Open day at Mendip Model Racing Club

MEMBERS of the Mendip Model Motor Racing Club extend an open invitation to all to attend a fun day.

MEMBERS of the Mendip Model Motor Racing Club extend an open invitation to all to attend a fun day on Saturday at the circuit in Accommodation Road, Bleadon, between 11am and 4pm.

The aim of the day is to give locals the opportunity to view the excellent facilities and to encourage newcomers of all ages to the hobby/sport of radio control motor racing to bring their own remote control cars along of any description to try out for themselves on organised track sessions for a small fee, which will include expert advice and tuition in operating and maintaining their cars from experienced racers from the club.

The racing circuit was originally constructed during the mid 1970's on a former landfill waste ground site and was opened in 1977 by none other than rallycross driver John Button, father of current formula one championship leader Jenson Button.

Affiliated to the national governing body for model racing the British Radio Car Association (BRCA), the circuit quickly established itself as being regarded as the best in the country and with a club dedicated to maintaining the facility to the highest of standards, it hosted the coveted 1/8 scale European Championships in 1990.

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When the circuit was first built, the only cars raced were two-wheel drive, using temperamental 3.5cc glow motor IC (internal combustion) engines with a mixture of methanol and nitro-methane as fuel, just like full sized drag racers, and were in the main fairly unreliable.

Nowadays, the only similarity with those first cars is the fuel. Today's 1/8 scale circuit cars have to be seen to be believed - four-wheel drive, semi-active type suspensions that are fully adjustable, disc brakes, two speed gearboxes, special racing foam tyres and motors that produce well over two brake horsepower. With a power to weight ratio greater than a full-size formula one car, these machines are very quick. Classes raced are Sports GT (Group C).

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Over the last few years, a couple of new scales have been introduced which are also becoming popular. The first of these is the 1/10 scale. These are two-wheel drive versions of the larger 1/8 cars, similar in most respects with the exception of smaller 2.5cc motors. Racing for these cars has so far been limited to the touring car class in order to keep things simple. Lap times for the 1/10 cars are a little slower than that of their heirs, but not by much.

The newest additions to IC racing are large scale cars (1/5 and 1/4 scale). These cars use 22cc engines that run on standard pump petrol. Only two-wheel drive is allowed in these classes, together with several other restrictions to help keep down running costs. Classes are for touring car and sports GT and although slower than their smaller brethren, the sight of 10 large scale cars doing battle on the circuit is something to behold. It's easy to forget that you're watching model cars, especially the trucks and scale saloon touring cars.

The sport today is just as much fun as it always was, but with a myriad of choices to suit everyone's tastes and pockets it can be a daunting prospect for the beginner, which is why the club is keen to help with as much guidance as possible on days such as this.

The circuit also has on-site catering facilities which will be providing hot and cold snacks for the duration of the open day.

For further information and details please visit the clubs website at

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