Slot car racing is a leisure activity of racing electronically motorized model cars that are made to run on tracks with a groove or slot to steer a car. Users can operate the racecars by means of hand-held controllers or throttles that regulate small, electronic motors hidden inside the cars. Greater pressure on a throttle generates a greater pace. Each car runs on a separate path, within its own slot. The challenge in racing slot cars is in taking curves at the highest speed that will not cause a car to lose its grip on a track and turn to one side or deslot and go in the air.
Many slot car racers favor a racetrack unobstructed by scenery, but some fans, like rail transport modeling with highly structured tracks, carved to have the look of a real-life racecourse complete model buildings, trees, and people. Slot car racing has fewer followers than that of model railroading.
Most slot cars are models of real automobiles, but some racers choose to have custom body styles. Most patrons use commercially available slot cars, others choose motorized static models, and some create their own mechanisms and bodies from fundamental parts and equipment.
There are three regular slot car scales – 1/24 scale, 1/32 scale, and HO (Half ‘O’) size (1/87 to 1/64) scale. There are two large HO racing organizations in the U.S., namely HOPRA (H.O. Professional Racing Organization) and UFHORA (United Federation of H.O. Racers Association). Each hosts a national competition once in a year, usually in July. There are many state-wide associations running under these two organizations. H.O. racetracks can fit in common basements.
The Fray in Ferndale, California, has the largest turnout of any slot car race in the world, where the finest turn up to compete for top honors. The highly competitive race is held annually, in February, and more than 100 persons and 16 squads show up to race on eight tables. Most state organizations run some of their series on home tracks, and these are frequently used for nationwide contests.