Someone in Quora asks “why there would be any skill involved in driving slot cars with magnets”?
Here was my reply about slot car racing skills:
Many contemporary slot cars use magnets that attract the cars to the rails. Some slot car manufacturers do this because it makes the cars easier to drive. Also, less precision is required in manufacturing to get good performance. Any properly functioning slot car should be fast enough to overcome the magnetic traction and will crash if speed is to high. While no steering is required, driving a slot o car at competitive speed involves full throttle as son as possible on each turn exit, braking at late as possible before the next turn and just the right throttle application to drift through each turn, just as in full scale motorsports. Finding he limits of the handling of each car invariable involves some crashes, which are instructive in slot car and destructive in full scale.
There are many forms of slot cars, in sizes from 2 to 10 inches in length. They vary greatly in speed and driving skill required and many, including the fastest, use NO magnet traction. A great number of classes and race formats match similar cars and provide a variety.
While slot racing can be enjoyed as a simple game requiring little skill, more advanced forms required problem-solving skills to diagnose and maintain the cars, engineering skills to design and build them, management and legal skills to develop and enforce racing classes and rules. There is also track design and building, scenic design and model building, electronic control devices, and software for race control systems.
Big names slot race too!
Drivers have elevated the hobby to a serious sport with regional and international championships. Slot racing replicates full-size motorsports in many ways including virtually all the skills required in full-scale motorsports. Many racing engineers started with slot cars and some continue in the hobby. Famous drivers like Sterling Moss, Jackie Stuart, Dan Gurney, the Rahal family, the Andrettis, and notable collectors like Jay Leno have all participated extensively in slot racing. Ross Brawn, British Formula One managing director, motorsports, and technical director notably put himself through college building slot car chassis.
A slot car evangelist
Casey Putsch, racing engineer youth development program creator and promotor believes strongly in slot cars as a worthy hobby and a means of building useful career skills as can be seen in his numerous videos featuring slot cars on his fascinating Youtube channel.
So, yes there is skill, and fun in slot car racing!
To learn more about slot car racing with magnets and proper rules for making it fair and fun, read this blog.