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Jul 5, 2015 9:32 PM

Remote-controlled cars: a fast-paced passion growing in NH

PEMBROKE - More than 200 remote-control enthusiasts challenged each other Sunday at the Route 106 RacePark.

The remote-controlled cars, customized at costs ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, has been a lifelong passion for many of the participants.

"Why do I love it? Speed junkie," said Andy Cordisco, who said he has been racing for more than 30 years. "People are often surprised by how fast they are. These are big-boy toys."

Cordisco said the cars can top speeds of more than 60 mph.

But in Pembroke, speed is just one factor in their fast-paced pursuits on multiple race tracks.

"R/C racing is remote controlled cars. It could be electric, nitro - they could even be gasoline," said Manager Kevin McDaniel.

The races at Route 106 are scheduled once a month. McDaniel said attendees are mostly hobbyists who enjoy being "weekend warriors."

Several remote-control drivers brought entire trailers filled with setup like a garage with small tools to fix their remote-controlled units.

"Every aspect of the car is tunable," said Ray Crowder, who has been driving remote-controlled cars since he was a teen. "From the tires, to your chassis, to your shock and suspension."

Remote-controlled airplanes and helicopters are welcomed at the events, too.

Although racers stand on a platform that towers over one of the dirt tracks, drivers say it's all about putting yourself 'inside' the car.

"If you're not thinking the way your car thinks, you're not going to do very well," said Cordisco.

The hobby also offers many learning opportunities. People of all ages are welcome, and very often generations share the passion together.

"[To] be able to take that car, make some changes, put it on the track and feel actually from the controller how that car handles. It teaches a lot of characteristics about real cars," said McDaniel.

There was no cash to win at Sunday's race, but the leading scorer received a 1st place plaque.

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