Building the track

I knew my wife would eventually catch on when I started walking from room to room in our house, looking down at the floor and then up to the ceiling at each stop. It didn’t take her long. I was quickly told to forget it. That’s when I realised just how tall our garage ceiling rose above its floor and, with her approval, I started making detailed plans for creating a racing surface which could be hauled up out of the way when not in use.


Once more O’Brie got involved when I enlisted his woodworking skills to construct an 8’ by 12’ table and some wooden horses to support it. Since our neighbourhood was once a golf course, it was only fitting that I paint the tabletop green to represent the grass on which the new track would be built.

We then added the hoisting hardware, including a hand winch (with automatic brake) to raise and lower the table.

OK, so the next step was to build the actual track. Using some really neat software called TrackPower, I designed several track layouts, eventually finalising on a 74’, 18-bend circuit, designed for racing to take place in a clockwise direction.

Finally, we winched it up to the ceiling to test that everything worked properly.

It was now time to build a perimeter fence to stop crashing cars from plummeting off the table and down the driveway to their destruction. I wanted something that looked somewhat like the real fencing seen around the tracks of the world and ended up mimicking the green fencing seen around parts of the beautiful Spa Grand Prix circuit in Belgium. I then added some advertising to the inner fence wall.

On good advise I decided to get a digital Scalextric set as the foundation of the track, cars and controllers and settled on their Digital Super GT set, getting all the other pieces needed for the track design separately. The software is so precise that when the track was laid out it came right to the edges of the perimeter wall just as it was in the software diagram.

So I now had a table which could be hoisted out of the way when not in use and a Scalextric digital race track. I needed to get a 6-car Scalextric PowerBase that was modified to get all the best goodies out of it so that meant going with a PB-Pro Simple-H upgrade. To date this is the top option available for Scalextric Sport Digital racing. I also needed a high-amperage variable power supply and got a Pyramid PS-26KX to connect to the PB-Pro.


To get things going, I contacted some friends and family members and invited them over to come and try the track out.


Update


After two years of racing on the original flat table, in August 2010 I decided to add some character and realism to FRC. Once again enlisting O’Brie’s woodworking talents and tools, I added elevation changes and followed this by putting in some realistic scenery over the whole track surface. After a few months of work and delays, racing resumed in December 2010. Here are a few pictures of the revamped FRC, complete with wildlife in Caiman Pond:



































































You can read about how this was all done on my post at SlotForum here.

O’Brie added a driver station along the pit straight with holders for the six controllers and I christened the track “Fairways Racing Complex” with a sign along the pit wall.