The sense of anticipation with this MINI-Z adventure rises with the sun through the hotel window.
The modern-day transformation of Internet and social media allows us to create chatrooms for people with similar hobbies to view images and communicate with people online from the other side of the world. Some people may have taken it further and decided to meet and race with R/C fans from other countries face-to-face. But even with this new possibility, there may be others who want to go and experience this with people who share the same hobby. From November 29th (Fri) to December 1st (Sun) 2019, Kyosho Japan’s Marketing Group staff participated in the TMC (THAILAND MINI R/C COMPETITION) MINI-Z race held at Zeer Rangsit in Pathum Thani. Now we would like to share with you a glimpse of the MINI-Z scene in Thailand. Enough of just watching, let’s MINI-Z TRAVEL!
When we interview people at KYOSHO JAPAN sponsored race events, we are blessed to received cheerful responses like, “I’m meeting with friends from all over the country!” “Its my first time to this place!” and “I'm looking forward to where the MINI-Z CUP will be next season!” Their enthusiasm reminds me of when I couldn't sleep the night before a school excursion.
Other people admire the positive vibe amongst MINI-Z fans. But what about those from Europe or America, Oceania and Asia, all the way up to Russia who have yet to see, let alone experience Kyosho’s MINI-Z? Fans of the MINI-Z from around the world are probably thinking “will there ever be a day, a place, or an event where we can immerse ourselves in the world of the MINI-Z?”
The opportunity may be coming at Kyosho’s MINI-Z Cup Japan, or perhaps the American Cup, European Cup, Asia-Oceania Cup or the MINI-Z World Cup.
Click here for KYOSHO’s Global Distributors
Mr. Ishikawa, or more commonly referred to as ‘Mr. MINI-Z’ came to us and said, “Lets go and meet MINI-Z users in Thailand!” I started packing in excitement, but was told all I needed was some local information and one MINI-Z bag. Oh, and maybe some endurance for travel.
As the checked luggage limited was 30kg, my beloved Rimowa suitcase was heavy even before I packed the MINI-Z bag inside. No wonder I be careful of the total weight.
The view at approx. 8:00am (Venue entrance: Pathum Thani, Zeer Rangsit)
Thailand lies in a tropical monsoon region. From late November to late December, the weather is refreshingly stable and is never too humid or rainy.
The flight from Tokyo-Narita Airport took approx. 6 hours and then the taxi from Bangkok International Airport (Suvarnabhumi) to our hotel was around 50 minutes.
For this trip, I used an app called ‘Grab’. The app provides taxi bookings and delivery services when overseas. You can call for a taxi immediately or look up the price for the ride by entering the drop off location into your mobile. These types of apps exist in every country.
The taxi I called with Grab came in a Toyota SUV with optional aluminum wheels. Nice to ride with a fellow car lover!
I was able to relax while using this service but also tracked my progress using GPS along the way, so I wasn’t worried about being ripped-off or riding with an unlicensed taxi company. Mobile phones, I can’t thank you enough! I worked until around midday on Friday and headed to Tokyo-Narita airport for a 17:20 flight, arriving safely at my Thai hotel around midnight. I slept well to prepare for the next day.
Oh!!!The MINI-Z course we came to was massive! The course used a urethane kit and a carpet surface.
Pathum Thani, Zeer Rangsit is approximately 30km away from Bangkok and I’m lost for words in trying to describe the facility. In Japanese terms could it be classified as an electronics district? High-tech park? Shopping mall or a food court? I later found out the facility is often used as a special venue for Bangkok R/C indoor racing.
A hotel named ‘Asia Airport Hotel’ (approx. ￥4000 per night) used the upper floors of the shopping mall, allowing easy access to the course for occupants with an elevator ride.
Now, let’s get to the main topic, TMC (THAILAND MINI R/C COMPETITION)
Racing classes competed over 2 days. 88 participants with a total of 218 car entries. Group photo of everyone together. From getting my photos taken to taking photos for others, as an old-time racer it was an absolute privilege to be able to join this event.
Sponsored by RC Bannok Hobby shop (an RC pro shop) , I participated in Round 5, the final round of a 5 round/annual tournament held at several special courses in Bangkok. The schedule and class it was raced under has been simplified below.
Is there a racing class over the 2 days that matches yours?
Let’s see how it goes.
November 29th (Sat)
１：KYOSHO Mini-Z OpenBox New Gen
→KYOSHO MINI-Z Open Box New Gen class. A class suited for beginners to enjoy racing with cars straight out of the box. In the spirit of the New Generation, cars that have ranked highly in the past are not allowed to participate.
２：Open Bracket Class
→Open Bracket Class. This Class is open for any KYOSHO MINI-Z chassis as well as other makes of chassis. A specific lap time is selected. If the vehicle completes the lap faster than the specified lap time, that lap will not be counted. All forms of clocks are barred from the race; this is a rare class in which the driver who is closest to the specified speed and laps is the winner. It is also a popular class for beginners.
３：KYOSHO Mini-Z Off-Road
→This class is for the KYOSHO MINI-Z buggy chassis. The course is full of jumps and traps. Permitted vehicles are: MINI-Z buggy, Comic Racer, Overland, and MINI-Z Monster.
４：High Speed Drift
→High Speed Drift Class. A class where Kyosho and other makes of chassis equipped with drift tires can compete.
５：KYOSHO OpenBox Le Mans
→Restricted class for KYOSHO MINI-Z RWD with Le Mans body. There would be no surprise if these showed up in tomorrow’s KYOSHO MINI-Z Open Box class.
November 30th (Sun)
６：KYOSHO MINI-Z OpenBox
→KYOSHO MINI-Z Open Box Class. This class is designed for vehicles to be raced in the same condition they came out of the box. The only permitted options are ball bearings, rear suspension plates and front springs. This is popular racing class in Thailand with many similarities to the ‘Production Class’ regulations in Japan’s MINI-Z Cup.
７：KYOSHO Mini-Z One Make Race
→KYOSHO MINI-Z One Make Race Class. This is the main race for TMC where KYOSHO AWD, RWD and FWD (MA/MR/MR chassis) compete. There are no restrictions on the motor, battery (manufactured by KYOSHO, Orion, GP) or transmitter, and is similar to the Open Class at the Japan MINI-Z Cup.
８：Open 2WD Class
→As long as it’s 1/27 size and 2WD, anything goes in this extreme class. Even LiFe batteries and polycarbonate bodies are allowed, truly a class for maniacs.
９：Open 4WD Class
→As long as it’s 1/27 size and 4WD, anything goes in this extreme class. Even LiFe batteries and polycarbonate bodies are allowed, truly a class for maniacs.
The view from the Pit table at the venue. It was a tough choice but the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 body got the go-ahead over the McLaren P1™ GTR. The Pennzoil color (https://www.pennzoil.com) painted over the white body gives it a stunning look. Oil companies from California definitely look best when on an American car. The body was borrowed from the MINI-Z Cup Japan Final Champion. Thanks champ!
Day 1: November 29th (Sat), Facing the weight of the first day.
Here is where I talk about the racing class I participated in. On Day 1, I ran in the Open Bracket Class and the specified lap time was 25.30 seconds. Any lap completed faster than the specified time would not be counted.
No clocks or watches are permitted during the race, so I had no choice but to place my faith in my own body clock.
The winner is whoever completes a lap time closest to the specified time. To give you an idea of the course, a fast driver would complete a lap in around 14 seconds while a slower driver would take about 18 seconds.
Is this fun?
I was questioning this at the start but once I was truly immersed in the race I enjoyed every second.
My racing rival was Mr.Kachchapananda’s daughter. The final results: utter and complete defeat. Damn!
I would like to blame the extremely slow specified lap time for this result. Even if I have a small hit, there is little effect, (as I wasn’t pushing for a fast lap time). I was counting in my head as I drove around the course and had full confidence in my sense of time, but it seems my faith was misplaced. Everyone involved was focused and serious.
The buildup and the atmosphere were fascinating. It was like a special segment on a late night talk show.
When you complete the lap faster than specified time, you’re embarrassed by a buzzer sound effect.When you record a time close to specified lap time, you’re rewarded with the sound effect of an F1 racing past you.
Applause and laughing soundtrack are played at the conclusion of the race, which is perfectly in the spirit of the race. These small but special sound effects add to the entertaining atmosphere.
And the results are in! 6th is Mr Ishikawa and 7th is me! Hang on… I came last. *Mr Ishikawa had trouble with his lap counter.
My impression of this rule reminded me of golf. Whether you are good or bad at it, you can still play a round and enjoy each other’s company. I would like to introduce this class to Japan’s MINI-Z events.
Day 2: November 30th (Sun), Get ready for the real race!
On Day 2, I competed in the KYOSHO MINI-Z Open Box Class. As was stated in the summary above, the only permitted options were ball bearings, rear suspension plate, and front springs. These regulations are very similar to the ‘Production Class’ at Japan’s MINI-Z Cup. This class has gained its own popularity here in Thailand with numerous participants.
The McLaren P1™ GTR GARAGE HIRO Ver. was extremely popular for the KYOSHO MINI-Z One Make Race. I definitely want to get my hands on one of these.
Mr. MINI-Z (Mr. Ishikawa) set the TQ with an outstanding performance. Then, after a gruelling and intense 30-minute final, he won a spot on the podium with a 2nd place finish. The machine was a MR-03 N with a TOYOTA 86 GARAGE HIRO Ver. body. The atmosphere was intense as the entire venue hushed in awe of a true A Final driver.
Everything was going according to plan for Mr. Ishikawa from the first round to the TQ. However, he didn't count on young 13-year-old Ken. The pair engaged in a long and heated battle at the front, but Ken just couldn’t seem to get the lead despite the whole venue cheering for him. But his chance came on the final lap when a back marker blocked Mr. Ishikawa and Ken pounced to claim the checkered flag. The two racers shaking hands at the end was a very touching scene.
Once you have given everything in a battle, you can truly shake hands with respect.
MINI-Z is without a doubt a motor sport. Sharing emotions is the essence of sport.
Finally, we would like to present the TQ-winning machine as the Grand Prize to a lucky Thai participant.
For myself, I placed 4th in the B-group qualifiers and 6th in the finals. I don’t usually get nervous but I definitely felt the tension before the race. My hands were trembling for the full 15 minutes.
I’m so nervous; I seek advice from Mr.MINI-Z on how to calm down.
But enough about my racing report. When I look back and think what was most enjoyable about the trip,
But enough about my racing report. When I look back and think what was most enjoyable about the trip,
「Which is which?」McLaren P1™ GTR
My MINI-Z friends are always kind to offer their Corvette to me, which makes it even more enjoyable. Even though the regulations only allow adjustment of the ball bearings, rear suspension and front springs, changes to just one of these can be felt.
Battery remover and calipers are not required for Mar’s original tire gauge. If you are interested, please contact Mar.
I highly recommend the 2 types of bearing oil from YUTORI Racing. If you are also interested in these, please contact Mar. The Tapioca Milk Tea belonged to Mr. Ishikawa.
Mar, 204-1, Yamagiwa, Atsugi Shi, Kanagawa Ken, 243-0803, Japan
Perhaps every MINI-Z users around the world has a special ‘MY MINI-Z home course’. As KYOSHO is located in Atsugi, Kanagawa prefecture, I went with the manager, Mr. Nakamura, to Mar circuit twice. There was plenty of time to do some night driving and I got many tips from all the MINI-Z experts there.
The time I spent in this exotic country went by in a flash and I was able to enjoy one wonderful experience after another throughout my whole time in Thailand.
A country that understands the substance of MINI-Z has a car-loving and car-customizing culture. Whether you like RC driving or the car models themselves, we all have something in common that is transcends age.The moment for all MINI-Z fans around the world has come.
Mr.Tomoyuki Oguri lives in Thailand. He is enjoys R/C with a club team at TJRC (Thai Japanese Radio Control car club). Seeing someone from the same country is very encouraging because I can get a lot of local information. Please bring your friends to join us next time too.
If you ask me, I believe the KYOSHO MINI-Z is a product that anyone can understand and share regardless of language or culture. Smart phones are just one of the tools that can assist in this sharing to create more friendships through social media.
Note: To the people of Thailand, please wear your KYOSHO T-shirts next time.
Whether it’s to compete and win, express your personal style or connect with people sharing the same hobby, everyone has different reasons.
Personally, I think the world can do better than just simple existence. I even think there can be many more services. In this age of the Internet, instead of all the negative vibes and bad emotions, I want to bring positive connections that enhance lives as well as an abundance of service partners. Perhaps the goal is creating this ‘experience’ for those like me.
This small palmtop scale size car doesn’t rely on physical strength but has the power of joy that transcends age and gender for everyone to share in the welcoming MINI-Z world community.
This year is the 20th anniversary of the MINI-Z. Speaking on behalf of the team at KYOSHO, our desire to provide fans with improved products and service burns brighter than ever.
Everyone is welcome to come visit and participate in the races and events at the MINI-Z circuits around the world. Why not join in the fun?
We do recommend checking the course status and opening hours on their website or social media page in advance.
Food being one of the essentials for travelling, I wasted no time in eating Tom Yum, one of the top 3 soups of the world. You know the shop and the food is good when even the locals rave about it.
【Click here for the shops we visited this time】
RC Bannok Hobby shop
The shop owner Mr. Ou was coincidentally quite knowledgeable about the MINI-Z and even runs his own Youtube channel for MINI-Z tips and tutorials.
14/1926 หมู่13 หมู่บ้านบัวทองธานี ตำบลบางบัวทอง Bang Bua Thong District, Nonthaburi 11110 rc-bannok.com
+66 2 107 9198
FACEBOOKMini-Z Only-FG※We recommend joining this Facebook fan group
A shop with a large MINI-Z course. The owner is Mr. Apiwat. The manager Mr. Pwit is like a kind big brother.
พระราม 2 ซอย 15, บางมด, จอมทอง, Bangkok 10150
Mini Z Speedway Town in Town
All the customers were fast and highly skilled while the owner Mr.Nat was friendly and greets everyone with a smile. There’s even a drift course to enjoy!
1243 Lat Phrao 94 Alley, Phlabphla, Wang Thonglang, Bangkok 10310
+66 82 121 9501
TEXT:Takayuki Yajima (KYOSHO)
It is so easy to dive into the wonderful MINI-Z world.Just open the box, install batteries, and you are ready to go.
The MINI-Z is a precision palm-top sized RC (Radio Control) car.Drive, fine tune, drive, to learn the characteristics of your machine and driving technique.