Sideway Doran Dallara South African Airlines

Sideway Doran Dallara South African Airlines

Postby wixwacing » Sun 28 Oct, 2012 5:21 pm

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Sideways Doran Dallara
South African Airways
Montreal 2010



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by Phil Wicks


There are some special links here for the participants in that both drivers claim South African heritage, and with South African Airways sponsoring them in part, makes it a South African affair. For those not quite so worldly wise, the car's livery is also a rework of the South African national flag, affectionately known as the Rainbow flag.


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Dallara


Dion Von Moltke was born in the USA of South African parents and like many racing drivers his motorsport connections started with Kart racing. Progressing from here into open wheelers and eventually GT racing at a national level. Mark Patterson was born in South Africa and is now competing on the FIA GT3 racing circuit. Sponsors South African Airways have made much of the link up with these motorsport brand names.


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Doran Racing


Sideways need little introduction as far as slotcar racing is concerned. Their roots are with the ‘Racer’ company which started life several years back and still is making classic slotcars using resin moulding techniques. Racer produced these high quality, high priced models for two or three years before branching into injection moulded models. The 'Sideways' models are made in China and for all intents and purposes are basically a Slot.it car sold under license, and as such, perform remarkably like a Slot.it model.


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The subject matter for this model is the Dallara DP car as prepared by Doran Enterprises. Traditionally their cars include the number 77 and they have for sometime now used fast food chain McDonalds as a leading sponsor. Dallara are one of the grandfathers of modern motorsport with Gian Paulo Dallara kicking off his racing chassis company in 1972. Since those days Dallara chassis have sat beneath countless successful racing cars encompassing such classes as Indy Cars, GP3’s, Formula 3, Sports cars and Grand Am.



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In sports cars alone their input has included the Lancia Group C cars, the Ferrari 333 and the aerodynamic development of the Toyota GT1; Dallara has also collaborated with Audi, constructing for the German manufacturer all the chassis that have run and won Le Mans from 1999 to today!


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So has any of this rubbed of on this model, I suppose that its slotcar heritage has followed a similar path and off the shelf and out of the box it comes with an undeniable pedigree. When I bought this model this was not what I went shopping for, but local ‘Slotier’ Lucas revealed this to me during a moment of weakness and now it bedecks the study in a place of prominence. But it’s not a shelf queen....oooh no! This has been on the track, not in anger I might add, but it has been on the track, and it has acquitted itself admirably. On the high speed flowing lanes of the LCR it has done some very impressive lap times and I look forward to a time when I can place it between its peers on the grid of a proper slotcar stouch!



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So what was it like?...... without lifting a spanner (read Allen key here) to the model I placed it on blue lane ready to push off. It stuttered a little from the start and was hesitant in the corners and it took two or three minutes playing with the braids before it came good. The braids that Sideways have used are tinned (a plus here) but they are a bit stiff. On the magnabraid LCR there are several spots where the magnabraid is below the track level and on odd occasions, if a model’s braid is too wide or doesn’t have enough flex, one of the braids will lift clear of the conductor rail if the braids aren’t exactly the same height. A bit of judicious fiddling saw the model come good but just for the sake of reliability I will replace the braids with some softer Ninco or SCX tinned braid.



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So, pushing off I did the usual conservative lap after lap and it wasn’t long before the conservative became radical, and as the lap times fell to competition times I still managed to push it round at a rock steady pace....and this is out of the box!! I finally achieved the max lap with the back stepping out on several occasions telling me the model was on the ragged edge. The conclusion was that this model comes well appointed and set up out of the box. I don’t know what the tyre compound is but on Magnabraid and Ferrador with the standard magnet the model is very little short of being competitive.



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Magnetic attraction on Carrera is fair to good and I might be tempted to get some rubber a couple of grades softer for the back wheels on this surface, Slot.it also do an uprated magnet which might just clinch it, but all these ‘additives’ remove the skill element from the hobby! and SOOB racing would be my choice every time. Needless to say, racing on full magnet tracks like Ninco and Scaley would see the skill level reduced to low and the life of the model be dramatically shortened!!



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So out of the box we know it’s a good’un, but what have Slot.It/Sideways contributed to the model’s aura ? As we have come to expect the model is well appointed when it comes to tampo and when compared the 1/1 it looks to be a good likeness. One of the nice touches is the engine detail visible through the rear screen and on looking through the side glass the driver detail is impressive. One point of wonder is that the driver sits in his position with arms in the air, but there is no steering wheel?? The bracket is there to hold it and there is dash detail, but the wheel isn’t....big deal? probably not but then you do wonder!



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The body itself is 19 grams which means if you are racing non magnet then expect to add ten to fifteen grams of well placed ballast for technical tracks, and up to a massive twenty five to thirty grams for the fast sweeping tracks, once you’ve got the tyres sorted! Keep the rear axle load below sixty grams because we don’t want the tail to wag the dog!!



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The chassis is out and out Slot.it so there is nothing new here, and it carries all the little Slot.It nuances and foibles like motor pods and adjustable front axle. I’m not sure and haven’t found the advantages of the motor pod. It is my experience that if you have set the model up properly then the pod is superfluous. I must admit that if you are a tinkerer, there is some value in it as you can change from angle winder to in-line to your hearts content, but for those who want to win with this model I think that is too much of a distraction, and effort would be best spent elsewhere on the model......and its driver!!



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Also from a non-mag racing perspective, it is essential that none of the drive train is loose, this will translate into annoying judders and other unwanted antics during acceleration and braking! The axle in this model has the self centering ball type bushes which ensure there is no preload on the axle from a poorly clipped bush. The motor and pod have some very useful holes in place too.



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The ‘S’ can motor is not the tightest in the chassis and it wouldn’t go amiss to fix the motor to the mount with a small screw through one or both of these holes. The alternative might be hot glue or another adhesive. The motor itself has a brown end bell, this leaves me confused as this is not listed by Slot.it on their website (yet?)??



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The model drives marginally quicker than a standard ‘S’ can (18,000 rpm @ 12v) but it doesn’t have the sting of a fast motor. I can only assume at this stage it is rated the same as the standard Slot.it motor as 21,500 rpm @ 12V. This model also has the downward offset contrate fitted, this allows the motor to be lower by about 1.0 m.m. and this in turn lowers the centre of gravity just a little.



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The model is also ready (almost) for a digital chip. There are four screws screwed into what can only be described a screw retainer, which will no doubt be discarded when the chip goes in; and I have always liked the way Slot.it route their lead wires along side channels removing the annoying habit Fly cars had for many years where the lead wires would get trapped under the drivers tray while trying in vain to refit the body to the chassis.



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This also contributes significantly to the self centering action of the guide, another essential. No matter how good a racer you might think you are, there is always a back marker who wants to race you as you pass them, and you can bet you butt that at the next corner where you are on the outside, they will deslot, taking you with them, no matter how well prepared you are; and the last thing you need is a marshall who faff’s with your model for what seems to be an eternity, because the guide is cocked over one side or another!



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The wheels and inserts are pretty much OK. Front wheels are press fit plastic and have minimal runout, and the rears are grub screwed alloy. The are some flash anodised wheel trims both front and rear; on the rear they are a secure fit but on the front they are at best, loose. You can guarantee you are going to loose one or both of these at some time in the model’s early life, again, maybe a strategic spot of glue is needed somewhere, or even leave them off if you are not that bothered.



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As mentioned before the front axle is adjustable. and probably few people play with this feature. I personally would set the axle according the track. i.e. If I were to race on classic Scaley or Classic SCX I would sit the model on the track piece and adjust the front axle ‘til it just takes the weight of the front of the model. Some people like their axles to dangle akimbo but not only do I dislike the look of it, the weight of the model then rests on the braid, which may be good for conductivity, but will incur a little drag to the model. Full weight on the wheels will see the conductivity of the braid vary depending on the aspect of the model on various parts of the circuit you are on.



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One continual disappointment with Slot.it running gear is the flimsiness of the body mounting posts. These are inevitably the first things to break in competition. Usually, I will take the time to glue a metal sleeve over these just to add a bit of support. It was disappointing to find that with this model the damage had already partly begun with what looks to be the careless installation of the rear chassis screw. This has left the post with a lump out of it and some hairline cracks radiating from the screw hole. Fortunately it is not too far gone and some snug fitting brass tubing will ensure its longevity.


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So that’s about it unless I’ve missed anything? Check out the other Slot/racer reviews while your here too. Once again, I am very impressed with this model out of the box and as mentioned before it is a very real possibility that it will be raced in anger some where ...sometime! I’ll keep you posted!!
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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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