If you wander over to the Myenigon flyover on a Sunday evening you will be surprised to see sports cars drifting on the road in a crowded downtown area. These are toy cars driven on a scale model racing track and they attract large crowds of onlookers. This is the RC drift experience.
What is RC Drift?
RC Drift is radio-controlled drifting. These toy cars run like real sports cars but are operated by remote control. In Myanmar, RC Drift was only introduced in 2013, but now RC Drift enthusiasts have their own association called ‘Myanmar RC Drift Association’ and a Facebook page.
“Nay Makha from the first generation of our group created this page with like-minded people. Our objective is to spread this hobby among young people and promote it to an international level in the country. In Thailand, the sport has become quite well established and is flourishing. Internationally, the sport has tournaments and has become a sporting event. Similarly, we want this sport to spread among the people here so we can organize sports events. Our greatest wish and objective is getting permission to play this sport officially and get permission to sell the equipment officially in Myanmar,” RC Drift fan Harji explained.
The biggest and primary difficulty for them is the lack of a resource - money. The toy cars are built like real cars and they are a scarcity in Myanmar. The minimum price of each car is 300,000-400,000 kyat and the maximum price is around 2 million kyat. So it is not affordable for many fans.
Myanmar RC Drift Association member Ko Hlaing said: “Our main difficulty is a lack of money. The proper toy car costs at least 3-400,000 kyat. As soon as we started this sport, we were attached to it and became crazy about it, spending more and more on it.”
Another difficulty for them is the availability of space. Space is most important. The race track must be smooth to play on. “The surface of the race track is a primary factor for us. Previously we played this sport in People’s Square but we were in trouble when it rained. These cars are water sensitive and rainwater can damage the cars. So we shifted to this Myenigone flyover later,” Ko Hlaing added.
Myanmar RC Drift enthusiasts are trying to organize RC Drift sports events. They have successfully organized such events twice before. However, in technique and experience, they are left far behind by international RC sportsmen so they are now trying hard to catch up.
Crazy about RC
RC fans in Myanmar are really crazy about the sport, and they devote almost all their time to playing it. They believe that this sport is a benefit to them as it needs concentration and makes them stay away from bad habits.
Herji said: “We are really crazy about it. If we drive a real car in drift driving, it will be dangerous for us. And this game needs concentration. Though we cannot say there are significant benefits from this game for us, we can say it makes us stay away from doing other [possibly] evil things. So it is good for us.”
They have to assemble these toy cars themselves and they face a scarcity of parts and equipment, gear that cannot be bought easily in Myanmar so they have to import it. In addition to spending money on importing the parts they then have to wait a long time for delivery.
Their main objective is to contest in international events, but it is not an easy job to realise their dream.
Ko Hlaing said: “We will improve our technique and will fulfil other requirements. We are trying to go and contest in international events. Since we entered this sport very late we are left far behind them, we have to try very hard to catch up with them. But we will try hard to make our dream come true.”
If Myanmar youth wants to play
If you look at these cars, they are just remote-controlled toy cars. So you might think this game is not worth taking seriously. But this game requires technique and skill. Without proper practice, you cannot drive these toy cars on the scale model race tracks skilfully.
RC Drift is a combination of creativity, teamwork, and skill. If you want to test your talents in this game visit Myenigone flyover on Sunday in the evening. Then you will understand the attraction.
This Article first appeared in the November 12, 2015 edition of Mizzima Weekly.
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