Sunday, August 17, 2008

White Lake Formula One Ring - The Design

So I'm full of ideas after that fateful venture to Legends. I have to build one of these! It's all I could imagine as a designer: creation, ambition and racing all rolled into a sweet little package (well maybe not so little). RC car who? Thus begins the travels down this large adolescents path towards something kick-ass, at least in my own mind.

As I said I am a designer, an exhibit designer to be exact and that has exposed me to some rather unique tools. Those of which I have studied endlessly to perfect and have enabled me to create this monstrosity I have dubbed the White Lake Formula One Ring. Lightwave 3D and Adobe Illustrator - my weapons of choice. I set out on the layout and in short time came up with a decent circuit that comprised many of the challenges one might encounter on a modern F1 circuit in slot car form of course. With some insight from DBR and his cohorts JA and BT I decided on the AC2car system for my layout. A bit of insight for the ignorant; AC2 allows 2 cars to run on the same slot. By integrating lane changers you provide users of one slot to change lanes and pass the competitor. As a result each driver has 2 paths around a track. If your track length is each 100 feet, thats 200 feet of unique slot lines a driver can take. Basically double the fun! WLF1 Ring is 142 feet of track so that's 284 feet of unique lines for each driver! I have roughly a 20 foot x 20 foot space, and AC2 enables you to maximize track length in the smallest amount of space. With my digital files in hand it was off to the CNC router with 13 sheets of 1/2 inch MDF. And wait, and wait and wait... Files submitted in December... finally finished panels in February! Well now the fun really begins, or so I thought.

White Lake Formula One Ring - The Inspiration

Did I mention I was a rather large thirty-seven year old child? Well in those years I have become a rather avid Remote Control Car Racer, F1 cars of course! Strangely and unexpectedly late in 2007 I took a trip to this co-workers house to check out his "slot-car" track. I use those quotes sarcastically at that time. I was completely pessimistic and was used to the full control one gets at the hands of a RC car. Throttle, braking and steering to mention a few. Skill most importantly and I thought slot cars were anything but. Enter DBR and his magnificent Legends International Raceway of which you can see more at No pictures handy to support this, but I encourage you to check out the site and see for yourself. I was utterly in awe. Not only was there this race track in front of me, but it was beautiful in the scale model sense. It was a thrill to drive and most importantly it was a challenge to race on. I was instantly hooked. I quickly had visions of a designers creation mixed with a passion for racing. Maybe most importantly I have gained a good friend, someone I can share this insane hobby with. My thanks DBR.

White Lake Formula One Ring - The Background

I Love Formula One. It seems to emulate everything I'd hope to be as an individual. It's Fast. It's heroic. It's technically superior. It is the pinnacle. Of motorsport at least, and I adore that. But alas, I am a designer at heart and profession. I am no nearer to Formula One then I am to a great designer such as Frank Lloyd Wright, but I try relentlessly and for me that has been enough. I suppose simply, I have passion for anything I might try. With that I have set out on a rather unexpected path and when I sit back and gaze I realize I have created something quite extraordinary. Endlessly unsatisfied as other designers can attest, I have only just begun...

-My love to my lady, my number Eleven, for the encouragement to share this creation with others that might share my passion.