The ‘P’ for Pattaya may stand for ‘Party’, but whilst for most travellers it represents sunshine, good times and the darker aspects of tourism, in RC Racing, Pattaya means one thing: Charlie’s track, PRC Power boat.

Most readers of our site will remember the team and venue hosting arguably the best 1/8 IFMAR Buggy Worlds in recent memories – another level compared with the ones since – however the first weekend of December is reserved for the ‘Buggy Party’. An event that hasn’t ever garnered a huge amount of international press, but annually attracted some top Asian talent, fast forward however and it appears that the racers here this weekend, will be bidding a sad goodbye to a much-loved facility as the track hosts it’s final event and looks set to close.

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Losing a facility with infrastructure to rival and arguably surpass any other worldwide will be a step backwards and likely signal a shift away from Thailand as a destination for offroad RC racing. Whilst most of the local fast guys are here as well as some fly-ins (Zac Ryan, Ben Panic, Jason Nugruho, Adrian Wicaksono, Ryan Lee), there are some notable absentees in particular recent SWORKz departee Atsushi Hara – a driver synonymous with PRC Powerboat, calling Thailand his home, the Japanese ace spending countless days, weeks at the track developing and testing.

We were last here in April, attending the ASIA Contest presented by Bittydesign, the track layout remains unchanged, very dusty with no molasses due to the previous two night’s worth of rain, a very loose track greeting racers for their two rounds of seeding practice on Friday with Alex Napatrapee setting the pace followed by Boy Witsarut and Mongkolpan – see practice times.