Rubber Off-Road Track?

Rubber Off-Road Track?

Electric off-road is the most popular form of racing, but has more than its own share of controversy. A long laundry list of viral arguments can be heard by many of the racers, highlighted by the use of carpet, astro-turf, or clay, instead of the more traditional loamy, loose dirt surface. Well, now there is something else to throw in to the mix. Bakersfield R/C Experience, located inside Bakersfield Karting Experience (BKE), recently opened its doors to the public and is already raising a lot of eyebrows with its unusual track surface. The medium sized track is in a large complex that also includes full size indoor dirt oval karting and other fun activities and the RC track is already garnering a lot of attention. Fortunately, we got a chance to chat with Kyosho’s Zachary Rogers, who is one of the fast locals to find out more.

Address: 3101 Gilmore Ave., Bakersfield, CA 93308

RC Car Action: What is the surface of the track? 
Zack Rogers: The surface is a rubber mat, such as you would find in the weight room at a gym.

The under base is around 50’x85′, but the upper deck covers about a quarter of the track if you count the surface going over the pits and walkway as well.

It looks pretty high grip. What would you compare it to?
Surprisingly I would say as of right now it is less grip than most might think. Not as crazy as carpet, but better than your average clay track- the perfect in between if you will, although that might change as more cars run and we learn tires /setup /sauce, etc.

Why did the owner decide to use this surface?
The owner actually has very little background in RC, however he wanted something low maintenance and consistent and he got exactly what he was looking for. Before they hired on an R/C experienced crew, they already had a beautiful track with jumps in place, so major props to Joey Yantis and the whole BKE crew! 

What tires do you use?
We have tried three different compounds and endless tread patterns so far, but it seems like anything clay compound works best. However slicks seem to be the fastest. Which is great news for anyone in Bakersfield that runs at both tracks since we have Rainmans Hobbies about 15 minutes across town.

Web site?

Coming soon, but be sure to check us out on Facebook and Instagram: @BakersfieldRCExperience for both.

Is there club racing?

Yes, first race was Monday Dec. 5th. We plan on running Monday and Thursday nights at 6:30pm every week. Odd days I know, but this is due to working with the other track’s schedule in town as well as our Go Kart tracks schedule.

Kyosho’s Zachary Rogers is a local at the new Bakersfield R/C Experience and is enjoying the rubber track surface.

Kyosho’s Zachary Rogers is a local at the new Bakersfield R/C Experience and is enjoying the rubber track surface.

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Updated: April 18, 2017 — 12:36 PM


Add a Comment
  1. It was dark when I woke. This is a ray of suihsnne.

  2. I see a lot of people complain about not having loose dirt to run on, but not many of them putting up the time and money to build an off-road loamy track.

  3. This looks awesome. if you want loamy tracks go outside and hope it doesn’t rain. hard pack clay, turf, carpet, and now rubber is idea for indoor. and you’ll never see a dirt track with a multi-level set-up like this.

  4. Categorize the surface how you want, this track and its surface is one of the most fun and exciting things I’ve raced one. RC is constantly evolving, part of the evolution is alternative race surfaces, if you believe this is the same as conventional on road racing you’re way off, if your too stuck in the past then you can go back the brushed motors, mechanical speedos, nicad or nimh batteries and race in your backyard. The rest will be having fun in the present.

  5. it might be fun for people just starting out in rc or low-budget rc trucks and buggies but I like the after race clean-up and bench racing its a time you get to clean everything up check all the parts on your rig for the next race I see people just bring their trucks and buggies out not checking a thing parts falling off then someones truck or buggies picking a screw up in a tire and shooting it like a bullet then someone going to sue this poor guy I hope he has someone tech. the trucks and buggies be for they let them on the track still might be fun when its 98 deg.out or raining out I wish him all the luck in the world but real off roading is mud and dirt

    1. According to you…

  6. Considering how much prep work we put into dirt tracks to make them appealing I see no issue in unique surfaces such as this. Every dirt track wants consistency, traction, low maintenance, and conservative tire wear. Nearly impossible to achieve with dirt. Surfaces like this may be a solution to our constant track closings. Awesome job Bakersfield it looks great!!!

  7. Charles Please note this track was not set up a a R/C race facility, it was going to be a track to drive “rental slashes” on, at a indoor go-kart facility. So having a low maintenance track for rental cars was top priority. It just so happens that after Zack Rogers got the chance try the track, they realized how cool it could be to race on. So mainly, its just something a little different. At least the track will be the same for everybody during qually and race, due to aggregate times being used in r/c racing.

  8. I am just glad that there is another track out there. Anything that helps promote and expand the hobby is a good thing, no matter what the track surface is. Even full size motorsports have expanded the surfaces they run on (rally racing, and trucks running road courses with metal ramps- for example). I personally enjoy the different surfaces– and the different set-up challenges they provide. Learning to drive on surfaces that offer varying levels of traction makes you a better driver, and that can only be a good thing.

  9. I fully agree, anything on carpet concrete (or dirt mixed with concrete) is not off road racing. Dirt is loamy and unpredictable, It’s what makes it fun

  10. Ha,ha, 30 years ago when they started “Blue grooving” the off road tracks, I had the same feeling. Its different, but still R/C racing. I will try this track. Until then I’ll keep racing with the “Real Men” up in Tehachapi on our dusty, rutted, sometimes muddy tracks that require an hour or two, cleaning trucks when we’re thru racing. (I promise I won’t show up there with a dirty truck!! LOL) Ron

  11. I’m sorry if your (RACING OFF ROAD THEN IT MUST BE ON DIRT OR CLAY OR IT’S NOT OFF ROAD RACING) now I don’t know what is going on in the R/C world but we need to get back to the true meaning of our R/C WORLD

    1. According to you… (BTW, nobody is forcing you to try it.) Go back to your thriving off-road dirt track then!

  12. Please note it is not “OFF ROAD” unless it is an all dirt or clay surface, carpet, astor turf, rubber, asphalt, water, or anyother surface you come up with it NOT OFF ROAD period. How dumb are these people. It like calling a nitro engine a motor or an electric motor an engine, they are clearly differnt.

  13. What the heck happened to OFF-road racing? We started out with dusty loamy tracks kicking up roosts in changing and sometimes unpredictable conditions and it was great! Then something happened and the track surfaces went through a change. From extremely hard packed clay, to carpet, to turf, and now rubber? Wow! No more power-sliding through the loose corners, but instead we’re now using slicks with sauce? Folks, this is really just ON-road racing with jumps. It’s like a role reversal happened with the traction factor for the ON-road drift scene where they are looking to power-slide through all the corners for the challenge of keeping control under lower traction conditions. Hmmm… I totally understand the cleaner and lower maintenance factor to these surfaces, but it’s like we lost something along the way with going off-road and kicking up some dirt. Isn’t it just like taking a motocross (or short-course) track and covering it with carpet or turf (or even *gulp* pavement) and having them run street tires that have been soaked? Food for thought… Maybe someday, somebody out there is going make a track surface entirely out of Legos! Ha-Ha!

    1. I agree… off road is dirt!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. Unless it’s not…

    2. You are correct this is just sad. If you to lazy to clean your rc, mantain your track or to get dirt for off road, just stay in the city and ON ROAD. Leave the off road sutff to the real men and women!

      1. Ooh! Dirt is macho! You must be better than those of us who would love to try this track! I’m not lazy… I’m open minded.

    3. A track made of Legos?!? We should make it mandatory for all the turn marshalls to remove their shoes before marshalling. Have you ever stepped on a Lego with your bare feet? Ouch! And you thought it took turn marshalls forever to get to your car before Lol

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