Matches for: “driving” …

Rhein Main Warm Up Race – Setup and Driving

The Track

Very challenging this year, more so than previous years. This year it became very slippery on the black groove, but then it had patches of traction that unbalanced the car, and of course the carpet had traction. The layout is also strange, in the way that the timing and flow of the track seems off. It’s hard to get the right speed and be consistent, in both corners and jumps. You have to really go slow to go fast, and you have to be very precise. I like the track and look forward to this race every year, but at the same time, it can be oh so frustrating.

The Setup

I basically ran my NEO17 Setup except for going to 2 degrees anti squat by running the 1 insert hole up in the C plate. I also ran 12500-20000-4000 diff oils. In practice and qualifying I ran 30/27.5 but for the mains I went up to 32.5/30wt. I felt like in the A main my car was still too soft, and I should have gone up more.

The great thing about the BLACK Edition is how consistent it has been track to track. I am making little, or no changes, and I am competitive on all tracks and in all conditions.

My car was good, except for being too soft and not landing well in the main. I felt like it could have been better transitioning from no grip to grip, but I honestly didn’t know what to do about that. It didn’t really become and issue until the mains, and that was too late to start guessing, I just needed to try and drive around it by being smooth on the throttle and steering. Tyres could have been one thing, Keller was on AKA catapult, a tyre I never run, and he said the same, except for this track! I ran Impact.

The Race

In qualifying Darren Bloomfield was the man to beat, but it was still close. He was in control though, Hazelnuts would call up to him “+2”, and in a while “+4”, and Darren just controlled it from there I think. I qualified 5th, but basically we were all within 5 seconds or so, and I felt like for the longer mains I would be more competitive, so I wasn’t worried.

In the main the time the cars were down on the line was unusually long, and Darren flamed out. That was a shame, because instead of what I expected to be the 4 of us going for the win, it left 3, Keller, Neumann and me. We did have quite a good race, eventually Keller pulled maybe a 10 second lead as I battled with Neumann. At some point I broke away, and we were just driving 1-2-3 with a decent gap between all of us. Then around halfway in the race I found a good groove and clicked off fast laps, and Keller flamed out in the pits. Andy Kramer from LRP got him started quickly, and he still maintained his lead, but then he made a few mistakes, and I got to within just under 2 seconds behind him, but I just couldn’t do anything with it. He drove away from me a bit, and I made a mistake. Then once again, in the final moments, just after the last pit stop, I again closed in, to about 3 seconds, but then for the last minutes was caught up with back markers and completely lost my rhythm. I don’t think I could have caught Keller without him making a mistake, but if I could have stayed close who knows!

Driving

For the most part I did OK, and I was once again trying to push more than in the past few years. This resulted in mistakes in qualifying, but it also resulted in the fastest lap in the main, and me catching the leader during the race. I wasn’t able to be as consistent as I wanted. I would have 5 great minutes, and then something would happen to where I lost my pace, and it would take a couple of laps to re group, and then I would find the rhythm again. It’s not easy this racing thing! Looking forward to the Euros Warm Up now!

The reaction to seeing my ID, and learning my 2nd name.

Driving Better 3.0 – List Of Excuses

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3rd and last part for now, on the topic of becoming a better racer. We have covered concentration, hitting your lines, slowing down and maintaining corner speed, being confident, having faith, and the importance of being a virgin. Now we head into familiar territory for most RC racers, namely excuses.

There is a fine line between a reason and an excuse. Actually the exact same statement can be both a reason and an excuse, not at the same time though, it depends on the situation, and who says it. The actions of the person following this statement determines which it is. If you win constantly, and then you lose, and you say you picked the wrong tyre, and the next race you win again, I’ll lean more to the reason column instead of excuse. However, even here you have to keep in mind, that a better driver would have still won. And that’s the thing, one man’s reason can be another man’s excuse.

The thing about excuses is that it limits progress. If you always come up with an excuse, you won’t be honest enough with yourself to figure out what needs improving, and you won’t put in the right sort of work to improve. Let’s take a look at a couple that piss me off enough to write about them.

1. “The car doesn’t suit my style”.

Another way to phrase this would be, “I’m too stupid to build and set my car up properly”. Ironically every single person that uses this phrase, doesn’t deserve to use it. Have you ever heard a top driver capable of winning say “This car doesn’t suit my style”? No, and you know why not? Because they are good drivers, and they make their car’s work. Even more ironically, these guys are the only guys that actually could say that. When you are one of the top drivers in the world, you are pushing your car to the limit, at this point, a Mugen or a TLR will be different, and one may suit you better than another. You can still win with both, but you will be more comfortable with the other. And that’s key, let me repeat, YOU CAN WIN WITH BOTH, but you will be more comfortable with the other. Top drivers don’t switch to win, they may switch to win more often, and be more comfortable. The people switching around TO win, will never win, because they haven’t figure out that they need to maximise the performance of the equipment they have, and work on their driving.

2. “I wish I could do this or that but I can’t”.

Another way to phrase this would be, I kind of want this or that, but I can’t be bothered to put in the work, or make any sacrifices. I prefer to be comfortable and or lazy. Read the following quotes to understand fully what I mean.

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Driving Better 2.0 – Mental Strength & Being a Virgin

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It’s a hard pill to swallow for many, to accept that they suck It sucks to suck, remember? I have listed a few points here, of ways I have tried to improve. Tomorrow I shoot down some dumb arguments related to success, because I’m tired of hearing them.

1. Self Confidence: Confidence is important in racing. Many times you are faster in practice compared to racing, because in practice nothing is on the line. In racing you can’t afford any mistakes, you are nervous, and if you aren’t confident, doubt creeps in, and you won’t perform at your best. Confidence pushes doubt to the side, and makes risks seem smaller or disappear. “I got this”. The best description of this I have found is what Tony Hawk says in the below video. Basically, you need to believe in what you are doing, and not thinking that you can’t or you will fail, etc. Think of a successful outcome, and it’s possible.

Driving more and racing more helps a lot, with confidence but you do also have to make a conscious effort to be positive, and to convince yourself, that “I got this” unless this is your natural way of thinking. A side note, and a true story. The 1st club race I won at OCRC in 2wd, where I beat clearly faster drivers than me, the last thing I said to my friend when he wished me luck was “I’m going to win this”. And I wasn’t joking. And then it just worked out. Confidence makes a difference, and that leads me to the next point.

Conclusion: My biggest problem has always been a lack of confidence, I know, hard to believe after I designed by own car and basically put 10 years of my life on the line to do this. I don’t think you need to be confident to do this, an idiot is sufficient. I have been actively working on giving less of a shit when it comes to failing or crashing, and focusing on positive outcomes. It’s work in progress, but it does make a difference. When Notch called me as being 1 second off TQ at Thunder Alley, I didn’t think oh no I better not make a mistake, I punched it and thought “Screw Adam Drake, I got this, he is all washed up anyway.” Your mental state makes a huge difference.

2. Religion: Is it a coincidence that many of the best performing people in pretty much any field that requires some sort of human performance are also deeply religious? Maybe the best example being Ayrton Senna? I think there is something to it actually. This is not a dig at religion, so try to stay focused and not hate me. In order to be religious, you need to be able to completely convince yourself of something that has no evidence, or logical explanation. In fact it has everything going against it, yet you need to be completely sure that you are right.  To do this, you need to think in a very similar way to when you convince yourself that you will be world champion, or you will be the best in the world, or whatever. Convincing your brain of something without evidence. You need to have faith. And in addition, not only are you thinking in a suitable way, you also believe that God is on your side, and if it’s meant to be it will happen. How is that for a confidence booster?

Conclusion: I clearly lack the capacity to be irrational. I have tried, but I can’t convince myself of something I think is not possible. I can fake it, but I can’t sincerely believe it. But what I can do, that many people don’t, is dream bigger than most. I can lie in bed and envision a future that most people would laugh at. That’s what I can do.

3. Virginity: It has been proven over and over that the fastest RC Car drivers are virgins. Recently a couple of the fastest have stopped being virgins, and it will be interesting to see if they can maintain their results compared to the other top performers who still remain in the virgin category. Another way to put this, is that when a vagina enters your life, your priorities change. It’s only natural, this has, and will continue to destroy many a man’s life. This is a very similar situation to getting older. “He is too old”, etc, no I don’t believe it. There comes a point in life when your faculties go all out of sync as you get old, but it’s not at 35 or 40. It’s much later than that. The reason many drivers slow down when they lose their virginity, and 30+ racers slow down even more, is because their priorities change. RC isn’t nr1 any longer, and that matters.

Conclusion: For the past year or so, I have been working on re-virginising myself. I broke up with my girlfriend last year, and I have basically been on a bit of a dry spell in an effort to get faster since then. Time will tell if this strategy of de-vaginaising my life is a successful one.

Driving Better

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This past week end I went to Arizona for some testing at fear farm. The layout they have is really fast with long sweeping corners. The track is very rough and the surface quite uneven and edgy everywhere. A really great track to test both equipment and driving skill.

So I get there and I’m 1.5 seconds off the pace, the pace being Ryan Maifield. And that’s per lap folks, on a track with a 31.5 second fast lap. Not good, not good. I sleep on it and head back to the track. Still off the pace, now by “only” 1 second. That famous second. I go to harder swaybars, less downtravel, shocks are already stood up more to add support, I go to thicker diff oils, and it all helps, but I’m still a second off. I determine it’s me, because my car now feels good. I sleep on it.

I go back and I promise myself I’m not driving home unless I do a 31 second lap time. And if you know me, you will know that I keep my word, even to myself. The pressure is on. It’s not looking good. After extensive practice I am down to 32.2, which I have at this point done about 28 times. The sun begins to go down. My car really needs some rebuilding. But I know it’s me, it’s not the car.

I focus on my driving, where am I losing time, why am I too slow? I slow down entering corners, making sure to keep the car stable and the speed up through the corners, and speed up everywhere else. I don’t land and settle, then go, I’m on the gas as I land, I make sure to hit the right lines. I get a good rhythm going, I do a good lap, 31.8. I can go home. But I’m still mad at myself it took so long to do.

Talented drivers do all the above except sleeping on it in a few runs. I hate them.

Top Notch Series Race 1 Setup & Driving

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A couple of notes about yesterdays race at Thunder Alley. As I wrote yesterday, I managed to TQ, but then had a bit of a brain fade moment in the main and finished 3rd. I thought I would give you my thoughts on the setup that made this performance possible, and the reasons for me blowing out in the main.

Setup

I have posted my setup here. The two main things that I changed at Thunder Alley that made the car really good, were the rear swaybar up to 2.6mm, and the front pistons to 7 hole 1.2mm from 5 hole 1.4mm.

The thicker rear swaybar made the car go through the sweepers much better, and stopped it from getting out of shape when accelerating out of corners into jumps. I was able to drive more aggressively without losing control.

I changed the front pistons due to the bumpy surface. The 5 hole pistons are really good on most tracks, but if the racing line gets bumpy, they make the car a bit unpredictable. You will find that you are correcting the direction of the car a lot. Changing to the 7 hole pistons will be better in these conditions, as the car will be more neutral and more easily for where you want it to go. I ran 32.5wt in the 5 hole, and 27.5 in the 7 hole pistons. Both flat pistons.

Driving

In qualifying my car was really good, and I was driving comfortably and with some more confidence than normal. This showed as my pace was good, and I was able to push even more, and lower my lap times when needed. A track like Thunder Alley is very different from anything we have in Europe, and it requires a very different sort of focus and driving style in my opinion, so I was quite frankly a bit surprised at my pace. One thing I was focusing on was to be more aggressive, and be harder on the gas exiting corners, as well as when landing jumps, as I have written on here before. Maybe the focus on these details is beginning to pay off.

What I need to practice more for US races, is racing at night. The mains are always at night, and I’m not very good under the lights. Everything seems to happen so much faster, and I’m not as calm as in the daytime. Also, in the mains the intensity is different than in qualifying. Everyone is pushing 100% and you are driving in traffic, trying to pass the car ahead, and defending from the car behind. I need to be more assertive in these conditions and feel like I belong up there. I need to drive with confidence, and not be too careful, and the results will be better. The best way to gain confidence for me, is to practice even more with the setup that I am running now, to become more confident with the car, and also do more of these races where I can be racing at the front. This will stop those blackout moments where everything goes wrong for a lap or two, which happened to me at this race! You can’t afford any bad moments like that if you want to win.

Driving – Throttle Control & Line Choice

Today I went to the Dialed In Raceway track in Victorville, which is north of LA on the way to Vegas. The track is medium size with really good dirt, good for testing and practicing driving. And driving is exactly what I will write about today. There is a lot to be said about having the right set up, but at the end of the day, the driver is key. Every single person out there can improve their lap times without touching their car. That’s a promise. All you need to do is take a minute and THINK about what you are doing, or trying to do. I’m being serious. How many of you actually think about driving, and line choice, and how you are using your throttle? Next time you go to the track, think about these things, don’t just drive, and I guarantee you, you will be faster.

Look and the lap in the video above, and then check out some of the sections that I break down for you. The only two things you really need to know about cars and how they work for this article, is that the car will be easiest to drive, and have the most grip, when the tyres are equally loaded. So if you can see your car leaning this way, up on two wheels that way, up on the front wheels under braking, popping wheelies out of corners, you can be sure that you aren’t getting around the track as fast as possible. Another thing to consider is the way tyres work, really simply put, forward bite, accelerating and braking is one way the tyre can provide traction. Side bite, so left or right, basically cornering, is the other way. Both of these can be maxed out, but not at the same time, if you want to accelerate and corner at the same time, it’s a compromise. While cornering, you can’t accelerate as hard as you can going straight, because some of the available traction is used up for cornering. (Google traction circle). Think of it this way. If you brake really hard and turn your wheel, what happens? The car just goes straight. If you accelerate really hard on a loose track, what happens? The car starts wandering sideways. So basically, you need to know that if you want to accelerate or brake as efficiently as possible, you need to do it in a straight line, and if you want to maintain your corner speed, you need to make a smooth round arc. And that leads me to the first section.

At the end of the straight you have a simple left 90 that tightens up at the end. Simple right? Yes, if you don’t care about going as fast as possible it is. So let’s break it down. Based on the above theory, it would make sense that you try and get the car to go in without upsetting it, just keep it level, and make a smooth arc. Braking brings the nose down, and the rear up, weight shifts to the front, the car is not settled and the tyres aren’t loaded as equally as possible. You don’t want to enter the corner like that. So brake early, brake very little, or don’t brake at all. For this corner, I don’t brake, I let off the gas and turn in, but I don’t let off all the way, and this is important. I may let off or brake a little when going straight, but when setting up for the corner I get on the gas slightly and keep an even throttle, because when the drive train is loaded in our cars, they are more stuck to the ground and hold their line. You often see people spin out mid corner, simply because they got off the gas, if they had kept the throttle steady they would have been fine. So let off at the end of the straight, and maintain a low amount of steady throttle around the corner, or if you are going too fast, simply roll through it. Then at the end where it tightens, quick tap of the brakes, turn the car around and get hard on the gas so you don’t do a 180. Getting on the gas hard usually stops your car from over rotating, so say you are rolling through a corner and you start to loose the rear, stab the throttle and you can save it.

Try and keep the car neutral on corner entry, maintain a smooth arc with none, or even throttle applied.

At 8 seconds, landing the 2nd double, and the two tabletops/rollers, and the left hander before the two big doubles, this whole section, ALL ABOUT corner speed. Everyone can go fast down the straight, not everyone can go fast around corners. The reason I am typically 1 second off the pace at any given race, isn’t because I’m slow on the straight, and often, specially in Europe not even because I can’t time the jumps, or because my car sucks, or this or that, it’s because me as a driver, I am not good enough to maximise my corner speed. It is very hard to do. You need to be on the edge of the traction circle I was talking about before. You need to get the most side bite vs forward bite you can at any given moment. You need to accelerate as hard as you can without loosing traction, you need to turn as hard as you can without spinning out. It’s not easy. Let’s break this section down.

If you look at the moment I land, to the moment I jump the 2nd of the two tabletops/rollers, it’s basically one long right hand corner. Are you beginning to see a pattern here? Smooth arc, maintaining speed. I land in the middle of the track, and accelerate down the jump towards the apex, after hard acceleration I let off and use the throttle to control the car. I adjust the amount of throttle based on what the car is doing, remember I said without any throttle car’s can get unbalanced and even spin out? Sometimes rolling a corner is good, sometimes you need to gas it, it all depends on the situation, but the goal is to be able to use as much throttle as possible. This section is trickier because you have to time the jump going away from the driver stand right so you can downside it, all while cornering and maintaining your speed. At 11 seconds, notice how I intentionally made my previous long corner so I jump on the inside of the jump. This is so my line is better for the left hand corner before the big double. This way I can accelerate sooner, and harder, and have a very low risk of flipping over when landing the roller.

I think that’s more than enough information to digest today. More later.

 

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If you are not good enough, you have two choices.

  1. Remain that way.
  2. Try to work harder and smarter than everyone else.

It really is that simple. After that what happens happens. But you at least know you gave it all you have.

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Bolivia – Where Chickens Make You Gay

I said I was going to post a blog every Wednesday. Well I fucked that all up didn’t I. One blog down and then I miss a week. Well two, because today is Thursday. (and it finally went up Saturday night, this isn’t easy) You see it’s hard to find the time and energy to create these masterpieces while exploring 5 new countries in 3 weeks, and running a company. Add to that 3rd world internet. How I managed to write a blog every single day for over a year beats me. That’s completely insane!

Anyway, Bolivia. First a trivia question. What’s the capital of Bolivia? (This question is for the non-Americans reading this obviously, as the American readers are still coming to terms with the fact that Bolivia is a country that actually exists.)

La Paz right? WRONG! It’s Sucre. How this is possible I do not know. How do you make the whole world (well except America) believe that La Paz is your capital when it’s actually some other place no one has ever heard of? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that half the population is constantly high? Really high! I mean 12 000ft high, 3600m. That’s so high that our JQRacing driver Jorge Zamora who is a commercial airline pilot told us sometimes he likes to mess around and land in La Paz by reducing altitude too much before La Paz, and then having to actually fly up to be able to land. What worries me is these commercial airline pilots that like to “play around”.

Anyway, the super high altitude has a couple of major flaws:

  1. Now I could have swore that our hotel room didn’t have any gym equipment in it when I went to bed, but in the morning I woke up to Keenan K White working out on a treadmill. That’s what it sounded like. Heavy breathing, swearing, shuffling around. Turns out all he was doing was walking to the bathroom and back, packing his suitcase, and trying not to die. Apparently it’s almost impossible to breath at this ridiculous altitude.
  2. It is also impossible for our engines to breath. There is almost no power at this altitude. It’s ridiculous. The power is severely limited, the motor’s don’t rev high at all. You have to experience it to believe it. The things I did to at least make my car driveable:
  • Removed the venturi completely.
  • Removed 0.1mm head shims.
  • Ran a 50 main gear, I would have run a 12t clutchbell, but didn’t have one.
  • Ran an aggressive setting on a REDS clutch.
  • Ran a very short low end needle to increase low end power.
  • I would have needed fuel with higher nitro content also.

The reason for me and Keenan being in Bolivia, was our Latin America Tour, spanning Bolivia, Peru, Argentina, Chile and Colombia. We would end the tour with the roughest and most dangerous country of them all, South Carolina, for the Fall Brawl. So Bolivia was step 1.

Basically our visit lasted 5 days, landed in La Paz, tried not to die, drove for 6 hours or so to Cochabamba, traveled back in time and checked into our hotel from the late 1800s, raced for 2 days, then drove back, checked into a hotel close to the bus terminal in order to take a 11h bus ride to Chile the following morning. Below you can see and read about the highlights of our journey.

As we set off from Miami, Keenan was immediately racially profiled. Hilarious.

The journey then began with a seatbelt extension.

LaPaz airport. BE in there.

BLACK Edition Promotion everywhere

Ok, this is definitely not Miami anymore.

Look at THAT. Cable car ride from Alto to LaPaz. Something else. I want to see Danny MacAskill navigate Alto roofs.

God Bless Bolivia – Team JQ has arrived.

Our Bolivian Distributor took us to their home track up in the mountains!

Very nice track, only problem, lack of power!

A bunch of drivers showed up with JQ BLACK Editions, and JQ RTRs!

Next morning we woke up early, and drove 6 hours or more to Cochabamba with the power of cocaine tea.

Cochabamba was a bit lower than LaPaz, so a bit better power, but still terrible

After a long drive through the mountains we arrived at the track for the race.

Bit of an evening snack at the race! Goddamn!

Team shirts were handed out. We need all our teams to look good!

Andres Claros had a cool ride. Back to the future

The driver stand was a bit small. Needed an extension 🙂

This huge double proved to be my downfall in the main. I landed on a crashed car and my engine started running really weird, and died 2 corners later. Then it wouldn’t run. To this day I don’t know what happened.

Winner winner chicken dinner. On the left Jorge Chacon who took the win, and on the right Carlos Guerra who finished 3rd. Jorge is an up and coming racer who took his first win with a JQ, and Carlos is a veteran RC racer. A multiple Bolivian mountain bike champion, he runs a MBK store, and works as a mechanic on bikes. Great job to these guys!

Our Bolvian team is on point! Left to Right, Javier “Captain Slow” Rivera, nickname from real car driving. Jorge “Winner” Chacon, Javier “Rocky” Barros, JQ, Carlos “MTB” Guerra, Bryan “THEBoss” Bohrt, Keenan “K(unt)” White, Jorge “THEPilot” Zamora.

Preparing to go home, Bolivian style. TRANQUILOOOO!

The look of death. Our Team Last Resort driver who drove us back home was on another level. He clearly had no fucks left to give, and we almost died multiple times. I tried to explain to him why there were so many crosses on the side of the road, but he didn’t speak any ingles.

Back in LaPaz we stayed in a hotel where they shot a SAW movie. It was close to the bus station and it was Keenans first serious bad choice of the trip. Here I’m charging my phone. So awesome.

As if that wasn’t enough, this is the electrocution kit add on to the shower. Did it work, fuck no. Only cold water, well except for 3 seconds of luke warm water about 3 minutes in.

This breakfast hot pocket made things a lot better. So good. Saltenas I think they are called.

Finally on the bus with this lazy git, and on to Peru, via Chile.

And as for Chickens making you gay, I asked for an interesting fact about Bolivia for my blog, and the best story we heard was about Bolivia’s nutty president Evo Morales who said that eating chicken makes you gay. As a result chicken sales plummeted.

2wd Podium Review

ATTENTION: Due to zero coverage, we were not able to locate any pictures from the event. This made us unsure, if the event actually took place. For this blog, we google searched images. We attempted to be as accurate as possible. We apologise for any possible mischaracterisations.

See, this is why I wrote the blog every day. When you don’t, you just keep putting it off, as there is always, every day, too many things to do. I always have a to do list, and I never manage to finish it. Ever. Blog? Naaaah.

2wd in Pinerolo, if you still remember, let’s take a look at what went on in the mains, as far as the top 5 are concerned. I didn’t really pay attention to the others, sorry! 4wd I got them all covered.

1st Lee Martin (I predicted: Lee Martin)

Lee was clearly the best throughout practice and qualifying, even though he wasn’t the fastest in practice. It still looked like he had this in the bag. I think in the mains, due to the rain it got slippery, and his car didn’t look all that great, but he out drove everyone with his smooth safe style. Lee was specially good on the corner table, and very consistent over the jumps. It will be interesting to see how he will do at the Worlds in China. Will this finally be his year to get a WC? It very well could be, as he is driving very well, and with confidence.

2nd Michal Orlowski (I predicted: Neil Cragg)

Michal was solid in the mains. The Schumacher car always looks loose on tracks like this one, and to be honest I was surprised at how strong he was in the slippery main conditions. He pressured Lee in the 2nd main, but was just a tad off. I feel like he maximised his performance this time out.

3rd Renaud Savoya (I predicted: Renaud Savoya)

Arguably, the best car of the race. He had traction, and steering, and he just punched it! Out of all the guys, he looked the most comfortable with his car and his setup in my opinion. Top nitro driver 🙂

4th Ricardo Berton

Berton was the other surprise of the event, after Savoya, with a solid qualifying performance, earning him 2nd place. In the mains things didn’t quite go his way, and he lost out on the podium with a 2nd and 3rd, which is unlucky. The speed was there but the comfort, confidence and race craft was still lacking, due to limited 10th scale track time.

5th Joona Haatanen

Joona had a bad 1st final, then for the 2nd final, bolted on the standup gearbox, missed the start countdown due to his dad tightening the slipper after warm up, so he had to start at the back of the grid. This is where talent makes a difference. He adapted to the car, and drove up to 4th place. 5th overall was a great performance  taking into account the circumstances.

Robert Battle – No Filter

Robert Battle is one of the 1:8th Nitro Buggy specialists out there. He has raced some other classes slightly, but for the most part, 1:8th buggy is where he spends most of his time. He is a World Champion, double European Champion, as well as multiple national champion. He is a driver that you can never count out once the final rolls around, regardless of how his qualifying, or even semi final goes. He has a knack for finding a rhythm and if need be, un-lapping himself after the halfway point in a main, and finding himself in a battle for the win at the very end. I sent him some questions a while ago, and this is what he had to say.

You are one of the most successful drivers in 1:8th offroad, I don’t even know your best achievements, please list them here:

First of all thank you so much to make this interview and your blog, some people hate it but I think it is because it’s true things coming out.

My best achievements are:

World Champion 2012

2 x European Champion 2007/2011

2nd at World Championships 2016

2nd twice at European Championships

11 x Spanish Champion in a row (edit. we heard a record breaking 36 national race wins in a row)

You were clearly talented as you were fast ever since the beginning at your first Euros, I believe in 2002, but since then you progressed to become one of the most consistently fast and successful drivers, regardless of the equipment you were running, be it GRP, Proline or ProCircuit tyres, AXE, or Novarossi Engines, HoBao, AE or Mugen cars. How did you pull this off? Was it easy or did you actually have to put some work in?

From my point of view to be in the top of any sport is super difficult, you have to work a lot and be consistent in what you are doing. But you also need someone who guides you specially when you are young. It has been really difficult most of times mainly when you see your friends going out, holidays,… but you cannot go with them as you have to race or test.

How much did you practice in the early years, and did you have a plan, or did you just drive gallon after gallon? Do you practice less or more now than before?

I really didn’t practice a lot when I was young, but I made a looot of races, that’s the best way for me so you can drive in a lot of tracks and you can set-up the car in any condition. Practice a lot in your home track doesn’t make you improve your skills from my point of view. Now I practice more than ever, specially because I have to test a lot of prototype things but also because I’m getting older…. so you need to practice more to be still alive!

Some drivers switch a lot from car to car, searching for some magic. You have raced for 3 different car brands in your career, what is your opinion regarding this?

I don’t like at all, if you are confident with your car and you think that it is the best, you can win whatever. Changing too much can confuse you I think, I feel great with Mugen and all people there, I know the car and they take always a line from so many years ago… so I’m confident with it. As we all know, you never know what’s gonna happen, but that’s what I think right now.

What exactly is Marc Ibar’s (Ultimate Racing) contribution to your success? What is his contribution? And what about your father?

What I am now, it is thanks to both 100% and Javi Muela who helped me in 2002 to race, making Hobao believe in me.

Marc helps me a lot to understand the race itself, how to manage the difficult situations and things like that, we could say psychologic terms.

My dad as the word says is my dad, so he helps me everywhere, and he taught me all I know in RC and outside, always helped with my mom who never came to a race because she becomes too nervous haha.

What are the main changes you make to your car at a race, and why?

We normally work with swaybars because I feel a big change anytime we change. We work also on tires as it is a key thing in the setup.

Shocks are also a main thing so basically these three items, as the others from my point of view just change a little your feeling and they are more “psychologic” than any other thing.

Do you sometimes end up with a car that’s less than ideal, and you just drive around it?

Yes. So many races I had a difficult car and I had to drive more than 100% to win or to finish in a good position. Although it has been races where I had an awesome car and I made stupid mistakes to ruin the race lol.

Do you think about what you are doing when you drive, or do you just drive? Do you think about the car and how it is handling, or your own driving, such as line choice or throttle control? Do you consciously make changes to your driving, or your line choice during races?

Yes, my team sometimes says to me that I think too much. I always think how to improve the car, how to find a better line to go faster, changing my driving style in some parts to get some tenths…. I think all drivers do that as this is the only way to learn the track as it changes a lot during even a main final.

You are known as a main final driver. Somehow you manage to put it all together in the mains, even sometimes halfway through the main. How? What’s wrong with you, why not all the time, why wait until the last 30 minutes of the main?

Haha. This is difficult to explain… we always work more thinking on main finals, my car goes better after 10/15 minutes so maybe that’s why in qualifying I am not the best at all. However it is something that this year we want to change and I think we will do it. We work also with harder compounds as I don’t drive smooth… that also helps to be faster at the end. Although we will try to change it this year, I will ask you at the end what you think 😉

I have seen you now have an impressive RBR36 Arena in Barcelona.What is the story? Is this yours or does it only use your name, do you run it yourself? What are the future plans for this project?

This is mine and another partner, this is the story, I spent a lot of money there but sincerely it is not going as expected so I don’t know what will happen with this on next year… will see what we can do, but seems difficult to go ahead….

If you could change some things in RC Racing, or the RC industry, what would they be?

We need professional people leading RC, people who live because of that. Not people with another job then doing this like a “hobby”. Real world championship with some races during the year, same for European Championship… we need to change RC and make it visible for the people as a sport not simply as a toy. RC is a perfect sport for an amazing dad/(son or daughter) relationship, we have to work on this more than ever.

I have seen you like racing real cars too, and heard you used to race gokarts before? Is that so? Will you move on to real cars after RC:-)?

Yes I love real racing cars, I used to go to any track day I can, basically when my pocket can….lol

I used to race gokarts even wining some national races but it was too much money so I had to quit. I will not move from RC, real racing is too expensive and I’m too old to live from that, I love RC and I love my life so I don’t want anything else.

Finally, what does the future hold for you. What are your major goals for 2017 and beyond?

My main goal is to win Euro’s again after last two terrible years…I have some projects in my mind that I’m still discussing with my sponsors that can be a motivation for me, in terms of helping drivers and specially kids.

Thank you so much for everything, and keep going with your blogs as they make RC more alive!

Gracias Robert