Chap. 1. – The beginning.
This story begins at the beginning of last summer, when I receive a call from a very good friend, Pol, telling me that an important slot brand, SRC, was looking to boost the sales of its new speed product through a team with which it could not only win races, but also evolve and improve yourself.
After many, many (and very productive) hours on the phone with his top manager, Marco, the “plan” was clear. To make the new Toyota TS050 HYBRID from SRC a winning LMP, with an ambitious goal one year ahead: fight for victory in the MASTERSLOT in Madrid, the most prestigious 1/32 endurance race at the moment.
Between conversation and conversation, I also consulted with my usual team, with my friends, Besay, Guillem, Ignasi, Oriol, who basically are the ones who make me win races…. Are we capable of winning with something different?
It didn’t take me long to convince them (they’re also going along…) although we had a clear premise, we would only go ahead if the product in the medium term was really going to allow us to be at the top, taking the first races a bit tentatively.
A challenge for us, but also for SRC.
I have not told you that shortly before all this, I had just discovered the brand’s new model in stores and as a good lover of LMPs, one of the slot categories that I like the most, I quickly acquired it. The first impression, and I guess how everyone’s was a… Wow!!
What a good presentation of the kit… and the hood; does it move? it will work? Is it a new invention for something or just an original solution?
The sensations with the first assembly of parts were very good, everything fit perfectly, no burrs, hollow shafts and perfect bearings, quality screws, not to mention how some parts were joined to others (the headlights, for example) ; a product quality well above the average to which we are accustomed.
Things got a bit complicated when we got to the bench… AW T1? “Bolt System”, what…? My goodness!, nothing to do with what she used until now, well I’m lying, some brand had already proposed similar solutions years ago; but this was different… In short, when the time was over, I managed to have my first SRC Toyota assembled, finally replacing its original engine with the well-known “Flat” with which it competes in most championships…. No time to paint, there was a desire to try it.
The first feeling on the track was not what was expected. Honestly, too noisy and the nose rubbed too much on the track… I was thinking!
I said to myself, this car will have to spend time for it to work… (I think I told my team all this…. or maybe not? Hahahahahahahaha….
And we return to the beginning of my story….
I had to forget about all my LMPs, some of them very competitive, assembled with the configurations that most slot car fans know and make the Toyota a winning LMP, or at least with options.
I returned to take it lovingly, and I looked at him as if to say…. You and I are going to understand each other, right?
I started by analyzing the pros and cons regarding my best LMPs…. The weight of the body and its flexibility were a point in favor, and in that the Toyota would not have to be harmed.
The chassis issue was another story…. Although he looked very hard-working and with innovative solutions, it was clear that he had a “handicap”; the weight, at least with respect to the competition, we intended to make it a serious and winning rival.
The suspension elements also offered practical solutions, although basically it was a classic spring suspension, which is the most used in most models, both in GT and LMP. The original proposal of the turrets and the rear bridge did not prevent the combination of suspension elements from other brands. Plus point….
To the rest of the components, few hitches could be put…. The perfect guide for use in competition, a bit narrow depending on the trend; classic, with a long blade, rigid, but not excessively, and with a stem that fit perfectly in its location…. The flexible cables, (although for me too thin). The front axle, different from the rest, thinner, and with specific tires (what a beauty, although “delicate” …)
The bench was already a separate chapter…. Like the chassis, advantages and disadvantages:
On the one hand, light and somewhat flexible; too? Had to try…
The perfect location and fit of the bearings….
It was clear that it was a very young project where the chassis and bedplate were presented with heights that were very well executed, but with a very obvious handicap; no offset.
Solved the problems of my first experience with KIT 50001 of the new TOYOTA LMP1 SRC, with a few simple guide washers I prevented the nose from rubbing, retouching suspensions and improving the fit of the bodywork with the chassis, I started a new “test” session on track.
The sensations were already different, more typical of those of a good LMP, with a very noble behavior, and something that quickly caught my attention; how well it entered the nose!
The times were still far from my best cars, but the thing was already pointing ways…
As a good tester, I transferred all this information to Marco Camino so that SRC was clear about what the priorities should be in future evolutions to achieve the goals we had set for ourselves. Many of these appraisals were already underway, which surprised me with their project and way of working with a view to the competition.
It was about the car not being good, but the best. The first was clear, a lighter and more flexible chassis. It is not that the T1 chassis was a bad chassis, quite the opposite, but due to its weight it was far from the standards of use as a reference in the category.
The next thing had to be an “offset” bench as the competition models have already had for years, which provides many advantages and that you all know…
Other less important elements could also be subject to revision and evolution, already seeking the excellence of the product, but they were less urgent issues.
Now, in the presentation of the first model of the SRC brand in top competition, we were going to debut with the material we had available. The races that were expected, once the pandemic was over, we were going to have to face them like this, with which it was about continuing to carry out “tests” and understanding how the whole group worked.
At the end of September 2021 we had our first big acid test, only two and a half months after starting my story with SRC. This test would be at 12 noon “Ciutat de Igualada” at the SUPERDOME facilities….
To be continue….
Josep M.ª Molins “NEO”