Regardless of the sport, or hobby in this case, one of the most fun and frequent debates is who is the best of best. In the same way that there is no “right” answer to who’s the best QB (it’s Montana, by the way), hoops star (Jordan all the way) or hockey player (he might be a wuss, but it’s Gretzky), there is no right answer to who is the best RC racer of all time. That said, we compared notes, ran the numbers and hashed it out until we came up with our own top five RC racers of all time. Oh, and while there is no right answer, if you think we’re wrong, you’re crazy.
#5 Matt Francis–USA. While he is a multiple world champion, Matt is most famous for spending as much time being an ambassador of the hobby as he did winning big races both on- and off-road. In addition to many national titles, Matt has won two IFMAR world championships, both in 2WD electric off-road.
#4 Joel Johnson–USA. Joel “Magic” Johnson definitely deserves a top five spot, but doesn’t rise to the top because he dominated mostly only as an on-road champion. That said, Joel did win world championships racing both on- and off-road. As the face of Trinity, Joel has won big driving 1/12- and 1/10-scale electric pan cars and has also taken home the hardware piloting touring cars and even 1/8-scale nitro on-road. Joel won two IFMAR world championships, one in 1987 and another in 1992.
#3 Atsushi Hara–Japan. This Japanese driving sensation has won at the highest level running electric and nitro and on- and off-road. He has been the legendary Masami Hirosaka’s most consistent rival and he is the only driver on this list that is still the potential win more championships. Hara has won world championships not only in on- and off-road classes, but with electric and nitro power.
#2 Brian Kinwald–USA. Brian “The Dirtinator” Kinwald is, overall, the most famous American RC racer of all time. Like Joel Johnson before him, Brian was once the face of his main sponsor Trinity and of RC. Brian took professional RC driving to a new level and created a path for today’s generation of paid-to-play drivers. While his world championships have come on dirt, Brian has won big races on carpeted and paved tracks as well.
#1 Masami Hirosaka–Japan. With 14 IFMAR titles to his credit Masami Hirosaka has won more world championships than any other RC driver and he has won numerous titles racing both on- and off-road. Masami has won on- and off-road races, and is even a bit of a celebrity in his home country. He is famous for his precision, hard charging driving and the ability to drive better with his feet (which he’ll do as a stunt) than most drivers can with their hands.
> Ryan Cavalieri–USA. Ryan is still crafting his racing legacy, and if he keeps on the his current pace, he will make the top 5 and possibly even take the top spot.
> Lamberto Collari–Italy. Lamberto is essentially only known for 1/8-scale nitro on-road where he has absolutely dominated with an amazing 10 IFMAR titles. A win or strong showing in another class would instantly propel Lamberto into the top 5.
> Marc Rheinard–Germany. When on-road ace and multiple world champion, Marc Rheinard, wins it is not even close. He can race off-road, but has never done well on the dirt at the top level.
> David Spashett–UK. Another on-road star, David has numerous world championships, but has not proven to be as versatile as some of the elite racers.