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How Slot Car Racing Works

Slot Car Tracks


A slot car track is made of plastic segments with two steel rails in each lane. These steel rails run the entire length of the track. One of the rails provides power to the slot car while the other rail provides the ground. Some slot car tracks are composed of several smaller track pieces which are clipped together using interlocking sections; however, other slot car tracks are made up of a relatively small number of longer sections of track which means that there are far fewer seams throughout the entire race circuit. This design also provides better or less-interrupted power supply to the cars.

The track receives power from a power supply that plugs into a wall outlet. The power supply inverts the alternating current (AC) from the wall outlet into direct current (DC). Voltage supplied to the track by the power supply is typically between 12 to 18 volts and 1 or 2 amps. However, more advanced slot car clubs or racers may add additional power to the track using individual power supplies for each racing lane. These can provide each slot car lane with as much as 10 amps of power, although most of the cars won't use more than 5 amps during the race. When additional power supplies are added, the powerbase -- the segment of track where the power supply attaches -- may need to be modified to handle the additional power.

Now that we know how the tracks receive power, let's find out more about how the cars handle the various types of tracks and how some tracks are built for realism.