Miniature car racers compete for big glory at first major Hong Kong ‘scale adventure’ event

Major sponsors and brands are looking to capitalise on the growing sport with prize money ranging in the tens of thousands

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 12 November, 2016, 8:52pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 12 November, 2016, 11:27pm

Radio-controlled car enthusiasts are gathered in Hong Kong this weekend to test their skills in the first major event of its kind in Asia.

The sport, dubbed “RC scale adventure”, is growing quickly, with major sponsors and brands looking to take advantage.

Nearly 150 drivers from 14 countries and regions arrived to a custom made track in Sheung Shui, to compete for more than US$30,000 in prizes.

This is the first time in its 10 year history that the Recon G6 event has been brought to Hong Kong from the United States.

The event features racers and crawlers – vehicles designed to climb rocks and tough terrain, rather than racing for speed.

“Right now the appeal is there haven’t been many of these events in Asia,” director of AsiaTees Hobbies, the main sponsor of the event, Jason Patrick Tsang said. “It’s absolutely growing worldwide.”

RC scale adventure is growing exponentially according to Tsang, with growth in sales doubling year-on-year.

RC cars can cost anywhere between HK$1,000 to HK$10,000. But as parts become less expensive, more people are getting in to the sport, he said.

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“The last five years have been the beginning of the scale adventure genre in the RC industry,” event founder Brian Parker said.

Some RC enthusiasts are even becoming YouTube stars. Canadian YouTuber, Aaron Bidochka, was at the event to film it for his channel. Bidochka’s channel has over 1 million subscribers and over 845 million views of his videos, highlighting the large scale of interest in the growing sport.

More than 30 companies sponsored the event including global brands like Monster Energy, a major co-sponsor in Hong Kong.

Seeing a market for their products, manufacturers of actual car parts are licensing out or developing their own scale parts, such as Pit Bull Tires and BFGoodrich.

The common agreement amongst enthusiasts is that a comradery develops between drivers and gives a family atmosphere to events.

According to Parker, the oldest participant in a G6 event was 93-years-old, proving it is a hobby people at nearly any age can get in to.