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They drive off-road vehicles over bridges made of fire hoses

They drive off-road vehicles over bridges made of fire hoses

On October 14, the Weiz Model Sports Club will hold a model car competition on its new track in Kleinsemring near Gothenburg. We looked over the shoulders of club members as they mastered the course.

The indicators flash, the lights shine, and the windows roll up and down. Even the dashboard inside looks amazingly real. “The toys stay the same, but they get more expensive,” says Thomas Pichler, laughing and pointing at his model car.

The “Toyota Chassis TRX4” (with Toyota LC 70 body) is a remote-controlled vehicle model (scale 1:10). You can’t find a car like this in a toy store, but in specialized stores. “There are also powerful batteries installed, and the costs can be endless,” says Pichler. Its enlarged “Scaler”, i.e. the model as detailed as possible, costs between 1,300 and 1,400 euros.

Like a real car: the dashboard also lights up
© Julia Kammerer

You are not driving on the road, but on a specially designed road. In Pichler’s case, at Kleinsemring near Gothenburg. There he is a member of the Weiz Model Sports Club (MSV).

Within two days, club members built a new off-road track, an off-road track, near Stoffmühle in Kleinsemring. The reason for this is the “Austrian Range Adventures” competition on Saturday.

The obstacles are absolutely amazing: there is a spiral staircase made of wood, suspension bridges built from fire hoses, and an old rabbit cage converted into a tunnel. “It’s known among members as the Kleinsemring Base Tunnel,” says Thomas Pichler with a laugh.

Whoever thinks that he and his colleague Stefan Baumeijer are racing over obstacles at a fast pace is wrong. At walking speed, that is, very slowly, the two balance miniature off-road vehicles over barriers they built themselves. There are also barriers and bridges at head height. “If the car falls, a lot of it can be damaged,” Pichler says.

When Pickler’s Toyota gets stuck on a tree trunk, he hits the back of it with his foot. That would have been the point of failure in the competition. Except: “You’re taking back one of your jokes. There are separate regulations.”

There are points of failure, for example, if the car “falls over,” Pichler says, and additional points the more elaborate the car is. For example, the Pichler has a glowing dashboard. It can open the back door of the vehicle, and in the loading area you can also find a compressor, fire extinguisher, gasoline can and traffic cones. “The more cars you have, the more points you get.”

Loading area at Toyota Pichler
© Julia Kammerer

It’s moving slowly down the track, but fast down the track next to it. Here you can vent your anger on Saturday. The so-called trolleys can be used in some kind of circuit. These vehicles sometimes have stiff suspension and don’t have as many bells and whistles as Scalers.

You can drive up to 70 km/h here. “This is our fun route,” says Pichler, who also invites curious onlookers on Saturday.

Toyota and buggy for the “pleasure road”
© Julia Kamerer