The Graceville 'Megatrack'

Local tracks and articles

The Graceville 'Megatrack'

Postby wixwacing » Tue 15 Jul, 2008 10:52 pm

The Graceville Mega track is located in the inner western suburbs of Brisbane. The circuit is the brainchild and baby of Julian Foster and Mark Chandler and a lot of money has been spent on this very high talent circuit. Originally constructed of the old Scalextric classic ‘Plexitrack’ and some SCX, it has grown over the years into a behemoth of a circuit with the utmost concentration required by new and old visitors alike.



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I understand that, as with many circuits, it has had a catalogue of changes and transformations, some bits being kept, others scrapped, until it reached its current size and shape. Another change was switching from the older track to the new Scalextric sport track. This too happened over a lengthy period and to this day there is still a small section of Plexitrack left at what I can only call the ‘Alpine’ section. A series of twists and winds which get you thinking you’re back where you started ‘til you eventually emerge into daylight and the open road once again.



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Lap length is disputable as I don’t think its actually been measured but at 20 seconds for an average lap, it must be in the 60 metre plus category! Power is supplied by a single 15 amp regulated power unit and surprisingly there are very few areas of noticeable power loss. That track has booster cables which probably accounts for this. Most of the track, too, has borders, minimising the often problematic barrier deslot situation where a car rubs against the barrier and goes its own sweet way into the night.



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The track is raced in both directions, being alternated from meeting to meeting. Drivers positions also change end. A (relatively) quick anti clockwise lap goes something like this. Starting from a short straight at the top (bottom) of the track it is a burst to the first left-hander, then off down the mammoth straight, motors revving out well before the end.


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Hard braking takes you into the second left-hander and another medium straight. An elevated left hand dog leg puts you onto the start of the Alpine section with a left had oval carousel. Once round this you are into a series of right-handers, which takes you under the alpine section and into a nifty left-hander. A short burst takes you along to the first and only hairpin. A tight right-hander for the inside lanes leading to a medium straight with a right hand dog leg. Right at the end leads you to a good length straight by most standards, this has a mild right-hander into the second part of the straight and then it’s on to a fast right-left-right section and a half right onto the salmon ladder. I call these gratuitous wiggly bits the ‘salmon ladder’ because it has a long section of mirror image left-right curves (see pictures) when well stuck down cars are traversing this in formation it can only be described as three or four fish swimming up rapids to their spawning ground, I kid you not! There is a short respite at the end of this section and a dash to the closing stages. A right takes you into a final left-right kink and into the last left hand sweeper to the start finish line.



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If you survive a lap then you should have been on the road for about twenty seconds or so with most mainstream models. You can boil an egg while the Pink Kar Vee-dubs are doing a lap and the Trans Ams and JGTC’s seem to do it best!

The track has a host of clear acrylic (Perspex/Plexiglas) panels around the layout. These are pretty vital for keeping errant models from certain ignominy and destruction. It is pretty marshall intensive and you can expect to wait several seconds in some situations before you are back in the race. Fortunately the owners don’t subscribe to the 92nd Slotcar club values and races are of a good length giving drivers the chance to recover from the odd ‘faux pas’.

Race nights consist of a pre emailed newsletter giving social comment and light entertainment for the benefit of all and somewhere between the lines will be the classes. Races are usually model type races ie. GT40, Porsche 911, Classic GP etc and make specific, ie. Scaley, Ninco, slot it .. Etc. This contributes to parity in racing and gives an opportunity to race a whole bunch of models over a period. Because of the lap length the preferred race format is a series of two or three ‘one off’ races, in groups of four and when all have raced they move on to another class.



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For me it was a very difficult race track to learn but because the drivers have an elevated vantage point and the whole track is spread out into the distance, I opt to watch the track a metre in front of the model with the model in the corner of my sight and drive into the section of track I have just been watching while I look ahead. This also helps to reduce the risk of driving into someone else’s pile-ups!

Graceville meet the first Monday in every month. If you are interested in coming along, contact me on pwix@yahoo.com or if you live in Brisbane you can call evenings on 3822 7003.
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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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wixwacing
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Re: The Graceville 'Megatrack'

Postby wixwacing » Sun 13 Feb, 2011 12:23 pm

After another upgrade Graceville must now be nearly 73 metres long (nearly 240 feet in old money). There have been some drastic changes in topography and now having run out of area, it looks like Graceville is going up!! What next? an Alpine section??


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If you would like an invite to a Graceville racenight, don't hesitate, contact me on this board or email me at pwix@yahoo.com
Image

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!
User avatar
wixwacing
Marshal!!!
 
Posts: 1906
Joined: Thu 10 Jul, 2008 8:22 pm


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