View Full Version : Ann Arbor, MI Track

2002.02.06, 09:17 PM
We're checking into the feasibility of setting up a full time Mini-Z track (very nicely done w/ scenery etc.!) in Ann Arbor, how many people would be likely to come to regularly scheduled races? Dates and times TBA based on what works best for everyone.

2002.02.06, 09:43 PM
scenery is kinda not so important, track surface, area of track, low interferance at facility, and maybe a place to sit while fixing car...

And I might go once a year... too far to drive. Go about 10 miles north make it that much easier ;)

Any one in Troy, Lakeside, Rochester, Utica Sterling Hieghts Warren etc area? I know a place we could build a "franchise" of the Mini-Z shop track... they have gokart track already.. why not add a Mini-Z track hehe...

2002.02.07, 08:17 AM
I would be into it - maybe once a week? There really is no good place to go race, and I have some ideas for making a good track - It would need to be flexable, so that you could race different line-ups every week if you wanted to

2002.02.07, 04:41 PM
Mini-Z, do you already have a facility in mind? -- if so give aprox dimensions... with in half a foot... of the area to be used, if its indoor outdoor, high cieling... garage... busy area... a shop... or jus the ypsi store... I will plot out a track layout or two... I have a few rather radical ideas ;) wich require hatches for spotters ;) hehehe....

2002.02.07, 07:42 PM
I am building a track right now to fit in my office space - it's basically 12 x 12 - I'd like to talk about your layout ideas to see if they can fit this track space - I am a carpenter, and I have designed a modular track and can build just about anything ...

2002.02.08, 10:30 AM
Draconious, talk to BudSonic, I think we only want to use about 8x12 in order to have some space around it, but possibly an L cut out of the 12x12 would work.

2002.02.08, 10:59 AM
Anybody interested in making a sweet ass track should talk to minizhobbyshop
theyve got the sweetest set up and the new track surface adds some killer realism and gives your skills a workout

2002.02.08, 11:06 AM
Sweetest now, but not for long :D -- Detroit is the Motor City ;) so we gota have the GOOD track ;).

only 12x12 -- hehe I better erase my 10x30 design :D -- wasnt realy intended for this though... I was going to put room for all the spotters/marshals to access track all the way around.. etc..

You plan on doing it table top? or just drop it on the floor? --- The unmentioned advantage to a table top is, whoever your renting or using the space from (hobby store for example) can use the space UNDER the table to store things... they can build it up with ply wood and lock it even.. hehe. mini- crawl space if the track is huge.

I am currently working on fixing my Mini-Z so track layouts on hold ;) at least for a few hours. (I got my range back and a whole lot more - new thread comming soon!)

And a typical rectangle would be kinda boring, so my plans were U shaped tables, and L shapes and V shapes etc.. the indents being the access points for marshals etc... --- but they would need padded sticks to reach the cars deeper into the table the way I had it, ultra mega size ;) almost a 5 foot reach to the center... (10 across).

How much space is the ROOM? give me EXACT dimensions I will design the whole blasted room shelves for radios, room for lap counter - anouncer station etc.. what I was already drawing ;).

2002.02.09, 05:19 PM
The room is 18' x 14' with a 36" door that swings in, hinged 3' off the centerline of the 18' side - I am new to this, any help would be appreciated, I'll make a killer track for sure, + this office space is mine, 24 - 7, and the building has 24 - 7 access, parking, bathrooms.

I saw that track layout program, and would like to get a copy to see if I could build some sort of modular system to emulate the flexibility that the tool gives you; in other words, make a basic track suface all around, with modular barrier units, corner radii, lane markers, ramps, etc. Email if you want,


I agree that motor city should have the best tracks, to go along with the best mini-z websites

2002.02.09, 08:14 PM
I have a lot of sketches, most on paper a few in cad, of modular parts.. cant realy come up with a super modular part, so far the best is pipe insolation velcroed or pinned down with thum tacks or someting... like maybe a layer of cork board under the track carpet... but it depends if you want a good looking track I guess, then the modular blocks of wood etc, would allow those corner curbs etc... Might even come up with a removeable Upper level ;). If done right the upper level could be above the marshal area.. so its not actualy over the track, but raised so marshals can reach under it to the main level etc...

I am going to have to say, GET A BIGGER ROOM! :)

I only say that cuz, I am starting to feel 20-24" should be used for curb distances... 500mm.... unless everyone likes smashed bodies ;), or unless its pro only, wich means I sure cant drive there, no one in their right mind will want to put their car on the track if I am driving on it ;).

2002.02.09, 09:51 PM
Kinda cramped, especialy leaving a bit of room for wood blocks etc for curbs... - I just drew the curb lines 650mm apart, and dialated the img... so its about a 550mm from curb to curb, about 22 inches...

2002.02.10, 01:41 PM
Previous track was a worste case scenario, if track had to be wider and curb blocks were wide... (the lines beteween the track in previous photo, and this one, include space for the curbs).

In this photo the track is 20" curb to curb... using a 500mm track, with a 30mm minimum curb from track to parallel track, 3/4 block of wood with 5mm padding/tape on each side of block.

2002.02.10, 02:02 PM
Drac - nice! We were thinking of putting it up against the wall, but your centered layout looks great! I would go down to 18" for the lanes, that should be plenty even for novices.

2002.02.10, 02:13 PM
Well I curerntly feel that 18" is pushign the narrow limit (and I use to want to use 16" hehe). I would have to actualy build a 18" track though ehhe. It is likely great and nice and wide for 1 car going around the track... but if there is lap traffic, or your oponent, there is going to be broken/chipped bodies more then half the time while passing, at least the way I DRIVE! :) But If the Mini-Z were stable, no interferance, totaly fixed reciever etc.. then the 18 would be just fine... my logic is leaving in some drunk driver cant go straight room, servo twitches, driver error etc...

But 2" shaved off of each of those 7 grid lanes means an extra 14" and making table or track space a bit wider would give an 8th lane. I was trying to keep them even numbers, so when u go North you can come back south.. helps track layouts

The gap from wall to track in the rear areas.. is 2 foot... should be enough for my fat ass. Could bolt a shelf like bench along the walls back there that could fold up walk in and fold it down to sit on hehe...

However if the walls dont suck the car in or make it STOP, it wont be so annoying to be narrower.. reason I liked the tape over foam over wood block idea...

2002.02.10, 03:19 PM
Take 3... 18" track... red line is a 12x12 carpet piece

2002.02.11, 09:29 AM
3D version -- only reason I am making 3D version is cuz I am using it to design a MODULAR track.. the parts in this picture will be move able.. and are not fixed... I also have to redo the outer-curve curbs so they can mesh with adjacent curves and pieces.. so they kinda look off center here.

Eh.. too over board?!

2002.02.11, 01:50 PM
Nice Drac! So what will be on the infield?

2002.02.11, 02:04 PM
Not trying to jump in your threads, but Drac .. nice designs!! I am trying to come up with some ideas myself.. can you say "borrow"
just kidding.. ;)

2002.02.11, 04:18 PM
Infiled whatever you want... when you see the final track pieces, it will make more sense... those curves are just a copy past job to make it look like someting is there... the outer and inner red/white curb will be seperate from the curve wall... so it can be a wide or tight corner...

The current design will kinda snap together with pegs. I redid the curves already... the red/white curb was kinda making the track too narrow.. so I made it not so big, but its still just enough to make the car tilt so the side of car hits the wall before the mirrors, at least on some bodies.

If I had $$ I would already build the "prototype" pieces... I have access to almost an entire wood shop, but its plenty to build the parts I am designing... I will probly have to custom some type of cumpass cutter for the radi parts, that can hold a dremel/router on an angle to get the slope... but who knows maybe I will show up with the curve pieces etc.. one day at Ypsi, can test them out on the floor there... hehe. If they work, then we build the table...

I have an idea of, but not a plan yet, for a move able ramp... so a 2nd level might be possible, but the track is so short it wont realy gain that much. but it will fill the craving to drive up/down a hill or two.

2002.02.11, 08:50 PM
Refresh of the 3D file... :D -- you can tell I have nothing better to do ... <translation> I have no life </translation>

Dark Yoda
2002.03.07, 09:54 AM
grand rapids here.... Hmm ann arbor wouldn't be to bad to hit every once in a while but I don't think I could make it more then once a month(maybe a little longer then that ..) right now we use a church room (it's big) industrial carpet so pretty good traction and just way to many tubes of sand(blue about the same height of the cars) that we just lay out in different track forms when we get together

2002.03.07, 11:12 AM
that's a good idea with the tubes - I'm still trying to think what would be the ultimate flexible layout device - we've been thinking about some hose types, I think it's gonna end up being a combination of things, unless it is a permanent track setup. Whatever I end up doing, I'll post it here, for sure, also, we will have some sort of grand-opening party or something so you can come over.

Dark Yoda
2002.03.07, 12:31 PM
tubes isn't really what I meant... you know those little round tubes things filled with sand that you put at the bottom of a door to help keep the draft out ? it's like that but a whole lot LONGER.

2002.03.07, 01:02 PM
yeah, draft stoppers, that's exactly what I was thinking of - did you find ome nylon tubes or make 'em yourself? I know they would be e-z to make, my wife has a nice sewing machine - you would get alot from a bolt of cloth -

Dark Yoda
2002.03.07, 01:04 PM
hmm not sure I could ask around see if anyone knows where they came from...

2002.03.07, 02:08 PM
What I wana know is what you plan to use for the surface? ;) -- Ozite with Super Grip rubber spray on it? :) -- is it going to be table top or floor?

And I asume you have no interest in using one of my track sets? :D I think the size in my renderings would be under 80$ worth of materials... and it will look nice.. and bounce off the wall nice (I hope, need to test it when built)

2002.03.07, 02:19 PM
Well, I'm up in the air about all this, as I am having trouble securing the space for the track - tha space I had at first has been put on hold because of the building's transfer of ownership, so we are looking around - I think I am onto a much larger space, so we'll see what happens.

2002.03.07, 04:34 PM
YES BIGGER BIGGER BIGGER! I want big place to set up a huge track with mytrack pieces for photo purposes :)

Mini-Z can you stock OZITE?! http://www.ozite.com -- need retailer ID/tax id etc to buy it whole sale... I want a 12x12' piece... if not 2 of them. -- the site they link to to buy it is totaly not related to them... and dont realy respond to emails.

If you can get it I can say buy the OZite here, and the track set from me...

I still ponder over just getting a large roll of construction paper and saturating it with tool dip rubber flexible paint for a flat surface...

2002.03.07, 10:27 PM

Bud, we've got the warehouse now, didn't I tell you?!

Drac, sure, we can do that for you, email me to discuss.

RE surface, right now we're thinking rubber paint-type coating for the tabletop Mini-Z track, and ozite for the floor level Micro track.

2002.03.07, 10:43 PM
My mom wants to open a pizza place... and she said she woudl put a few arcade machines in it.. I said hell with that put a Mini-Z track there! hehe.... Pizza-Z hehe... so if you truely have a place, see if you can cook there, leagaly :)

I was going to say, I bet we can get a Vacant K-Mart building realy cheap soon!!! :) :) :) :D

If you realyhave a warehouse, give me the aprox space you are using.... or have been allocated. :) for now I will asume thats a joke ;)

2002.03.07, 11:04 PM
No, not a joke at all, it's gigantic, e.g. there are trucks parked in there at the moment. Not that the Mini-Z track should fill up the whole space...:eek:

2002.03.07, 11:12 PM
good get the high ceiling in use, Mini-ZRacer.com AI controlled blimp hehe...

2002.03.08, 07:52 AM
umm.... no it is a warehouse, but I haven't seen it yet - I guess the sh*t*Y economy has opened up some real estate bargins --- I'll keep y'all posted

2002.03.09, 12:38 AM
good get the high ceiling in use, Mini-ZRacer.com AI controlled blimp hehe...

Actually this is a really good and practical idea, the guys who make the cam we used for the Mini-Z cam also make blimps (http://www.plantraco.com/cgi-bin/af/b.cgi/358) !!!

2002.03.22, 10:56 AM
Wel, hobby funds (the aquesition of) overode racing again this week. Lowes has a rubber backed version of ozite that would work for buds 1/18 and hpi micro. or any foam tire. we used some at washtenaw. it was lumpy but had been taped down and raced on at two former commercial tracks. new un-stretched would lay flat and it was about 57 cents a running foot in 6' widths. From my experience a 6' wide lane is great for micro cars. you can run with less but at the carpet racing league this winter thats what the micro cars ran and it was popular. a 24 x36' area works well and is the equivalent to most comercial 1/10th layouts.

2002.03.24, 06:04 PM
Wow Ken, do you have any kind of PN for this stuff? And is it static-free like hobby ozite or not like speaker ozite? We'll certainly be looking for your help with the track, I can't recall if you were there when we discussed it.

2002.03.31, 02:29 PM
If you havnt yet, when do you plan on starting the track?

2002.04.01, 12:21 AM
Drac, haven't started yet; we will be pretty much ASAP, depending on a couple of things.

2002.09.16, 01:52 PM
i live in ohio but wouldn't mind taking a trip up to michigan once or twice a year for some serious regional type racing.

2002.09.21, 05:46 PM
West.F1, that would be great!

2002.09.21, 09:28 PM
when your track's done and you decide to host a regional meet, i'll make arrangements to come up. perhaps share the cost of a motel room with someone else heading up there. let me know when.

2002.09.22, 12:00 AM
Cool! Will do!

2002.09.23, 02:31 PM
is too much traction a problem????? like using carpet backing or rubber spray???? okay if you have unreal grip then it takes away from the realness of the race Cars should spin out??? or should they just flip?? all I'm saying if the surface is too good then it takes away from the setup and the driving skills. do any real race cars circuts use a rubber surface to race on????

Just an Idea

2002.09.23, 03:26 PM
well, i would say it is possible too have too much traction.

at our LHS where we use the underside of carpet, using new lower degree tires could lead to oversteer until the tires have been worn in a bit (scrubbed?). even after some wear, the cars drive like they're on rails with minimal to no sliding. drifting is not an option.

2002.09.23, 04:03 PM
Don't you think you need a little drifting

Just to keep it real!!!!

2002.09.23, 05:42 PM
i guess i should clarify that i'm more an F1 fanatic. For F1s, there is no drifting.

i would agree however that drifting is more realistic for races involving sedans.

(BTW, i saw the Green Bay - Detroit NFL match up. good game)

2002.09.24, 10:37 AM
but F1 cars do spin out and get crazy in the turns..........and they flip too!!!! lol

(Oh I'm originally From Philadelphia So I bleed Green(Eagles)
Mcnabb is the Man!!!!

2002.09.24, 10:41 AM
I'm pretty much finished with my Banked turn system on my Track if you like I could help with the construction of the Ann Arbor Track Not trying to say I'm the track expert but I think I can build anything that you want!!!!

2002.09.25, 03:46 PM
I got this track bug something serious how long till Mini-z track is open in Ann Arbor

2002.09.29, 12:02 PM
lightfighter, is your track done? Can I come check it out!? The AA track is going to be a pre-built as soon as the donor comes through; however, maybe we should have 2!

2002.09.29, 09:25 PM

if they don't have grass, corner markers, a cross over bridge, sponsor signs and trees, then i aint comin' :mad: :D

2002.09.30, 09:31 AM
I'm still working on it!!!!!!!! I finished the banked turns....but I need to rework the rest of the track.........So I'm going to home depot today and grab some masonite and lay the whole track out which it will be rasied off the floor some so I can have hills. I wanted to have a quick presto change o track, but it has grown into a serious project. If your going to do something do it right!!! Give me 2 weeks and you guys can come an check it out!!!!

I have all the parts to make the lap timer.......so it will be the real deal!!!!