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For preparing my cars I think Greg Braun's site HO Slot Car Racing says it all. Read the detail on his site, but the headlines are:

1. Keep you slot car clean - that's why I'm 'under the bonnet' between heats, armed with tweezers, cotton buds and pipe-cleaners.

2. Use oil sparingly, but use it. A pin-point oiler is essential (the Parma TQ740 oiler I use is £3.95 from SCD).

3. Pick one car and stick with it.

4. Practice.

5. Replace worn Pickup Shoes (and keep them clean - a fibreglass pencil is good for this).

6. Use Silicone Rear Tyres. Keep them clean by rolling on tape.

7. Run in a new car.

These aren't expensive hop-ups - 1, 3, 4 & 7 cost nothing, a can of oil lasts forever, tires are £1.50 a pair and pick ups no more than £1 a pair - but together I think they make a big difference.

The only other thing I routinely do is to reduce the thickness of the front tyres. You can buy thinner tyres or (as I do) use a dremel and sandpaper.

Other tuning issues like pick-up shoe profile, spring tension, plus front and rear tire diameters are all about getting the car (and hence traction magnets) as close to the track as possible - there are loads of posts on HO forums about these, so I'll leave it there.

- Andy Player

Cars, oils and tools ready for the track

Don’t forget to clean the tyres

General tips