IF YOU THINK motor racing is an exclusive and expensive adult sport, it's time for you to get out more. At an 'indoor racing track' everyone can be a Formula One champion, cruising their Ferraris for as little as $600. Since the introduction two years ago of mini-Z racers - remote control (RC) cars made in Japan - more and more teenagers are joining and enjoying life on the fast lane. The mini-Zs are produced on a scale of 1 to 28 and, according to Fong Cho-yuen of EGR, an indoor mini-Z car-racing track in Mongkok, more than 30,000 mini-Zs were sold in Hong Kong over the past two years. He said the cost of a ready-to-race mini-Z could be as low as $600. Supplementary parts, equipment and tools were also a lot cheaper than other types of RC vehicles available in the local market, which has so far been dominated by the much larger and more costly 1/10 (scale of 1 to 10) models. Mr Fong, once an amateur racing car driver, knows the scene well, having cruised the tracks with 1/10 RC cars for 10 years. 'You only need about $2,000 to modify [and upgrade] your mini-Z, but you couldn't get an almost-ready-to race 1/10 RC with this amount,' Mr Fong said. The mini-Zs have proved popular among collectors as the range features many favourite car models such as the Ferrari and Porsche. They also have the advantage over 1/10 RC cars of being more portable, and indoor racing tracks in Mongkok and Kowloon Bay are more accessible than the 1/10 tracks which demand more space and are mostly located in the New Territories. Andy Lam Hok-nang, winner of the 1/10 RC race at Japan's Tamiya World Championships in 2000, thinks mini-Zs are great for RC racing beginners. 'The acceleration of mini-Z is not as good as that of 1/10 RC, and there is not much skill needed for steering it,' the 32-year-old said. 'The mini-Z is cheaper and more convenient [to race]. Its structure is simpler as well, which suits beginners.' Chung Ming-tat, 23, a Chu Hai College graduate, is a newcomer to mini-Z racing. 'It's not easy to control [mini-Zs] as they are really quite fast and you need to be patient in learning the skills,' he said. 'It's challenging.'