The Daventry miniature racing car club with big plans for the future
Just off the A425, outside of Staverton, is a club where one of Britain's lesser known subcultures can thrive.
Daventry Miniature Race Cars is home to a dozen slot-car and Scalextric tracks, where young and old can compete for the fastest lap time.
Sean Unit, 56, who co-owns the club with 24-year-old Karl Shingler, had just returned from a slot car festival where he set up a stand with one of his tracks.
“It’s amazing the following it has, and the different age groups too,” said Sean. “We had as many kids on the track at the weekend as we did adults, which was great.”
“There is nothing else like it, it’s unusual.”
Visitors to Daventry Miniature Race Cars will find a mezzanine packed with a range of race tracks suited to different levels of ability. Immediately your attention is caught by the club track.
It takes up almost a quarter of the floor space and was bought by Sean from a group in Yorkshire.
Four cars can race on the circuit and Sean is able to control the power to it so drivers of any ability can test themselves on it.
Along one side of the mezzanine is a 50ft drag track, equivalent in scale to a quarter mile, and a railway line runs all around the room which, when the locomotive chugs into gear, blasts out realistic sounds and moves just like the real thing.
As Sean demonstrates the train, which the children are allowed to control, he spoke of another motivation behind Daventry Miniature Race Cars.
“I want to get the kids involved in modelling, get them off the Xbox, and the parents do too,” he said.
“I know we all have a go on the console but it’s destroying the imagination of the kids. I have to say when I start the locomotive up and the dads are up here racing they do stop and get their phones out.”
The site’s main track downstairs is hooked up to a computer, allowing for each lap to be recorded.
The venue has proven well-suited to private parties, for children and adults alike, and Sean hopes to eventually run tournaments at the club which, thanks to the collectable data of a handful of tracks, will get competitive as racers try to out-do each others’ lap times and claim top spot on the leaderboards.
There’s even a podium in the corner of the room to crown the champions.
Sean one day hopes to add a historical side to his slot car club.
With room for expansion on the site, he has plans to turn his place into a tourist attraction, by creating a museum for all things model related.