Club member Derek Baker's Home Track
 
 
 
Upon moving to Hockley three years ago (near Southend, the club home), I surprised a few potential house sellers by asking to see in their loft. It appears that most people when they view a house donít ask to see this ?

At my previous house, the general condition of the loft would have required a lot of effort, and some light restructuring work to have enabled me to set up a track. Instead I made do with a simple oval attached to plywood that could be propped up against the garage wall when not in use. Although only small, it was better than nothing. Other than that, it was the usual lounge track that had to be built and broken down for each session.

 
 

Track One

So upon moving in, and after some of the more important jobs were completed, I started to floor the loft. Being a fairly new house, the condition was clean, which helped. The "walls" were also boarded, and posters, flags, stickers, lights, power and a fan added. The cleanliness of the loft means that there is never any problems with the cars or track from fluff, nor is there any issues with oil on the carpet.

Track One was a back and forth track in a figure of eight style. This meant I had to have a bridge / flyover, and decided to have a small raised platform, so that the track traveled up onto the platform, around, off the platform and back over the track. Problems set in immediately. As my track had been regularly put down and pulled up, a number of the joins were well worn. Also keeping the track in the garage had not done it any favours either from the damp.

The track never really worked correctly, despite cleaning, the use of one power supply per lane, booster cables, and wiring the track sections to each other. The main area of concern was the lead up onto the platform, where the change of angle always caused power problems.

 
 

Track Two

Eventually, Iíd had enough, and pulled it all apart. After a total clean up, and renewal of a number of pieces of track, Track Two was planned and laid, and is again a back and forth track, with different types of corners. The use of cross overs ensures the lane lengths are the same (just under 75 feet), and I have ensured that the type of corners are equal too.

So I now have my permanent track, and somewhere which I have decked out with posters and stickers etc. All of the BTCC and Rally posters are signed, whilst, unfortunately none of the F1 posters are.

The loft being the height it is, does not allow an adult to stand up straight, but this doesnít cause any problems, other than the odd bump on the head. I would love to build a scenic track, but with the loft height, this is not practical, as I need to walk between the track.

 
 

For the future, I have two plans, both of which depend upon me clearing out the other end of the loft. Firstly I would like to extend the track, and put in some major straights, although this will cause marshalling problems. Secondly, I would like to build a permanent STS TT track, although I need more of the specialised track (any offers ?).

 
 

Finally, one problem with a loft track is the over excited player who manages to launch one of your prized cars over the barriers and through the hatch onto the landing below. Yes this has happened, and surprisingly it was a friend, rather than one of my children.

Derek Baker