After two years of competition driving and promoting the bigscale class it's time for the next big thing in the career of Ralf van Hattum. The Crew Rider of Losi Bigscale Nederland just signed a contract with Team Losi Racing, for him it's a dream that comes true!
What about his addiction to RC, ambitions and thoughts? You can read all about it here on Losibigscale.com!
How did you get started in RC?
Got my first experience with RC a long time ago. I was around the age of eight, 30 years ago, when I got my first car which was controlled by a transmitter without any wires. Basically a toy and spend so many hours with that car. I still own this car! The interest for RC grown very fast. A member of the family owned some Tamiya cars that time and I was thrilled every time I saw them driving. When I reached the age of 12 I got my first real RC car from my parents as a present. Build it all by myself and the happiest kid on earth when I was driving this car for the first time.
How did you get into competition driving?
I never had that kind of ambitions to be honest. In my youth I was driving within a Tamiya promotion team for a local hobby shop. Just for fun. I was part of that team till I reached the age of 19 while other things became more important. Study, work and a girlfriend were my first priorities these days (and the next 16 years of my life that followed). Blessed with the birth of our kids and about 4 years ago the time was there, my oldest son was asking about an RC car. Finally I thought :-) After spending some time with his car it was clearly that my passion for RC was still there. After I did some research about the status of RC I realized that a lot was changed. There was even a 5th scale car that looks so real, the Losi 5ive-T. After I saw some Youtube movies about this car I was convinced and bought one 3 years ago. It was great driving this car but it felt a bit strange to drive only by myself on an open field. I was desperately searching for other drivers to have some fun with. In the Netherlands the only possibility to do this is to get into a competition so I registered myself for my first local race. From that moment lots of races have followed.
And now your commitment with Team Losi Racing. Happy?
YES! Since the cooperation between Horizon Hobby and Losi Bigscale Nederland I got familiar with the racing department of Losi. Their products and company culture really touched me. Last year I have made some good progress as a competition driver and built a good network with people that have helped me a lot. One of the main issues is that 5th scale isn’t an official class yet and TLR does only cooperate with drivers which participates in official race classes (1/10 and 1/8). The 5th scale class has grown a lot lately and is getting more and more mature. Also professional third party manufacturers are stepping into the world of 5th scale and that's very helpful to make some steps forward. We are close to an official 5th scale class and also TLR is taking it serious. By signing this contract I hope that we can promote this class even more and hopefully getting one step closer to a professional racing class. For me personally, i'm really honored that Horizon Hobby Europe asked me to become a member of the TLR family as a Team Driver.
I am committed to the 5th scale class and this is what i keep doing. I think this class is very unique and is giving drivers all around the world one of the best driving experience. My promotional activities for bigscale and participations within races will stay in place. Since i am into this class i have seen it growing but we are still not there. There is still a lot of work to do and I will do my best to stay Horizon's Hobby beacon for the 5ive platform.
And after 3 years of bigscale I’m also in for a new challenge. It is important to have the right knowledge and motivation as a Team Driver of Team Losi Racing. I have discussions with drivers all over the world and that's not limited to the 5ive. This is why I'm getting into the 1/8 4WD E-Buggy scene also. This will be a great addition!
I am very excited to drive the TLR 8ight-E 3.0 buggy soon. Nearby my hometown we're having a great 8th scale track at RC Duiven (find them on Facebook). So I have much more opportunities to drive as I have now with bigscale. I am convinced that this will extend my knowledge and driving skills.
Would you like to say 'thank you' to somebody?
Yes of course! First of all I want to say thank you to some key persons within Horizon Hobby. A big thanks to Steve Hall, Joe Schamuhn, Frank Mueller and Sandra Schultz for their support and good discussions. And of course a big thanks to Todd Hodge, Surface Category Manager at TLR, for our chats and support!
There are also some other very important persons that helped me a lot to become this far:
Matthew Olson - MIP
Nick Visser - NRP
Renato Vita - Tourex Competition
Rinus Visser - RN Tuning
Ruud van Rooij - Rijksweg60
With these names the world of bigscale is much more interesting. They are creating and delivering the best parts for all Losi drivers. So thank you all!
And my thumbs up to my friends Xander Agterbosch and Gerrit van Wakeren for all the fun and happiness. You guys really helped me to get a better (looking) car, stay focussed and have a lot of fun in this sport. You guys rocks!
Ralf's Rides, #33
Hereby some pictures of Ralf's cars: