Carlos, our colleague from ALTEN Spain, has a very unusual hobby that you may not have heard about it before: he competes in radio-controlled car races! Particularly, he contests driving Formula 1 cars on a 1:5 scale. This is the biggest scale for a radio-controlled car, so much for working. In addition, he was the champion of Spain in 2015, something really considerable. He tells us everything about how he got to know about these races and what do they represent for him:
How would you describe the radio-controlled car racing’ world? Specifically, Formula 1?
When I was a child, I used to play with my father and my brother the “Scalextric” game. Every year, the “Spanish Scalextric Championship” took place at Igualada (Barcelona), where I was living. After that, I started to compete with radio control electric cars, on a scale 1:10. Finally, I decided to try my father’s Formula 1 on the 1:5 scale, and I just loved it. Since then, I took part in championships in Catalonia, nationally and in Europe championships.
Why did you start participating in these races? Since when have you been competing nationally and internationally?
My dad already used to compete, and I met so many people who were dedicated to it, that starting to race was really easy! I started to compete nationally in 2010, but it was not until 2012 that I participated in a European Championship, located in Valencia.
Is it hard to have access to these competitions? Which requirements are needed?
It is not hard to access but it is true that you need an accreditation license. This means that I need to pay an annual amount to the Spanish Radio-Controlled Cars Association (AECAR). Also, you need to buy a proper car and to practice your driving with it. Following these steps, anyone can register… But the fact to reach finals or conquest the podium is up to the person.
How do you get ready for these Championships? Do they take so much time and a big effort?
Occasionally, I practice trying engines, carburettors, wheels, different sets ups, etc. But, to be honest, everyone at the races train really hard those days, because the competition lasts a whole weekend.
What do you like the most of this hobby? What does it mean to you?
I think that I really like the good atmosphere that there is in these competitions and, of course, I enjoy controlling my car. In addition, it’s a pleasure spending the weekend racing, it helps me to disconnect doing something I like and with friends.
What are the most difficult moments in these competitions?
I think that the hardest moment is when you could have won the race but a mechanical problem spoils that victory or even a good score. Moreover, it is difficult to manage when the car suffers an accident, and it gets damaged. However, I would say that I am more excited when the race is about to start, with all the cars on the starting grid.
How did you feel when you won the title of “Spanish champion” in 2015? Did you expect that?
Honestly, I did not expect that because I was young. Nevertheless, it is also true that I did a great season: I won in Madrid (my first Spanish victory), in Santander and in Vigo. We have not the same luck now, though we are still winning races the title does not come again.
What does your family think about this hobby?
I always have the feeling that they see it as a strange and uncommon hobby, but also as an interesting and a funny one.
Do you want to keep racing or does this hobby have an expiration date?
Nowadays, I do want to continue racing. I really love it. In fact, next year we will go to Fiorano Modenese (Italy) to participate in the European championship.