Among all pro R/C racers, Adam Drake represents for me exactly what a pro R/C racer should be. I’ve heard only good things about Adam Drake’s attitude on and off the track. About a month ago, I’ve had the chance to meet Adam in person for the first time. I have to admit that I was a little bit shy and intimidated.
My first contact with Adam went really easy, even if my English is far from being perfect, it was easy to engage conversation with him. There were others pro racers out there who were only answering questions with a yes or a no. Adam was joking and talking with me with a perfect attitude like if he was knowing me for many years. I wished I could have spent more time talking with him but he was there for racing so I’ve let him do his work.
While driving back home, I had regret to not have spent more time with Adam and then I had the idea of interviewing him (yeah, sometimes I have excellent ideas!!!). So here is the interview…
MyRCBox.com: Adam, welcome back to MyRCBox for another interview. I say “another” because this is your second interview with us. This is always nice having you here.
Adam Drake: Hello Sylvain! It’s my pleasure to do another interview with MyRCBox.
MyRCBox.com: Like I’ve said above, I had the chance to meet you a month ago. You seemed really calm, talking with a lot of persons, explaining things about your cars, tires and engines. Is this something natural for you? Is this what Adam Drake looks like every day or at every races?
Adam Drake: Yes, it’s pretty natural for me. I really enjoy helping fellow racers and I understand the value it has with our customers. An exceptional customer experience is more than having the right products, it must be backed by service and support. I have an opportunity to directly communicate with our customers and enjoy it.
MyRCBox.com: When I’ve met you, you were relaxing at your pit table while many others racers were wrenching and were working on their cars. You were seeming very confident about your cars and setups. Is this always like this? Preparation being 90% of the job and you make few adjustments once at the track?
Adam Drake: It depends on the event and how well it’s going, but usually choosing the proper tire is the most important part of the set-up. Once you have the right tire for the conditions, you usually don’t need to make too many changes other than a few small tweaks. I’m huge on preparation and like to do most of my testing before events, not at them. I’m confident in my complete package. At the event in Canada, everything was working well and I was happy with my set-up.
MyRCBox.com: What are your comments on Ryan Maifield’s move to TLR? A month ago you were adversaries now you are teammates.
Adam Drake: It’s a small world in our industry. Even know we all battle it out on the track, most of us are friends in the pits. Ryan and I have been friends for many years, but it will defiantly be different now being teammates. We’ll be working together to make our products the best they can be. It’s a great opportunity for all of us to get even better!
MyRCBox.com: TLR has the most talented racers in its team. Does it add extra pressure on you and/or TLR to win big races? To win the next IFMAR 1/8 buggy Worlds?
Adam Drake: I don’t think so. If anything I feel there’s less pressure with us having such a strong team. The way I look at it is if one of our guys has a problem or is struggling one weekend, we have two or three more guys that can still win.
MyRCBox.com: I’ve seen on Facebook that you and Ronda were giving R/C camps. Can you tell us more about those camps?
Adam Drake: I’ve helped a little with the Tessmann’s 110% racing camps. Also at some of the smaller races Ronda and I have spent a few hours each night helping the locals with any questions they have about racing. Ronda and I are very passionate about racing and it’s a lot of fun to give back!
MyRCBox.com: Talking about Ronda, I’ve seen that she is still racing a lot. How things are going for her?
Adam Drake: Ronda’s doing great. Yes, she races and practices a lot. She mainly runs nitro, but when I’m out of town racing she spends a lot of time running electric at our local track IERC.
MyRCBox.com: There are many discussions and opinions regarding mid and rear motor configurations. What are your thoughts on mid vs rear motor buggies?
Adam Drake: It depends on the track, but usually mid motor is faster and more difficult to drive. I think for the average racer, rear motor is more enjoyable to drive on most tracks.
MyRCBox.com: Is there something new coming from TLR that you can speak of?
Adam Drake: We’re always working on new stuff and trying to improve our current products, but nothing that I can go into detail about. 🙂
MyRCBox.com: You are racing the new 8ight 3.0 buggy for few months now. From what I’ve heard, you have been involved in the design. What do you like the most about the buggy?
Adam Drake: Our engineers do all the design work, but I work closely with them. I’m very involved with the development and do all of the testing for our nitro 1/8th platforms. I love the way the 8ight 3.0 drives and how durable it is.
MyRCBox.com: As far as I can remember, you always been racing for Team Losi/TLR. How long you are with them? Is brand loyalty very important for you?
Adam Drake: I started racing for TLR in 1994. 20 years ago. Brand loyalty is very important to me.
MyRCBox.com: What are your others functions at Horizon?
Adam Drake: My title is Team Development and Strategies Manager. This includes development of our 1/8th nitro vehicles and support / management of our race team.
MyRCBox.com: Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years? Still racing or working in the R/C industry at a different level?
Adam Drake: I still see myself in the R/C industry in 5 or 10 years. I don’t think too much will change in the immediate future.
MyRCBox.com: You have won multitude of races and titles in your career. Which one you are the most proud of and which one you’d like to win?
Adam Drake: I’ve been very fortunate, but the one I’m the most proud of is the 2013 ROAR 1/8th Buggy National Championship. Our entire team ran so well all week and we finished first and second.
MyRCBox.com: It seems that you focus on 1/8 nitro and electric racing more than you ever did in your career. Preparing yourself for the Worlds? Do you still race 1/10?
Adam Drake: My primary focus is defiantly 1/8th nitro. I miss racing 1/10th electric, but I don’t have the time to race everything with my responsibilities at work and my comments to testing for TLR, Nova Rossi, and Pro-Line.
MyRCBox.com: No doubt that you are the racer who can get the most runtime out of a fuel tank. What is your secret?
Adam Drake: One day I may write about book about this subject. Haha On a serious note, a lot of things contribute to my great fuel mileage. The TLR drivetrain, Nova Rossi engine, and Nitrotane fuel are the three most important things. Clutch set-up, driving style, and tune also play key roles in getting good fuel mileage.
MyRCBox.com: Recently, we have seen more coverages from R/C news sites and social medias. Sometimes, this was good, sometimes this was “less good”. Do you think such coverage is a good thing for the hobby/sport? Or this is sometimes exaggerated
Adam Drake: I think it’s good overall, but some of the stories are bias and exaggerated which are bad for the industry.
MyRCBox.com: The first time I’ve heard about you was many years ago in a gas trucks race report published in a R/C magazine. Do you miss gas truck racing? Would you like to see gas truck class make a comeback?
Adam Drake: I do miss 1/10th gas truck racing and wish it would make a comeback. I think we need an entry level racing class in nitro.
MyRCBox.com: What is your preferred race class and what class you could live without?
Adam Drake: 1/8th nitro buggy (off road) is my by far my favorite class to race.
MyRCBox.com: Who are your sponsors, it is time to plug them…
Adam Drake: Team Losi Racing, Nova Rossi, Pro-Line, Horizon Hobby, Spektrum, Nitrotane, Hitec, Competition Heat, UpGrade R/C, Lunsford, Tekin, Thunder Power, Live R/C, and Pro Motion T Shirts.
MyRCBox.com: What we don’t know about Adam Drake that we should know?
Adam Drake: That’s a difficult question. What would you like to know? haha
MyRCBox.com: Thank you for your time Adam, hope to see you again very soon!
Adam Drake: Thank you!!