Friday, 23 December 2011

Top Gear Test Track - Part One: Design

Welcome to the Christmas Project!

When I'm testing and checking cars in the "games room", I've often thought it would be handy to have a small test track rather than running up and down the loft ladder when I want to run the car.  Using some spare Scalextric track to make a very simple loop would be too easy - I wanted to make my own track this time...

So I started researching the slot car forums and scribbling different designs for a test track.  And then I remembered that Lotus had already designed the perfect test track for Top Gear.  A quick google and I had the satellite imagery with the track marked up:

I then printed a graphic version to fit the MDF board I wanted to use - 2 feet by 4 feet so it can be slid under the games room sofa when not in use.

I drew a grid over the paper and copied the track onto the grid I'd drawn on the MDF.

You can see in the image where I had originally drawn this lower down in the hope of making the board two-thirds the width but this wouldn't have provided enough space for the cars to get their back ends out, so I had to re-draw it into the centre of the board.

This is an accurate representation of the Top Gear Test Track but on the small scale I was using (not just 1:32, it's much smaller than that) the corners would be far too tight for the slot car guides.  So I had to use some artistic licence to keep the same basic shapes but adapted to ensure slot cars could get round it.


  1. I'm attempting to create the top gear track in actual track, space is the problem. Using digital track and running some 3 lane sections (Chicago etc) in its running form it's going to be at least 9 foot deep by 20. Anyway it going to make an interesting challenge at a Christmas celebration. I can't seem to find anyone else who's created this, but I've driven a minibus around the Dunsfold circuit in the snow. Just need a 90 degree and 2 more 3rd radius curves to complete. Why do we always have too many 2nd radius standard curves left.

  2. Great idea! If you post any photos or video online, please share the link here so I can check it out.