The only thing smaller about the Classic Car Show at the Depot this year is the scale of some of the entertainment.
The Augusta R/C Racers Club will bring a track to the Depot parking lot to introduce remote control racing to fans of all ages.
Darren Brooks, founder of the club, said club members will come and put on a "regular race day." Mr. Brooks said this will include two rounds of Heat races, which qualifies racers for the Main races. Faster drivers will compete in the A-Main, and slower drivers will be in the B-Main.
The cars are 1/10 true-to-scale cars, powered by either gas or electricity. According to Mr. Brooks, gas-powered cars can reach 50+ miles per hour. Up to 10 cars can be raced at a time, with computer lap-counting race software similar to NASCAR keeping track of the results.
"We have an automated system that cost us $4,000, and we have a trailer, so we've moved up in the world a little bit," Mr. Brooks said.
Mr. Brooks and his brother-in-law founded the club eight years ago, after attending races at other clubs in South Carolina, and deciding to form their own as a business venture. While the business did not work out, Mr. Brooks said the club has continued, with approximately 35 members. Expenses are funded through racing fees. Mr. Brooks said the race in Thomson will be free, because it's a demonstration race. Also, he said racers have a further drive to Thomson, so he won't charge a fee as an enticement for them to go the extra mile.
The track will be set up in the Depot parking lot, which is a concern for the club founder. Mr. Brooks said he came to Thomson to look at the parking lot, and he understands there will be vendors and cars involved in the show, and he's worried he won't have adequate space. The R/C club usually races on Saturdays in the ToysR-Us parking lot on Wrightsboro Road in Augusta. There, Mr. Brooks said they set up their track with a straightaway of at least 100 feet, allowing the cars to reach their peak speed.
"(In Thomson,) we will try to make it as big as we can with the space we have. We still have to get the site down straight. ... The show guys will be setting up tents and cars, and so we just have to work that out because we do need a little extra room," he said.
Registration and races will take place throughout the day. Mr. Brooks said anyone who has a remote control vehicle may register to race. However, he cautions that people unfamiliar with the hobby may not realize what caliber of cars they race in the main races.
"People who are new into it don't know what type of class they are in, so they might show up with a Radio Shack type of car, and there just won't be any type of competition," Mr. Brooks said.
"Radio Shack" cars are encouraged, though. Mr. Brooks said a special time will be set aside for these cars to race together, also.
"The Augusta R/C Racers Club is looking forward to our first race in Thomson," said club member Bill Fox. "We hope that people will come out and race with us. If you do not want to race, come out and talk to our club members. We would love to tell you about our hobby."
For more information on R/C Racers, visit the website at www.augusta.rc.freehomepage.com.