I saw a notice today about a slot car race meet going on at the Portuguese Hall in Ferndale, so I went down there this morning to check it out. The hall was filled with (mostly) guys racing HO scale slot cars on about 6 different tracks. It starts out as a team sport with teams pairing off against each other. Each team runs races on all of the tracks in different sessions, and each session pits two team against each other at the same track. They have several races at each session, so that each team member gets a chance at each lane. This evens out any advantages or disadvantages between lanes, as well as evening out the results due to the many accidents that occur.
All the scoring is done by computers at each track, with the computer turning on the power for the start and then shutting it down after the two minute session. It all appeared pretty serious, and over a third of the hall was dedicated to a pit area, where repairs and tuneups could be performed.
Ferndale had its own team, but there were also several teams from the Bay Area, some from southern California and Oregon. But as an indication of how seriously some people are involved in this competition, there were also teams from Kansas City, and Miami. The competition runs all day and night, with teams competing first, and then individuals competing later. I imagine there will be a lot of sore trigger fingers in Ferndale tonight.