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On 6 december 2008 Michael Salven and me, were in China to open a new onroad rc car track.
The really nice new rc onroad track is located in Chengdu, on the central west side of China, a city of close to 15 million people.
Thomas and Jun, both owners from the track and also of newly opened rc shop LOPO RC, invited Serpent for this event.
RC Shop Lopo concentrates on rc cars, rc boats and rc helicopters for competition purposes (www.loporc.com). The shop has 2 well experienced staff-members, a good selection of products and spare parts, and they offer very good service with a workshop, internet facility and a big screen for virtal racing practice, ofcourse combined with a Chinese tea-corner to chat about the racing.
There are not that many permanent onroad rc tracks in China yet.
Shanghai has 2, Beijing 1 and now Chengdu 1 too. Lets hope more of the major cities in China will follow. These tracks offer a great platform to promote this hobby and will make many more Chinese people to become rc car racers.
This new venue in Chengdu should certainly host some big race like the FEMCA championship or similar larger event soon !
First Michael and me assisted to open the rc shop in the city, where a lot of guests and press had gathered. Not less then 3 local television stations, 6 newspapers and the Hong Kong based RC Magazine, all came to the grand opening in Chinese style.
Next was the opening of the Chengdu rc car racetrack, again will all press gathered too. The track is, surprisingly enough, situated in a residential area, with a restaurant / bar very nearby.
The track lay-out was designed by HongKong based Serpent driver Christoffer and offers a very challenging combination of high and low speed corners and 2 straightlines. The whole facility with pits, driverstand, rostrum and grandstand makes a very professional impression. The track will install a full AMB tme-keeping system within soon too.
The grand opening took place with many guests inside the nearby restaurant with an opening speech of Michael Salven as well. Michael Salven has been standing on podiums very often, but this kind of podium was a new challenge, but he made a good job of it, with the speech being translated by a young Chinese student.
A group of around 8 drivers with 1/10 scale gaspowered cars made a demonstration-race and then Michael Salven had a chance to put down the 1st few fast laps on this new track, to set the standard and a goal for the Chinese racers. A handclocked lap-time of 21.09 sec was recorded after a few first parctise laps. Michael Salven actually enjoyed the racing and te lay-out of te track a lot. This laptime is being painted inside the track, as a reminder of the opening laps.
After the official opening all guests were invited for a great diner, with a fabulous selection of Chengdu/Sichuan style food partially with lots of chillies, combined with Great Wall Chinese red wine.
We were very proud as Serpent to be invited to this opening-ceremony, we have made many new friends and a very happy to see that there a new initiatives to expand this great hobby into all parts of China in the years to come.
We wish the Lopo rc shop and the new rc track the best of luck for the future and hope many more rc racers will find their way to both the Lopo RC shop and the track.
Ronald Baar / Michael Salven