Ninco Ford Sierra Cosworth - Portugal 1987

Ninco Ford Sierra Cosworth - Portugal 1987

Postby wixwacing » Sun 26 Aug, 2012 5:02 pm

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Ninco Ford Sierra RS Cosworth
Carlos Sainz - Antonio Boto
Rallye de Portugal 1987



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by Phil Wicks

The model is a replica of the car Carlos Sainz and Antonio Boto piloted in the 1987 Rallye de Portugal. Also racing were some of the group A greats of the time. Cars like Lancia Deltas, Audi Coupé Quatros etc. And even some very quick Renault 11’s. The significance of this model is that it was Sainz first race in the WRC series. After victory in the Rally of Spain he branched out into truly international motorsport and took up the challenge against the current world greats. A somewhat ignominious beginning as the Sierra let him down badly with turbo problems



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Carlos Sainz Rally records



To my knowledge, Scalextric first produced the Sierra Cosworth some years ago, and, funnily enough, the two versions produced were the Brock and Johnson models from the turbo years of Bathurst. There was then a substantial gap up to when SCX decided to reproduce the Colin McRae model. The SCX model as always was a very promising car but again, as always, a little time is needed to overcome the QA issues that bedevil this manufacturer. A challenge, but worth it if you persevere!



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Ninco have decided to release their model initially in a couple of liveries and of course the most eye catching livery on any model is Marlboro. Even though in the modern age of political correctness we can’t actually reproduce it here for you it is certainly obvious. And Ninco have made a good job in my personal opinion. In an age of cost cutting and cheap models, the Ninco model certainly looks and feels good in the hand.



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The outside detail is good and Ninco has honestly copied the decals to a high standard and everything gets a nice clear coat to give it that essential shine. They have silvered the door mirrors and picked out the lynch pins on the bonnet and boot and taken the trouble to reproduce the headlamp reflectors which wasn’t too necessary.



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Inside the model Ninco have opted for an in line motor and as a result they have made a reasonably convincing job of a three-quarter drivers tray. The driver and navigator are pretty basic but they have made a minor effort with other interior detail. including the dash and roll cage. The occupants may be a bit basic and lack the detail of a lot of other makes but Mr Ninco has opted to give Mr Boto (nav) a set of stage notes and a clip board!!



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This is a Ninco ‘Sport’ model, and once the body is off we see that Ninco are persisting with their suspension system. I am not fully converted to this set up and still like my serious racers to be firm and fixed but I have to admit that I have a sprung 911 Porsche with an NC 8 which seems to go very nicely? I suspect the issues start when the motors get faster.



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The first thing to test with the lid off is the motor, and as expected it is loose, and ideally it will need fixing in place by whatever system you prefer. The motor in this model is the NC9 Sparker, rated at 20,000 rpm @ 14.8 v (this translates to approximately 16,200 rpm @ 12v). Which is not breakneck, but certainly makes it highly drivable! And the lead wires are attached by the smallest of spade connectors which mean if you want to upgrade or downgrade the motor on race night, it is a simple matter of unclipping this motor and clipping the replacement in!



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The magnet sits directly in front of the motor and I still would prefer to see the motors come with a longer pinion shaft to create a gap for the magnet in front of the axle. The Lotus Exige has a great little magnet and the model works well on a variety of tracks. This model could well be in competition limbo on Carrera track or ‘Magnabraid’ surfaces compared to some other makes; the magnet sits almost three millimetres above the track surface, and as strong as it is, it will need to be better.



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Working to the front of the model we come across one of the most important aspect of any slotcar, and that is the part that keeps it in the slot; and again here, that particular piece is wanting! The guide is very sloppy in its hole and the slop is evident both side to side and front to back. Compounding this is the fact that the braid material is a particularly hard copper.



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On its first outing I had trouble getting conductive continuity and in some corners the model would hesitate and go in fits and starts. After several attempts and a pair of flat pliers later I managed to get it to behave, with both braids flat and even. But the front wheels are still kept clear of the track with this braid material. Some tinned soft braids will be replacing them at the models next outing.



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The right hand lead wire was adjusted too short and it prevented the guide travelling around to its right stop, but pulling it through the clip on the chassis was a simple enough fix. Another thing to keep an eye on is the rear axle mounting. The rear axle bushes run in elongated slots in the chassis as do the fronts, but I couldn’t help noticing that the right hand slot didn’t stop the axle from travelling too far and popping out!! This is the last thing you need in the middle of a race situation; and it could be something as simple as a deslot or being taken out that could induce this problem. This will need addressing at sometime.



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The wheels are particularly round and the tyre size is one of the more common, so it shouldn’t take too much looking to find something that will fit. One that goes straight on is the MJK 4219, another would be the SCX type 7 and closer to home the Ninco 19x10 super racing slick should work well. The model comes with ribbed tyres on it and why so?? I think it is because the Ninco ribs work particularly well on a coarse surface like Ninco or SCX track, and I have found that with some other sedan (saloon) based models that there is a tendency for the model to tip on these very grippy surfaces and the ribbed tyres allow just a little bit of movement letting the model drift a little easier. Whatever your choice though, the originals will need truing as I think they must still be using the tyre moulds from the nineties, and they’re not too concentric!!



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I have even managed to take the model for a spin on the Mt Perrorama super circuit on Brisbane’s North Side. Out of the box there were braid issues and once these were sorted I manage to get some comfortable laps on a track which had seen some lengthy practice and eleven race heats. Pushing of I was surprised at the models response to light throttle openings and after a few laps I started to push it a little harder. Initially I thought it was in the NC1 bracket, but as the laps passed, slowly the model got quicker and quicker. The ribbed tyres contributed to some controlled drift cornering and slowly the model became more responsive in line with its rated performance on the motor itself. Eventually I was lapping quite comfortably and the model not only looked good on the track, it felt good too.



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Performance finally levelled out, probably due to a combination of gears and tyres and motor all bedding in. The motor drove well and I would say that it was probably about the same performance as a good SCX RX41/42. By contrast it was very quiet and the suspension didn’t seem to handicap it in any way. There still needed to be a degree of tyre truing to be done but the level it was running at was good and tyre truing could only take it up a notch.


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I was drawn to this model in the display case of Red Racer hobbies at Clontarf on Brisbane’s North side and I don’t regret buying it. It may not fit into any of our race categories straight out of the box, but I’m sure the occasion will present itself someday for an opportunity to put it through its paces in one competition or another, maybe a group A rally meeting!? And I am already looking forward to that day.



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The Sierra was a little bit of an impulse purchase but I am pleased I bought it.
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When I'm not racing slotcars,
I'm out in the back yard, burning food!!

When I win, it's because of my talent, not my car or my controller!
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