fast racer, too!


10-29-2011, 05:55 PM
Great report. I know guide depth is sometimes hard to controll. At least everyone had a handle on how to deal with it. I am sure the next time GuGu rebraids the track the track will be rerouted evenly.

The other controller were they or look like the Brazilian made Promodel? http://promodelonline.com/controladores.html



The controller boarded photo is out of production for about two years.
But it continues to appear on the site http://www.promodelonline.com/, because due to new trade agreements and "revolutionary" controller ProModel, can they only appear on the site published in December 2011.
The ProModel currently only has been dedicated to design and market drivers for the plastic slot cars racing scales of 1 / 32 and 1 / 24 without magnetic tension, which constitute about 90% of the European market.

In early December 2011, will be given the beginning of the marketing models to G7. Since that date began to be published on the site and features photos of various models.
Agum of the main features of the new drivers are ProModel has control of speed, chock control, anti-spin control and a control sitema braking more effective than has hitherto been common in controllers slot cars as well as providing podelos deniminado PMC8 with 28 bands and 34 bands called PMC9), extraction and switchable resistors based on SMD technology.

The ProModel is a company of Portuguese origin since 1989.

Best regards,
Rui Capucho

Greg N
10-31-2011, 03:09 PM
Here are some pictures. Not much technically, but some reasonable people pictures. I'm sorry that I am so late getting these posted. You may need to have a google account (gmail, picasa, etc) in order to view these, I'm not sure.

https://picasaweb.google.com/117813376154888114806/201110036ISRAWorldsBrazil?authkey=Gv1sRgCNulzICXjp WnvQE

https://picasaweb.google.com/117813376154888114806/2011100413ISRAWorldsBrazil?authkey=Gv1sRgCKfFsfOJp 8y9iwE

https://picasaweb.google.com/117813376154888114806/2011100623ISRAWorldsBrazil?authkey=Gv1sRgCK3bmLG4y N-Lbg

https://picasaweb.google.com/117813376154888114806/201110072ISRAWorldsBrazil?authkey=Gv1sRgCJqJzJmDur iY-wE


https://picasaweb.google.com/117813376154888114806/2011100914SaoPaoloBrazil?authkey=Gv1sRgCMLIq7mK8qO zYg

I don't have any prior experience with Picasa Web Albums. Please let me know right away if this doesn't work.


10-31-2011, 03:51 PM
Great pics! Can I use some of them in my magazine?


Greg N
10-31-2011, 04:22 PM

Of course!


Bill Fulmer
10-31-2011, 06:10 PM
Was able to see all the pics, looked good,next time you are in town I'll teach you how to shoot close ups for the details. Bill

10-31-2011, 07:30 PM
Good Job Greg!


Greg N
10-31-2011, 09:38 PM
Thanks, guys! Actually, I wasn't trying to document the race, I was taking vacation photos for myself and my family. I posted these when no other photos came forward. Had I known I would have tried to take some documentary and technical pictures. That said, after it became clear that something pretty unusual was happening, I did try to get some decent pictures of Paolo, and I think that that worked out fine.