More than a fraction of fun


There’s something electrifying running around inside the Woodland Mall.
Tiny — but mighty — cars are racing a few days a week at the One Eighth Racers Club of Toledo’s new
indoor track in the north wing of the Bowling Green mall.
The cars, which are roughly the size of a model car that can be built with a kit, also come with steep
price tags.
“It’s nothing to spend $800 for a standard car, and $1,200 for a 4-wheel drive vehicle,” said Lon Burling
Sr., a club member.
One Eighth Racers Club of Toledo started in 1969 primarily with its outdoor weather summer track. The
club begins its runs each year near the end of April depending on the weather. The track they use for
the outdoor events is located at the former Woodville Mall in Northwood.
During a recent practice session Burling Sr. talked about the club and the hobby that has its members
Burling Sr. is likely the longest-serving a member. His son, Lon Jr., is also very active on the track as
well as with club activities.
The outdoor events use gasoline-powered cars, while the new indoor facility in Bowling Green uses cars
with electric motors.
Either way, Burling Sr. said the members are addicted to their hobby.
At a recent practice night, about 10 members were sitting at the work station tables behind the track
working on their cars. Several of them would take to the track from time to time to test their cars as
well as practice negotiating the numerous turns.
“This facility (at the Woodland Mall) is working out well for us,” Burling Sr. said.
While the club is based in the Toledo area, Burling Sr., who lives in Walbridge, said racers will often
travel from Detroit and Pittsburgh on a regular basis to compete. He estimates about 25 to 35 of the 45
registered members will compete on a fairly regular basis.
“This is our off season, it’s play time,” Burling said.
He reeled off the various classes of cars that race ranging from the very sleek and fast to the slower
and cumbersome ones.
Hours for the indoor winter season in Bowling Green are practice times on Thursdays from 5-9 p.m.; and
some Saturdays after the oval track races have concluded. Oval track races are held roughly every other
Saturday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. The road track races are held every Sunday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Spectators are often crowding the mall’s hall, watching the cars zip around tight corners on the road
course configuration and cruise around the oval track. Both configurations use the same basic track
which takes up two store fronts in the mall.
Cars range from the 12 scale and the Formula 1s, which are 10 scale, to vintage Trans Ams and the new
Euro class.
Burling Sr. said the 3 scale car races are “pretty wild” as they are the fastest cars. He also said there
are races that are slower and tamer, such as the 112 GT and the 21s.
He said the gasoline engines more accurately use a type of nitro, similar to model airplane fuel.
Membership in the club is not required to come out and watch, or even race. Non-members are charged an
extra $5 to race. The yearly membership is $30 per year or $5 for each additional family member. Race
fees are $15 for members and $20 for non-members.
There are also fees for the practice time and for each car which is raced. There are eight class
categories and there are three qualifying heats for each class. There are also novice classes for those
racers under 18.
To allow room on the track for the race, they generally limit the cars to six or seven on the track at
any one time.
The club operators are all volunteers.
For more information visit the club’s Facebook page at

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