Most of us RC drivers love them, but we rarely think about who creates them. We’re talking about RC racetracks. Pawel Ntkovca is a prolific RC track designer that hails from Łódź, Poland. Ntkovca is a graffiti and airbrush artist that has been perfecting his craft for over 20 years. We reached out to him to find out how he got into the RC hobby, pick his braing about track design and what elements inspire him to create the tracks that drivers the world over love to drive on so much.
RCCA: How and when did you get into RC and start designing RC tracks?
PN: My adventure with RC started in 2005 in Denmark. It was then that I discovered the RC hobby, which quickly sucked me in. I was impressed by the driving skills that it took to master RC and how RC equipment works. I found myself constantly thinking about corners, jumps and how to get faster. When I went back to Poland in 2012, I visited some RC tracks. Professional RC racing was losing popularity in Poland at the time but I loved the hobby and had some ideas. I felt capable of designing racetracks and organizing some local events. I listened to advice from some of the best drivers like Michal Orlowski, Bartlomiej Zambrzycki and many others about what they wanted in a track. Over the time, I brought over one hundred foreign drivers to Poland and listened to their opinions on how to make better track designs and jumps. This is how I gained knowledge and experience. It quickly paid off and drivers noticed. At first my tracks first hosted a few local drivers. Now the tracks I design for Benek Cup, Xray Racing Series Poland, Race Stars Contest are known to sometimes host over 300 cars at a single event. This was all done with the help of the best track crew ever, RC Janusze.
RCCA: What track design do you specialize in and where do you find inspiration?
PN: I enjoy seeing the “flow” of the track, especially for 1/10 off road, 1/10 carpet, and 1/8 racing. Inspiration wise, I like seeing drivers with smiles on their faces enjoying a track I designed. I also try to learn from one of the best track designers and dirt masters, Joey from “The Dirt.” It’s overwhelming how Joey revolutionized and pushed off road RC and racetrack flow. I have a tremendous respect for him. I’m also super happy that Joey appreciates my skills and it is a pleasure to do a design for him. (Ntkovca has recently created a track design for The Dirt.)
RCCA: What types of tracks do you enjoy the most and which is your favorite design and why?
PN: I enjoy the smooth ones, where there are no “full throttle/full brake” only segments. My favorite ones involve playing with “full throttle and neutral” sections that are forced by the track’s layout. My favorites are the open layouts where you have drive at full speed. Like the tracks at “DNC 2013” or “International Buggy Challenge ‘21 in Portugal.”
RCCA: How many tracks have you designed?
PN: I have designed over one hundred tracks, most of them were for carpet racing, but I’m mostly proud of three outdoor tracks that I created for 1/8-scale racing here in Poland. One of them is in my city, another is in Wolsztyn at a place called “Latina RC Racing” and the third is in Wlodawa at “RC Sport Wlodawa.” That track is used for the Nationals.
RCCA: How do you create your track designs?
PN: All of my track layout drawings are done in freehand, without the help of digital computer work. I draw them on technical paper at 1/100-scale. Each track drawing only has one original copy. I think this makes my track design special and different.
RCCA: What future projects can you tell us about?
PN: Recently, I designed layouts for “Hobby Bros” in Florida and an RC shop in India called “Mysore.” I’m currently working on a track for the Perth RC Club in Australia. I’m also working on a drawing for RCGP race director Dawid Isherwood. And of course there’s work I did for Joey from “The Dirt.”
RCCA: Is there anything else you want to let our readers know?
PN: If you are an RC “petrol-head” like I am, try to keep healthy balance between hobby and work. RC is in my blood and I find a way to share my ideas all over the world with track designs. Drawing makes me relax and I hope to help others to make racing more fun. I want to constantly grow the RC community and am optimistic about the future of RC.
Text by Leigh Guarnieri
Images courtesy of Pawel Ntkovca