By: Sharon Aron Baron
Radio control car enthusiasts don’t have to go very far to enjoy their hobby in South Florida. The Coral Springs R.C. Car Track has been hidden in the back of the Richard D. Petrillo Park for over 20 years, yet many residents don’t even know it’s there.
“I lived near the track and didn’t know it existed,” said Michael Deak, a 12-year resident of Coral Springs, who not only became an enthusiast through a friend, he is now the president of the track.
The Corals Springs R.C. Track is a nonprofit organization that uses land the city leases to it. Volunteers maintain the track and pay for equipment and materials from racing fees. Open only on weekends, Saturday’s are used for practicing, and Sunday’s are race days.
Cars constantly flip over when racing, so in order use the track, racers must buy a ROAR membership, which gives racers $1 million in liability insurance. The cars weigh up to five pounds and go up to 40 mph. If someone walks out to flip a car and is hit by another one, they could get hurt.
The track is made out of clay that is brought in by truckload from Northern Florida. “It’s only $80 for a truckload of clay,” said Deak, “but it costs $500 for the truck to bring it to us.”
Volunteers maintain the clay track with a tractor and maintenance of the tractor is paid for out of racing fees.
Remote control cars can be a fun, but expensive hobby. Just like buying a car, you can pick out the make and model that suits your personality and budget. Cars can run from a few hundred to thousands of dollars.
Also, once purchased, in order to race at the track, you will need to install a MyLaps Transponder which can cost around $100. This works with the MyLaps Timing System that is in place at the track. There aren’t any volunteers standing around with stopwatches here. This is all computerized.
Deak says they are also expanding, and will be opening up another clay track soon. The new one will be oval in shape and will be on top of an abandoned on-road asphalt track that hasn’t been used in years. He anticipates it opening in October, weather permitting.
It’s free to watch practices or the races each weekend and families are encouraged to come. There isn’t a concession stand and there’s only a portable toilet nearby, but you never know, you may get addicted to this fast and expensive hobby.
For more information on the Coral Springs RC Track and schedule, see their website at: CoralSpringsRCTrack.com.