Is widening the track at a straightaway a good idea?
Frank Asks ” Is widening the track at a straightaway a good idea. I noticed that on your track?”
On my Northline raceway, (designed 20 years ago and the original test mule for AC2Car racing) I gradually spread out the slots to allow more passing as the lap progressed. This widened the layout and used up more space, but allowed a bit more passing. Today I recommend sticking with the AC2Car pattern all the way around the track until the cars come back to the lane changing area where the drivers can switch sides of the road.
If you build a new track keep this point in mind. When initially designing their layouts, guys around the world insist on spreading the slots out for more passing room, but fail to realize that after spreading them out, if you bring the slots back to the original AC2Car pattern it causes trouble.
Each time you bring the slots back together you create a funnel that causes crashes. The only place that all the slots should come together is once per lap , just before the lane changing area at a chicane or tight turn. After the drivers get by the switches the slots part into the RH and LH sides of the road. After that, cars running on the same side of the roadway should not be given the room to pass each other by spreading their slots out, unless you intend on holding that wider pattern for the rest of the lap.
On paper, it looks like you are doing the drivers a favor by giving them room to pass cars on the same side of the road, but it causes crashes when the slots come back together and two cars try to occupy the same space.
As you review the photos of my slot pattern, please remember that the odd middle most slot was cut down the middle of my track with no lane changing capability. Designed for my 5 year old,(now 27) it’s used today for beginners and kids. I wouldn’t recommend copying that idea.