1:32 Scale – Setting a World Record
September 29, 2005 – Before heading down to the Atlanta area for the 2005 American Le Mans Series “Petit Le Mans” race, I had heard about what was claimed to be “The World’s Largest Permanent Slot Track”. I packed some slot cars and made plans to meet two other Fort Wayne slot racers, who were also headed to the ALMS race, at the huge JD Model Raceway at DISCOVER MILLS MALL, Atlanta, Georgia.
This JD Model Raceway 6 lane track had an official running length, as of September 29, 2005, of 396 ft or 120 meters. JD Figoli is the proprietor and he used almost 1000 Ninco track sections to build the track. His claim to the “World’s Largest” is based on the multiple of 6 lanes and 396 feet or 2376 total running feet:
Above – The longest straight is 68 feet. It certainly does let a car wind out!
Above – The twisty section is particularly tricky, especially if you are driving from the far end of the drivers stand at the other end of the track along the right wall.
Above – JD and his wife did an excellent job of putting the cars back on the track as we were learning to stay in the slot.
Above – The 360 loop.
The “Yankee Invader” hits Atlanta
Among the cars I took was the A-125 Corvette C5-R made by the Fly company in Spain. It is painted, very fittingly, to represent the winning car from Petit Le Mans 2001. The flag scheme, along with the “FDNY” and “NYPD” logos were on the actual car at that event to honor the 9-11 heroes. These cars are loaded with details and are one of the major reasons that I got back into slot cars.
Below are pictures before I modified the car:
Above – I liked all the details but for better handling, some had to go. I trimmed a lot of the unseen details and replaced the excellent, but heavy, details in the back with a piece of black construction paper. The diet above reduced the weight of the body from 33 grams stock to the 26 gram modified version.
- The overall weight stayed the same as stock at 85 grams due to the lead weights under the rear axle but the center of gravity was greatly lowered.
After running an unmodified Scalextric Corvette L88 and a Monogram Greenwood Corvette and 3 mildly modified cars in order to learn the track, I decided to try the Corvette “Invader”. Our Fort Wayne crew generally assumed that we would enjoy the play time but had no expectation of challenging any records on an unfamiliar and complex track.
To get on the record board, you have to do better than the slowest car on the board. There were several classes, the Corvette was in the ‘Driveshaft – Front Motor’ class. When I started to see times in the low 20 second area, I checked the board and noted that 22.80 sec was the slowest in class. When I beat that time, JD agreed to forego his weekly update and add us to the board with our final times. Then I loaned the Corvette to a Fort Wayne buddy, Gary, and he got on the board within 0.3 second of the class lap record!
I finished the day driving my Corvette again and did a 20.60 to beat the 20.72 class record!! I’m braggin’ but I couldn’t believe I did it!! What a thrill!!
The info above is repeated below in a little easier to read format.
|1||David Palmeter||Corvette C5-R||37K||20.60|
|2||Cory Allen||Panoz Esperante GTR1||35K rpm||20.72|
|3||Kevin Daily||Ford Capri RS Turbo||35K rpm||21.01|
|3||Luis Garcia||Dodge Viper GTR||46K rpm Falcon III||21.01|
|5||Gary Trump||Corvette C5-R||37K||21.02|
|6||Max Coleman||Viper Competition Coupe||35K rpm||21.28|
|7||Greg Smith||BMW M3||48K rpm Falcon IV||21.31|
|8||Joe Riccio||Dodge Viper GTS-R||28K rpm||22.80|
And understand, children, I am a Social Security-eligible, retired, senior citizen!! (Sorry, just had to throw that in – just imagine what someone with quick reflexes could do.)
Thanks a million to JD and his wife and staff for an EXCELLENT morning. They were kind and helpful to us newbies and did some of the quickest marshalling I have ever seen – and remember, this is a 396-foot track!! JD also immediately emailed me digipix of the record board and track. He normally doesn’t update until the weekend but he did it while we were there for us out-of-towners.
A truly Terrific time!
And then it was over….
—– Original Message —–
Yes, just a couple of days ago, Mr. Steven Goodspeed ran a 19.40 sec. lap with a Fly Marcos LM. ; your time is now 2nd fastest ever.
Thanks for your great posting at the forum!
As far as our track length, we relocated twice within the Mall and each time we made the track longer, so the layout that you actually raced on is 396 ft. or 120.60 meters.
WOW! When those southern boys git riled up, they’re tough! I figured it wouldn’t be much more that two weeks for someone to take a shot at us. Looks like it was about 17 days on top of the heap. I’m still proud!
Congratulations to Steven – he knocked 1.2 seconds off the best “Yankee Invader” time. With a little more practice time, I believe Gary and I both could have gotten the “Yankee Invader” into the mid-19’s but a 19.40 would be tough with that car. Maybe next year – another car, another shot!
The Final Chapter
Well, the record is now permanently in the books. JD has lengthened the track again, so my second fastest time, at 20.60 seconds on the 396 ft track length, will stand forever:
—– Original Message —–
We had great holiday season, it was our first at Discover Mills.
I’m sorry it took so long to reply, we closed down on Jan. 1st., took 27 days off , had a great vacation after working 5 months – open to close every day – with no time off, then re-open with a new permanent lease agreement with the Mall.
We extended the track even further in the process: we added a total of 61 ft. to the layout that you raced on, we had some space in the back and now we used it all up.
This track is now 457 ft. long. (139.43 meters) – see pix below
Your lap time with that awesome Corvette you had was still standing at second place before we erased the whole board and started, of course, a new one with the new track length.
I’m sending you a few of the first pictures taken of this new layout. Note that we are going in the opposite direction now, it’s very different.
We were featured on live FOX 5 TV as a unique concept for family fun just recently and we love to have some of you out-of-towners come back some time and try your cars against the “world’s largest permanent slot-car racetrack…”
From: “David & Judy Palmeter” <email@example.com>
To: “J.D. Figoli” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: JD Model Raceways, pics.
Date: Sun, 8 Jan 2006 17:03:17 -0500JD,Hope the holidays went well for you and the store.How do I stand on the Leader Board for Driveshaft cars? Still second?Just curious,
Above – 2006-02-10 – This is the layout JD mentioned in his latest email above. When we ran the earlier (396 ft) layout, we were coming toward the camera on the far left straight. They run this new layout the opposite direction.