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Old 06-19-2011, 05:52 PM   #1
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Default Outdoor Track Surfaces to suit night time pan car racing

Hi All, this thread is just sort of an initial inquiry. I'm looking at the possibility of developing a site for use by our onroad club. This site would need to be resurfaced but does have existing light fixtures that would make night time racing possible.

Our club currently races on astroturf at an indoor sports centre, and 1/12th scale and 1/10th scale pan cars are more popular than normal for Aus. They make up about 1/3 of our entries.

What I'm looking for is a surface that will still provide good traction for the pan cars at night. It would also help if it was a lighter colour as this aids visibility at night. Cost is, of course, a consideration.

The primary candidates are asphalt, which would provide good traction but is a darker colour, and Boral Coat which is a sand based paint that can be dyed in a variety of colours including grey. Boral Coat is used by another 4 clubs in our state, but I'm concerned that it doesn't offer enough traction for enjoyable 12th racing at night outdoors.

So, does anyone know of anything else that works well? What have you raced on that's a bit different? I've had one suggestion that we should stick with astroturf outdoors and have the world's only outdoor open air RC carpet track, but I think it would be difficult to keep it clean and dry outdoors - drying out times especially could be a problem.
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Old 06-19-2011, 07:11 PM   #2
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I've never heard of running on astro-turf...sound very odd and I'm surprised you get much grip on it with all the fake grass strands.

The color really only matters visibility wise when thinking of the barriers you are using. If your track barriers are dark then a dark surface will give you poor visibility. Most tracks in the US are a dark surface (black asphalt and dark grey carpet) with a high visibility white or yellow track barrier. As long as you have a lot of color contrast between the surface and the barriers then visiblity will be good.
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:08 PM   #3
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I've never heard of running on astro-turf...sound very odd and I'm surprised you get much grip on it with all the fake grass strands.
I've driven on 3 different astroturf surfaces now. The best ones are the ones that are worn down -- they are more like carpet then -- so long as they don't have rips in them. Pinks and Purples provide good grip on astroturf.

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The color really only matters visibility wise when thinking of the barriers you are using. If your track barriers are dark then a dark surface will give you poor visibility. Most tracks in the US are a dark surface (black asphalt and dark grey carpet) with a high visibility white or yellow track barrier. As long as you have a lot of color contrast between the surface and the barriers then visiblity will be good.
I've raced at night on both concrete and tarmac. With the concrete, because it is a lighter colour you get more reflected light which improves overall visibility of the area. The atmosphere is improved too because there isn't this black patch in the middle of everything sucking up all the light.

I realise that there may not be anything that is both light and providing high enough grip, but it doesn't hurt to ask around.
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:30 PM   #4
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I would think that a darker color would be best because during the day it will absorb the suns heat and at night the track would still be warm providing more grip, but i have little experience with foam tires on outdoor tracks so i could be wrong as far as the heat giving more grip with foam goes. Good luck with your track!
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Old 06-20-2011, 10:19 PM   #5
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Another interesting suggestion I had, was the sort of rubberised surfaces they use for children's play areas. they can be done in any colour or pattern you like, and if rubber doesn't provide good grip I don't know what will. Anyone have any experience with this?
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Old 06-21-2011, 12:49 AM   #6
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Another interesting suggestion I had, was the sort of rubberised surfaces they use for children's play areas. they can be done in any colour or pattern you like, and if rubber doesn't provide good grip I don't know what will. Anyone have any experience with this?
I have raced in a gym with a rubberized floor. Traction was non-existant for foam & rubber, rally treads worked OK. Dust was a nightmare. Asphalt all the way
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Old 06-27-2011, 09:28 PM   #7
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Ok, it does seem like Asphalt offers the best grip. Does anyone have any information on variants of asphalt, like bitumen or tarmac. What is the difference, and which one is recommended?
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Old 06-27-2011, 10:38 PM   #8
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Tennis court grade asphalt, spray with wd-40 once every couple weeks and after it rains and it will have great traction with foam tires, that is what my local track is.
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