SLOT car lovers young and old made tracks to Swindon’s sixth annual Scalextric Swapmeet in North Star.

Yesterday’s event, organised by Scalextric collector Robert Learmouth of Priory Vale, saw more than 500 people flood the Oasis Leisure Centre to bag a bargain or race their favourite cars.

As well as 45 slot-car stalls, the event – one of the biggest of its kind in the country – boasted a 50ft long drag strip and race track.

Robert, who has collected Scalextric since he was a child, said: “There are two types of Scalextric lovers, the collectors and the racers and neither group can understand each other. The collectors don’t get why on earth you would want to race the cars and the racers don’t understand why you wouldn’t.

“When I set up the event it was to appeal to both types and as a result it is still here six years on and getting bigger.”

The event is always held at the beginning of the year to cater for those who received their first Scalextric sets at Christmas, such as six-year-old Daniel Clarkson.

Daniel has already got a taste for racing after beating dad Simon, 37, on the meet’s drag-strip.

“We have bought more track for a big race,” said Daniel, who was given the gift by his grandfather.

Simon, who had his own set as a boy, said: “I can see me getting back into this now that Daniel has his own track.

“It is nice to get him involved in something we can do together.”

For Sam Farrow and Hollie Wright ‘race nights’ can be more than a little competitive.

The pair, who travelled from Market Harborough in Leicestershire to race on the event’s huge track, often find themselves arguing over who gets the inside lane.

“We are really competitive,” said Hollie, 11.

“I always want the inside lane because the car moves better and I always want to choose the car first. We get a little argumentative sometimes.”

Sam, 10, said: “It is a really sociable thing to do, you just have to remember not to fall out if things don’t go your way.”

Racemaster Rob Lees said he had seen his fair share of bitter battles on the track, especially at his own Marlborough-based group Four Lane Black Top Slot Car Racing Club.

“Scalextric is not just a dads and lads game,” said the 52-year-old.

“It really is something for everyone, whether you have just been given a set for Christmas or dusting one down from the attic.

“I think having the swapmeet at this time of year always ensures a crowd with people having so much time on their hands, they have often rediscovered their set over the Christmas holiday.

“I love it as much now as I did when I was a kid.”

Four Lane Black Top Slot Car Racing Club is looking for permanent premises for its Tuesday night meets, after Southbrook Recreation Hall in Pinehurst Road was burned down in 2008.

“We are fairly nomadic,” said Rob. “But we need to settle down really.”

The club, currently based at Church Cottage in Silverless Street, Marlborough, welcomes new members.

To offer the club a home, email rob9lees@yahoo. com For further information on future swapmeets at the Oasis, and for stall holder enquiries, call 0845 634 3196 or email