Slot cars offer mini version of auto racing in Northwest Austin

Slot cars modeled after Formula One cars wait at the starting line.

Slot cars modeled after Formula One cars wait at the starting line.

Much like its real-life counterpart, Races2U’s miniature version of the Circuit of The Americas has spectators dotting the speedway’s grandstands. However, the Races2U crowd includes a guitar-plucking skeleton between turns 13 and 14 and an alien robot above Turn 15.

The quirks are all in good fun, owner Warren Peck said, but they do not overshadow the competition enjoyed by children and adults who race and maintain remote-controlled slot cars.

“I like to think that it’s as much fun as real racing but without the danger and expense,” Peck said.

Peck opened Races2U’s retail store in April 2015 after forming the company as a mobile business in 2010, he said.

Races2U offers slot-car tracks and races for private parties (starting at $300) and corporate events (starting at $1,000). The retail store on Anderson Mill Road is open by appointment, and customers can race for $15 an hour, Peck said. He said the activity is suitable for children as young as 6 years old.

He is also involved in trade shows and charity events, but it was the growth of his corporate clients that led Peck to open a retail location.

Although the retail store has turned a profit, getting to that point was challenging, said Peck, who invested personal savings into the business.

But Peck said having a physical location has been beneficial. He said he believes the store has brought Races2U more legitimacy and has provided room for the business’s growing inventory of slot cars and other equipment.

26“These cars don’t last forever, so I have to keep a stock of cars,” he said. “I figured if I’m going to stock cars I might as well stock a bunch and have a retail store.”

Peck recently began offering services at children’s day camps, which he said lets him highlight educational components of slot-car racing.

He said slot cars teach children about automobile maintenance as well as physics and electricity. They can also be an alternative to video games, he said.

“It’s a lot more than a toy,” Peck said. “It’s a hobby and a learning experience.”

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10401 Anderson Mill Road, Ste. 108B, Austin
Hours: open by appointment