Remote control PMB event set to thrill

2014-11-07 00:00

REMOTE control racing enthusiasts will find plenty of entertainment at the Mandalay raceway in Pietermaritzburg this weekend as the final round of the South African Radio Drivers Association (SARDA) off road race gets under way.

The event was last held in the capital in 2010, and proved to be a popular event among drivers and spectators.

For those unfamiliar with the sport, off road remote control racing features gas and electric powered 18th scale buggies and truggies. The most popular race class among drivers is the 1/8th gas buggy.

There are a number of big name drivers expected to perform at the event. Durban driver and multiple SA Buggy Champion Dean Steenmans returns to the track after a two year break. He is highly regarded for his skill in tuning his buggies to suit different tracks.

Another exciting driver is Pietermaritzburg resident Jason Raath (21), who is also a multiple SA champion in the truggy class.

This year’s event has attracted 97 entries from around the country, although race referee and former Sarda chairperson Fred Houston-McMillan has tipped Steenmans and Raath as favourites.

“Being on his home track, Raath probably has the advantage in the truggy race, while I think Dean is the most probable winner in the buggy race,” Houston-McMillan said.

The action begins today with practice rounds at the track. Saturday sees drivers competing in the sprint and qualifying events, while the finals will be on Sunday. The top 10 qualifiers in the gas buggy and truggy categories will take part in an hour long endurance race.

Truly a labour of love, drivers only compete for trophies as Sarda races do not have prize money.

There is no entrance fee for spectators and refreshments are available at the track. The Mandalay track can be found on the New England Road Extension in Pietermaritzburg.

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