Harnois Hobby is not a business. If you are looking for online stores, visit our Links Page. We do have original Harnois Hobby products for sale and for free on our Products Page. The products we sell or give away are things we've made for our own use or entertainment and figure others may be interested in, but we don't bother to sell things unless we feel it is a professionally made product.
We are a group of RC car racers promoting a realistic and exciting style of RC racing, especially for your local hobby shop or your friendly backyard or basement racing, not just for big official events. Check out our Articles Page to see what we mean by "realistic" racing. Kids and Adults play all kinds of sports and games because it is fun to challenge ourselves and try to improve our skills over time. We have lots of ideas here on how you make your competition more exciting, make more of a real sport out of it, and truly test your skills against other drivers, while still keeping it accessible, fun, and downright hilarious.
What has kept RC racing fun for us for so long is the competition, passing strategy, dicing for position, suspensful side by side racing, and realistic car behavior. We try to bring all the skills of full-scale car racing into RC racing. If you'd like to promote that kind of racing in your area, defintely have a close look at this site regardless of what size or type of vehicle you want to race. There's lots of great out-of-the-box ideas here on how make your racing better.
To create that more realistic style of racing we started experimenting extensively with track design, car configuration, and racing formats.
We wanted to make it an indoor hobby so we could race no matter the weather and so we could build an elaborate track in a secure area. Indoors usually means smaller spaces and therefore smaller vehicles. We started in 2003 with Mini-Z, but as the popularity of that died down in our area, we moved up to the higher quality 1/18th scale vehicles like the HPI Micro RS4 and the Xray M18. At this point we are racing the M18 almost exclusively. These are the highest quality vehicles that are small enough to race in a small indoor space such as a single-car garage. Over time we have improved the cars for smooth consistent handling which enables us to race much closer together. We found that making the cars too fast just makes the racing unrealistically hyperactive and reckless, so we focused more on making them have equal speed and traction for improved realism and competition. We also moved towards open-wheel cars for the more interesting crash physics. See more details on the Cars Page.
We have built progressively more elaborate tracks. See how these evolved on our Tracks Page. It was our observation that certain details of the track construction could make for better more realistic racing. For example, having run-off area instead of defining the track with walls is much more realistic and smooths out the racing.
We also ditched the typical timed heats racing format and made up our own totally different format that involves more track time for all participants and much more intense competition. Since our format does not require a timing system or turn marshals, it works much better for smaller groups who want to have some friendly but competitive racing. This is discussed in more detail on the Articles Page and the Results Page.
Our intense bumper-to-bumper racing style and colorful 3-dimensional track is all taylor made for on-board video. We have created some of the most interesting on-board footage ever in RC. Check it out on the Videos Page.
Race With Us
The track is a private facility. If you'd like to come race with us, just send us an email. We are always looking for more racers. Initially you don't even have to have your own car.
The cars are quite durable, rarely break (at least on our track), and when they do they are usually very cheap to fix. We have extra cars for poeple who just want to try them out. Eventually you will want your own car. It's hard to say exactly what the cost of the car is, because it is a hobby and the cars can be configured in many different ways with different parts. Some of the parts, especially the transmitter/receiver, transfer over from other hobby vehicles. But the cost is going to be at least $200 and could easily be $500 if starting from scrach. Although the up-front cost may be a bit high, there is practically zero on-going cost when racing on our track.
This is only toy car racing, not to be taken too seriously. We welcome drivers of any age and ability. However, we are mostly adults here, and just like when adults play any sport, the fun for us lies in the challenge of trying to play it well. So we do ask that everyone at least attempt to drive cleanly. There are plenty of hilarious crashes despite everyone's best efforts to avoid them, and no one will make a fuss if you crash into other cars. Also keep in mind that some of the drivers are very experienced, so if you are just starting out you will need a lot of practice and patients to become competitive. You don't need to win to have fun. With our racing format, you get points just for finishing.