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Start your engines: Going Blue Queenstown owner Jay Laine and Bro Bike NZ owner Aidan Mernagh are opening a new electric race car track

By CASS MARRETT

In a first for Queenstown, a high-speed, remote control race car track’s set to open next
month.

The new track, Electric Avenue, is under construction in Gorge Road’s former Carters
building, which also houses Going Blue Queenstown bike rentals and a Bro Bike NZ store.

Previously located at Industrial Place, the ‘‘Covid bike boom’’ meant Going Blue owner Jay Laine and Bro Bike owner Aidan Mernagh outgrew that space.

Laine was inspired by his grandad, who’s in England, to build the race car track.

‘‘My grandad can’t really walk any more, so I thought, ‘what could I do if he was here and I
could properly compete against him?’

‘‘A remote control thing where he just sits in his wheel chair and can play and race me, I think it’d be really competitive and kind of not scary for him.

‘‘Just [connecting] on a different level that you wouldn’t normally connect with … that’s kind of how I envisioned it.’’

The track features Formula One-style traffic lights, a podium for competitors to compete
from, a smoke machine, some jumps, a grandstand, projector, lap timing technology and Go Pros to capture the action.

The pair want the activity to be inclusive so there’ll be wheel chair access to the podium, too.

‘‘I think this is probably one of the things that you can come down, race against your mates
and be competitive at something that goes quite fast without endangering yourself.’’

He’s bought six cars, which reach speeds of up to 55 kilometres an hour, but plans to have four in circulation.

Eventually Laine hopes to have a membership system which would allow people to bring their own cars down, while casual rates will be about $35, he says.

Laine reckons remote control racing’s about to take off.

‘‘I hope there’s a bit of a market for it, or I’ve just spent all my money on nothing,’’ he
jokes.

He’s planning an open day for grandparents and their grandkids, with gold coin donations to go to Happiness House.

cass.marrett@scene.co.nz