Q&A With Cal Raceway Owner Charlie Barnes
We spoke to Charlie Barnes, owner and operator of the famed permanent on-road RC track, OC Circuit’s Cal Raceway, located in Orange, California. He spoke to us about his thoughts on on-road radio control racing and more. To see more about his track, look for the article Putting Down Laps later in this issue.
RCCA: How and when did start the track?
CB: Track originally opened in 1996 by a local hobby shop that I was the race director at. They closed it in 1999. I drove by in 2009 and found the track was still there. I went to the right people and acquired Cal Raceway in 2010.
RCCA: What do you specialize in?
CB: On-road racing, although we have had drift and rally at the raceway in the past. We even put skateboard ramps for SC truck racing!
RCCA: What types of RC do you enjoy the most?
CB: I have been racing touring cars for over 25 years. Still my favorite class to race is FWD Sedan.
RCCA: Which is your favorite RC vehicle and why?
CB: To this day, with serious race and set-ups, I still love to “not think about” driving an RC car and just enjoy. With that said, my favorite RC to drive is my Traxxas Stampede.
RCCA: What was your first RC vehicle?
CB: I still have it today…my Tamiya Frog.
RCCA: What are two must have upgrades you would recommend for any RC for the track or in general?
CB: Tires and Bodies. Grip and Aero is a must!
RCCA: What future plans can you tell us about?
CB: I would like to keep going in on-road. With so many tracks closing down I would hope the support would still be there. Tr
RCCA: Is there anything else you want to let our readers know?
CB: I have been hosting RC Races since 1996. From humbling parking lot races to big sponsored trophy races like KO Propo and Protoform Cup. I have had 21 years of Toys 4 Tots racing all going to local charities in Orange County. I think the most memorable races are my themed races like Nissan Cup, Mazda Cup, Honda Cup, ad Toyota Cup. I also dabble in RC painting (CFX Paintworks) a little. Hosting “How To RC Airbush” videos and a page on Facebook dedicated to teaching how to paint. (Check it out at: facebook.com/rcpaintchat)
Text by Leigh Guarnieri
Images provided by Charlie Barnes