Colleagues in France -
In a very ancient history for the first time I heard about French slotracingu in connection with the World championship organized in Toulouse sometimes in the late 80s. The race was held on a track called Blueking and in addition to domestic competitors especially drivers from the USA ruled the world. However, over the years the number of drivers from France dwindled down to zero and at the current ranking ISRA is no French driver.
Therefore it was quite unlikely that on my business trip to France, specifically to the city of Bordeaux situated in the province of Aquitaine, I would find a slotracing club. After a while on the internet and facebook I found out that I am extremely lucky. In the city there is a Slot Racing Club Bordeaux, which runs the last wooden track in France. After a few emails I was invited to their club's day.
To find the track between houses and doorways in the district of Meriadeck was a little bit problem, but finally we succeeded. Additionally there was one of the club members who was waiting for me and my wife in front of the building. A brief introduction, an agreement where we can put the borrowed city bikes and we go inside. The club has quite a spacious place inside the building, where among others are also many tennis courts. Bikes are placed into the hallway, where one of the club member parks his fast and expensive looking motorbike. In the room there are three racetracks. One plastic with two lines which is the only one we finally did not test. Next is a sixlane plastic track, which is used for commercial hardplastics and to pass one single lap on it is not easy at all. I got a LeMans car without magnet and with tires as hard as concrete wall. Especially the curves up to the bridge and descend down into the tunnel were purgatory. And it was not about racing. My dream was to make a single lap without deslotting. But after a while I found the right rhythm and courage and lapping was not bad. Additionally, the track is surrounded with plastic accessories, houses, cars and characters. Undoubtedly, the whole masterpiece was not only financially demanding, but also very time consuming. In the words of the local guys this is the track that annually attracts about 5 to 10 new people to the club. That is because people owning a home track and cars are looking for a club with a longer plastic track. And once you arrive, just two steps next to the plastic track there is a wooden racing track and scale cars. How simple.
And now the unique thing. Wooden racing track in the shape of a small Blueking similar to former Czech Bitouchov or Vratislavice respectively. Eight slots, banked turns, and my hands start to itch and burn. So I ask the locals for a controller to make a few laps. "No problem" is the answer. I'm getting older Parma without a brake. I think they do not know me and they are a bit afraid to borrow me something better. From my backpack I pull out my training Honda car with a slightly used body from the last race held in Usti nad Labem. The controller gets in through one plug similar as in England. I give my car on the track. One of the local guys comes to me and turns my car the opposite way. "What are you doing?" I respond in English and I want to return the car with its nose towards the banked curve. "No, no" is the answer, "here we go the track backwards." My amazement couldn't be deeper. I have seen and experienced many things in slotracing world but driving a car on a Blueking backwards is too much for me. It is like eating an ice cream from the bottom. It was impossible to understand why this happens and I wonder if I can rappel the carousel down from the top to the finger. But after a few laps I find that it is not an even issue. Most of the corners are quite banked, I can get quite a good pace and the only problem is on top of the bridge where the car sometimes goes straight into the barrier. My Honda has a six teeth pinion and is far not the best car for this track. But I did not want to take anything better with me for such long trip.
On the faces of the local guys I can read a bit of surprise that I can drive the car and not to break anything. So I got a better controller, a Parma again but now with a brake. Better times again. Locals therefore start to be interested about the stuff I have on the track. First shy glances are replaced with an interest, especially when I remove the body and inform them about the technical specifications of the car. They obviously have not seen a sixth teeth pinion anytime before. Steel chassis is admired for its solidity in comparison with JK can chassis. After a while even the entire car is photocopied via a cellphone.
As a reward for providing my technical know-
Unfortunately the shopping centers in the area are closing soon and my wife really wants to buy gifts for the family. So we must say good-
France once again proved to be a very hospitable country with very friendly people. My visit at SRC Bordeaux proved this to be truth and the only truth.
Who would like to visit the track the address is Bordeaux, Claude Bonnier 30.
Websites is: http://srcb.over-
More info on request.
Their photo: http://d2racing.pagesperso-