Published by Cornwall Live and The West Briton Newspaper on 23/01/2017
While many people may have never heard of radio controlled car racing, it is fast becoming a world renowned sport in its own right.
Watching miniature cars zoom around an AstroTurf track at high speed, all controlled from a hand held device may not be everyone’s idea of sporting prowess, but the hobby is a very serious business for many dedicated devotees.
Members of Kernow Off Road Track near Helston are no different, with several club members now competing at national level.
Keith Burgess, chairman of Kernow Off Road Track, said: “I do race but I mainly run the club for fun, I enjoy seeing people having a good time. The younger age group are quicker because the sport requires good hand-eye coordination; I think it’s to do with all the Xbox games they play with hand held controls. I mainly run the club with a couple of dedicated members. It’s now my full time job.
“Worldwide it’s considered a sport; in the UK it’s a hobby. It is mainly a male dominated sport but we do try to encourage women too. Maybe it’s something to do with hanging out at a muddy track in the rain with doesn’t really appeal to the ladies.”
There are many varying models of RC cars, so choose your weapon wisely! All cars fit into a specific class from micro cars to trucks, with each vehicle weighing anything up to 20 KG. Mainly battery or gas powered, the vehicles are controlled from a distance using a radio transmitter.
The British Radio Car Association (BRCA) administrates national races and ensures safety at local and higher levels.The sport has a sturdy fan base, with 200 affiliated clubs and 8,000 plus members nationwide.
Like any sport, RC car racing has its own elites, with top professionals rumoured to be earning up to £100,000 a year.
Darren Newton, secretary at the British Radio Car Association, said: “We are the governing body for the sport, just like FIFA for football.
“We ensure a safe environment for racers, from members competing in nationally to those who ‘backyard bash’ and race at local clubs. Budgets for racing can range from a £200 upwards. My budget for last year’s races was £6,000.”
Any speed fiends out there who fancy getting their hands on the controls can find a list of accredited UK RC car clubs on the BRCA website.
Article can be views on The Cornwall Live website here.