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Slot car racing enthusiasts will soon be able to race against drivers anywhere in the world following a digital makeover for the popular Scalextric game.

Hornby - makers of Scalextric and its popular range of model trains - is set to unveil a new system that should be in shops ready for Christmas this year.

The "Scalextric Sport World System" employs hardware and software to let racers compete against each other by connecting their layouts to the Net via a PC.

A control unit fitted with a LCD screen allows racers to choose from one of nine race modes as well as other options including tuning cars, pit stop strategy and weather conditions.

Once hooked up to the system, it means that racers with the same track layout can compete against one another even if they're not in the same room.

Said Hornby chief exec Frank Martin: "We are confident that by combining interactive technology and actual track layouts, that we will start to develop an active community of keen Scalextric racers and enthusiasts, who are able to race against each other all over the world in virtual reality."

At this stage it's not clear how much the new system will cost or whether it needs a broadband connection. ®

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