Radio control car enthusiasts can now hone their skills at The East Coast Race Track

“Until now, the absence of a track proximate to the city had been a deterrent to RC car fans keen on trying their skills at such events. Just to give an idea of the fierce competition, the qualifiers at the off-road FEMCA races will last about four days. Without regular practice on an appropriate track, nobody can hope to perform well there. Being an off-road track, ECRT has indeed prepared Ankush and Satish for their acid test at Pattaya,” says Murali Kannadhason, founder-member of Indian Radio Control Racers’ Association (IRCRA), which provided critical inputs for the construction of the 150 ft by 150 ft track.

Building it proved a huge challenge. “Normally, a track is laid after the selected area is dug up to two feet and re-filled with sand that is naturally hard or made hard through chemical treatment. As the area was low-lying, the traditional method had to be given up. Huge quantities of clayey soil were laid over the marked area. Want of adequate chemicals to harden the beach sand forced us to settle just for this soil. Apart from posing some problems during downpours, the clayey soil works well,” says Murali.

Around 20 RC car enthusiasts — who have now banded themselves into a group called East Coast RC Racers — have taken to the track in a big way. Every Sunday, they hang out at the facility and race their nitro-methanol, petrol and battery cars.

The track, owned by Raj Kumar and Suresh, is open seven days a week and is allowed to be used by RC car enthusiasts for a fee. Members of the club can avail the facility at half the price.

Says Murali, “At this point of time, cars can’t be hired. People have to bring theirs, pay up and use the facility. If it catches on, the concept of hiring RC cars will give a big fillip to the hobby. After getting a track closer home, that would be the next best thing to have happened to Chennai’s RC car lovers.”