12 August 2009

Presenting: The GTTeam slot track!

Since I already started posting some track tests, I think it would be helpful for reading analysis if I described the track first! Well, later as it may be, here is the presentation of the GT Team track.

The GT Team track is one of Braga's three permanent slot car tracks, but the only that also belongs to a slot shop (other are clubs). This configuration has been placed back in 2006 and left unchanged since. It replaced a Ninco 4 lane track.

The layout features a 34 meter Carrera 1:24 track with 6 lanes, with DS power systems and race controls. The track has a total of 9 turns and a single long straight. This is the track layout, with some detail much to the style you can see in the F1 website :)

(Click image for higher resolution)

One lap around the GT Team slot track:

The start/finish line is placed 2 meters into the 7 meter straight. It leads to Turn 1, a tight 90 degrees left hander. Since speeds are the highest at this point, it's the longest average braking distance for all lanes (inner lanes require heavy braking).

Turn 1

After Turn 1 there is a short straight (1 meter) that still requires going full throttle, with a slight braking into the "Grand Esses", a combination of a 150 degrees left turn with a 180 degrees right hander. Track parts forming these turns are the narrower ones, which makes going through these "Esses" a very technical challenge. The outside and inner lanes offer an interesting narrow to wide change, or the opposite, while going through the "Esses".

The Grand "Esses"

After the "Esses" there's a 3 meter straight heading into Turn 4, an 180 degrees narrow left turn, also known as the "Door hairpin" (it's the section of the track closest to the shop's door!). Inner tracks need heavy braking here, since they leave the previous "esses" on the wide side with higher exit speeds and reach Turn 4 on the narrow side. After Turn 4 there's a small slope to climb until Turn 5.

Turn 4 (also known as the "Door hairpin")

The small slope meets Turn 5 at its end, but Turn 5 is already on a plain section. This makes Turn 5 another highly technical section, although much more on the inner lanes (the ones that leave Turn 4 on the wider side). The small slope disappears just before the turn, which causes a tendency to lift the front of the cars, so caution must be taken here.

The dreaded Turn 5, a nightmare for the cars driving on the inside lanes.

Leaving Turn 5, there's a small descent into Turn 6 or the "Big Curve". It's the highest radius turn on the track and also the only sloped turn, it descends continuously. The exit parts are sharper than the rest of the curve, which causes complications to the nervous drivers, who hit the throttle before reaching the straight.

The Big Curve, the longest turn of the track

The straight section after the Big Curve is actually the second longest straight, after the start/finish straight. It goes through a tunnel into the Small "esses". Don't let the "Small" part elude you, because this is a complicated section that requires some practice to deal with. It's a combination of a narrow right hander with a very short straight into a wide left turn. Motion is brake - quick full throttle - brake again, and this is why most people have troubles here. Also, the entrance is very narrow on the inner side, cars have a "tail-happy" behavior here, many going sideways.

Tunnel exit and the technical small "Esses"...

After leaving the small "Esses", cars go through the pits straight (this is where cars needing repairs are taken from the track or replaced after mechanical intervention). This is a moderate straight, but since cars leave the esses on a wide turn they reach the Final Curve at quite high speeds. Also, the Final Curve is a wide 180 left turn, which is rather easy to take on, even on the inner lanes (these only require a somewhat heavier braking).

Final Curve, seen on a 90 degrees rotation.

Well, this is it... the tour of the track where I first contacted with the world of slot car racing. In the end, it's a very "start - stop" driving style, with some sections needing more atention, others needing fast trigger motion. After getting to grips with the track, it's quite a relaxed driving, even for endurance races.

In the future I'll present the other tracks in Braga. The track layout will also be placed on the bottom of this blog, for future reference.

Hope you enjoyed this tour. Until next time, see you soon...


  1. Very nice article and an excellent description of the track.
    I have recomended your blog to some of my friends in London.
    Let´s hope they leave their messages in the future.
    See you next friday.


  2. Thanks, Rui ;) Glad you help spreading the word. The main purpose of writing this blog in English is just that, trying to get to as many enthusiasts possible. I hope the London sloters are chatty :)

  3. Excellent article.

    Well, Rui Costa recomended for her friends. Good.

    Congratulation Hugo

  4. Good to see that your blog is in English.... We're very lazy at learning other languages here in the UK!
    Hopefully your track review will inspire Rui to build a large track in Milton Keynes where he is now living with his family.
    Rui - another track for the Champions League would be GREAT!!!