R/C Racing This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Competition is what keeps most of us going. Whether in school or sports, friendly or fierce, competition is found everywhere. I personally thrive on it, and seek it. Two areas where I enjoy competition most are school, where I consistently try to get the best grades possible, and mountain bike racing, where I try to go as fast as possible. Recently, however, I have discovered a new hobby where the competition is fast, friendly, and fun: Radio-Controlled Car Racing.

R/C racing is just like a full-scale motor sport, with cars and trucks designed to go as fast as possible around tracks. It has four categories: on-road electric, on-road gas, off-road electric, and off-road gas. All of these are divided into scales, with the size of the machines ranging from 1: 12 scale to 1: 5 scale.

The vehicles are not anything like the toy radio-controlled cars you can buy at a toy store. R/C racing cars and trucks share many features with their full-scale counterparts. The majority have oil-damped coil over suspension, real rubber tires, power steering/throttle, and differential axles. In fact, some of the higher level models include disk brakes with ABS (anti-lock brakes), adjustable clutches, head and tail lights, and automatic transmissions. Yes, all these features are contained within these miniature vehicles.

Electric cars can reach speeds of 45 m.p.h., and the gas-fueled cars top out at around 70 m.p.h. Don't be fooled by these numbers, however, because some who modify their machines obtain speeds of over 100 m.p.h.!

With all these advanced components, it is obvious that they were created for racing, which takes place on closed-circuit courses and tracks. Off-road courses are usually a mixture of soft and hard dirt with jumps and berms thrown in. On-road courses test driver skill with high speed straight-aways, tight turns, and wide sweepers. Races are held with between two and twenty cars. Depending on the power supply, the races can be as short as five minutes (high power electric vehicles) and as long as one hour (gas vehicles).

The competitions are amazingly like real car racing, with pit stops and mechanic work stations. Competitors are very friendly and the events challenging. Winners usually receive money or valuable R/C goods. However, by simply participating in an R/C race, you will be awarded with a sense of pride, accomplishment, because driving a tiny car or truck from as much as 100 yards away on a difficult course can be challenging.

So, if you are the type who likes cars, speed, advanced machinery, and most of all, competition, you should give radio-controlled car racing a try. If you do, you will experience first-hand the

challenges of real motor sports, only smaller! l


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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