Racing towards a bright future
The name Brooklands is synonymous with motorsport; however the Surrey Super-Bowl of Speed has another namesake that is giving it its own run for its money, with world class racing happening most weekends at the Kent Race Track.
There has been a radio control race track at Brooklands (at the former Philippine Village) for more than 20 years, in that time the circuit has undergone some changes of both membership and also types of racing.
The club is now the largest 5th scale racing club in the UK and boasts over 70 competitive members who regularly attend, along with others from all over the country who make the pilgrimage down to the South East corner of the country to compete in both club races and also national races.
When The Looker went along to the track last Sunday, we met up with local racer Wayne Smith from New Romney, who took time out from both racing and marshalling at the track to tell us a bit more about it.
He told The Looker: “I am fairly new to the club having only been a member for the past 18 months or so, but it’s a great place to come if you are interested in the sport. There is always lots of advice so you can find out about the club before joining and always great deals to be done if you want to buy a second hand car.”
Mark Grant, who took over the running of the club two years ago, told us:” Today we have ten of our members racing in Sweden, representing not only the club but the country, we really are regarded as the leading fifth scale club in the country and we now own our own site, so we can race pretty much anytime. We will be introducing some electric car racing hopefully in the next few months, with the hope that we can start getting younger members involved in the club.”
The day we attended, there was indeed a mixture of ages, with the youngest racer being 14 years old!
The pits where bustling with activity as cars were being prepared for the morning qualifying session, with drivers adjusting the ride heights of their cars along with steering geometries and adjusting tyre pressures in the same way that the full size counterparts do. When qualifying for a race, the only difference is, the cost of the models are considerably cheaper than the full size counterparts, however, with some cars still costing £5000 plus for a top spec racing car you may need some deep pockets to take this sport on.
Wayne said: “It can be quite expensive at the top flight, but it can be quite cheap to start off with so if you are interested, pop along to a meeting and just have a chat with some of the club members and you could soon be racing here with your own car.”
The club regularly sees 30 – 40 drivers turning up at each race meeting to battle it out on the track, Touring Cars, Mini’s, F1s and Outlaws (‘Off Roaders’ with on road tyres) all wanting a podium spot!
You can listen to the roar of the powerful two stroke engine, allow the tyres to warm up then listen for the squeal of the tyres trying to maintain grip on high speed corners, smell the clutches coming to life as the power is launched from the engine to the wheels and know that the brakes are heating up nicely to ensure being able to stop on a sixpence! Believe me, once you’ve witnessed it – you’ll be hooked.
There is a full list of up and coming events at the circuit on their website: www.southeastrccc.co.uk
Or for more information give Mark a call on: 07931 913179