How to Build an RC Car Race Track

Written by vincent labbate
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How to Build an RC Car Race Track
Radio-controlled truck on a concrete surface. (rc-modell image by andreas from

Radio-controlled cars can be driven around a track for fun or competition. The type of track created depends on the type of radio-controlled vehicle being used. For on-road cars, indoor track driving is more practical away from nature's elements. For off-road vehicles, many more obstacles--such as gravel, dirt and grass--can be used to create a track more suitable for that particular vehicle. Different track sizes and designs can be made for either type of radio-controlled car.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Plastic cones
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Shovel
  • Plywood
  • Pencil
  • Table saw
  • Industrial wood glue
  • Carpet
  • Scissors
  • Staple gun
  • Plastic tubes
  • Hot glue

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    Outdoor track

  1. 1

    Locate the area in which the track will be created. Find a car park or area with a smooth concrete surface that is about 20 square feet for on-road vehicles to use. Find a low-cut grass area or gravel surface of equal size for off-road vehicles.

  2. 2

    Match the width of the track to the size of the radio-controlled cars being used. Use the standard lane size, which is 20 inches, for small vehicles. Use medium lane size, which is 33 inches, for small to medium-sized vehicles. Use 44-inch lanes for larger radio-controlled vehicles.

  3. 3

    Place the cones in the desired shape and size on the concrete or gravel surface to the specified lane width using the measuring tape. The cones should be about a foot apart from one another. Draw the start and finish line on the ground with the sidewalk chalk if the track is created on concrete.

  4. 4

    Add obstacles if the track is for an off-road vehicle. Build small jumps with dirt and the shovel. Grass, gravel and dirt may be used for building tracks for off-road vehicles. Remove any sticks from the track because they will get stuck in the vehicle's moving parts, causing damage.

    Indoor Track

  1. 1

    Locate a spot to lay down your track. Prime areas for tracks can be in a basement or garage. Place cones in the appropriate lane widths if laying the track on a concrete floor. This will keep down the cost of having to build a track from the start.

  2. 2

    Create a track using plywood and carpet if you don't have a concrete floor. Measure the plywood to the desired track width with the measuring tape. Mark the plywood with the pencil.

  3. 3

    Cut the plywood, which will act as the base of the track, using the table saw. Place the cut pieces of wood in the desired layout. Glue each piece together with industrial wood glue. Let the glue dry for 24 hours.

  4. 4

    Lay a low-friction thin carpet down over the plywood track. Cut the edges of the carpet with the scissors so that the carpet is not hanging over the plywood.

  5. 5

    Keep the carpet strips taut to prevent ruffles on the track surface. Staple the carpet to the plywood with the staple gun. The staples can be a half-inch to an inch in size. Use hot glue or staples to secure plastic tubes to the sides of the track. This will create a soft barrier in case the car loses control.

Tips and warnings

  • Indoor tracks can be used year-round and are easier to maintain.
  • Wear protective gear, such as glasses and gloves, while using the table saw.
  • Do not create car tracks on public roads.

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