San Benito club brings scale race cars to life

SAN BENITO — The race cars slowed into the hairpin turn of the speedway.

Coming out of the turn, with a burst of speed they zoomed down the straightaway.

Then one car slammed into the barricade and went airborne, flipping over and landing on its top.

It was hit immediately by another car, which flew into the air end over end before crashing onto its side.

But at this speedway, no one gets hurt. That’s because these aren’t Indy 500 cars.

They’re one-tenth scale, battery-powered cars controlled by members of the Zoomers R/C Car Club. These “drivers” use hand-held radio transmitters to maneuver their cars around the race track.

Every Sunday afternoon, December through March, club members meet at the Fun N Sun RV Resort “Speedway” in San Benito to test their skills against each other.

It’s become a popular spectator sport among the residents of the RV park and others who come to see the race track action.

Many of them watch from golf carts that line the sides of the track. Others bring lawn chairs — all to see what the drivers call pretty much close to the real thing.

Why do they do it? Many of the club members are just plain car and race enthusiasts.

“A lot of these guys had cars, maybe hotrods or something like that, when they were younger and they’re racing enthusiasts. This is a nice way for them to renew their passion for cars,” club president Paul Sterkowitz, a permanent park resident who is a former Winter Texan from Chicago.

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