Many of us start our paths in RC racing to enjoy a sunny weekend afternoon with our buddies and experience the thrill of competition. Tuning and wrenching, getting your car set up to go faster than ever before in hopes of taking home… well nothing. Yes there’s the bragging rights, possibly a little bit of store credit as a prize or maybe even a shiny new bowling trophy, but that’s about it. So why do we continue on, traveling and spending larger and larger amounts of money racing? For some of us it could be the enjoyment of going new places and racing against people you’ve never met before. For others the excitement and possibility of winning a big race, taking home a huge trophy and the narrow possibility of getting sponsored and becoming a “pro driver” is what motivates us to race on. With that said there are a couple things you should try to keep in mind to help you along the way to give you the right foot forward on your way to the top:
1: You’re not a pro. Sorry to say, but the most important thing to remember is exactly that. Being the fast guy at your local track or even in your region is great and something to be very proud of, so is having a handful of 25 and 50% sponsors but at the end of the day that’s all it is; you’re the fast guy with a frequent buyer discount. Being humble will win you more friends than how much of a discount you get on tires for yourself.
2: Your greatest day of racing is the one where you help someone else. You may think that winning races will get you the attention of teams but at the end of the day it’s not what they’re hanging any sponsorships on; being a good representative of their product and company is. Being fast is great but being approachable and friendly is greater.
3: Have a resume. I know, sounds a little bit silly but believe it or not almost every racer on Earth, full size as well as RC, has a race resume. Your resume should be just like one for a job; list your accomplishments and characteristics that you think make you an asset to a prospective companies race team. Make sure your resume is professional looking and without spelling errors. Believe it or not I’ve seem some where the racer spelled the name of the company he was asking for sponsorship from spelled incorrectly!
4: You don’t stand a chance. When you go to big races like a National or the like, you’ll see factory drivers there and for a split second it may cross your mind that this is your chance to give them a run for their money… it’s not. What you probably won’t see immediately is that while the “pros” may have the same driving ability as you, they also have equipment and resources available to them that you’ll never be able to get on your own. Going into a race like this will surely yield disappointment and frustration if you think you’re going to steal the show but setting your expectations toward doing your best is lesson 1 in becoming a pro. They aren’t their focused on beating someone in particular, they’re there to do their best and that’s the key to a winning attitude.
5: Don’t forget where you come from. With the right attitude, consistent performance and persistent effort, you very well could become the next big thing in pro racing; who knew you were such a diamond in the rough. But now that you’ve made it and for all the right reasons, remember the people and places that got you there. At the end of the day any pro is still just a guy that shows up for Saturday club racing and so are you. Continue on helping people at your local track, practice and work hard.