TALK IT UP TUESDAY: Nicholas Lee
Tuesday, Aug 25, 2015 03:24pm
By Aaron Waldron
Welcome to LiveRC's weekly column, "Talk-It-Up Tuesday!" Here we spend a little time talking with industry icons including racers, manufacturers, team managers, developers, promoters, and everyone in between! Sit back, relax, and go behind the scenes as we interview them all!
By the time I met Nicholas Lee for the first time at the ISTC Worlds in Florida last year, I already knew of the story how, like many other successful RC racers around the world, had been discovered by Mike Reedy at a very young age. Even when racing luck wasn’t on his side, I was impressed at how “Nico” always seemed to keep a smile on his face - and how he always made time to talk to whomever stopped by his pit area. I got to know Lee a little bit better at last year’s 200mm IC touring car Worlds in Bangkok and at the AOC opener in Shanghai, so I knew the story of his career and his perspective on the racing scene around the world would make for a wonderful Talk It Up Tuesday interview.
Aaron Waldron: How old are you, and where are you from?
Nicholas Lee: I am 24 years old and I am a Singaporean.
AW: How did you get into RC, and how long have you been racing?
NL: I first started out when I was 4 years old, which also means that I’ve been racing for 20 years. My dad used to fly radio control helicopters and he asked if I was more into helicopters or cars.
AW: When did you decide to start taking racing more seriously, traveling to larger races and acquiring sponsors?
NL: It was when I started winning club races at the age of 11. I participated in the Tamiya series races and qualified for the Asia Cup in Hong Kong. I remember I won the B-final and from then, I started to go to races like TITC and Reedy Race of Asia.
AW: What do you currently do for work? Is it difficult finding time to commit to practicing and racing?
NL: I am working in a semi-conductor company, doing web and retail sales. My boss is a distributor in Singapore for Hobbywing and supplies many RC products, so it is not as difficult to get time away for races as other companies (I hope! Haha). I work five days a week, so I’m able to practice during weekends.
AW: Do you only race touring cars? What other classes have you raced in your RC career?
NL: I used to race nitro off-road when I was little, but my car kept breaking down and it was really demoralizing no matter how well we prepared our cars. So my dad and I decided to race touring cars. I am now racing touring cars, 1/10-scale scale nitro, and also occasionally 1/10-scale electric off-road cars.
AW: What are some of the coolest places you’ve visited for RC races?
NL: I’m not sure about the coolest places, but I really enjoyed my U.S trip this year when Hagberg and I went on a little road trip before we raced the Reedy race.
AW: How does the racing scene in Singapore compare to other places in Asia? How does racing in Asia compare to the U.S. and Europe?
NL: Generally, I feel the U.S. and European racers have that ‘never give up’ mentality and they are really serious and professional in the things they do. They have the best tracks around as well. This is why I think they have many good drivers in those regions.
AW: What do you think of the Asian On-Road Championship events? Were you excited to have a round at Urban Playspace this year?
NL: Having the AOC events really helps me to attend more competitive races without needing to travel over 10 hours on an airplane. Hosting a round in Urban Playspace was the right choice. I do hope Scotty will do it again next year with some pro drivers coming as well.
AW: What are your most proud racing moments?
NL: I was very happy when I qualified third at the 200mm IC Worlds last year. That has to be my proudest racing moment.
AW: Do you have any particular goals for your RC career?
NL: I want to win some major races soon.
AW: When you’re not at the racetrack, what are some of your favorite hobbies?
NL: I like to play the FIFA video games, as well as football and basketball with my friends. And sometimes hang out at the bars. ;)
AW: What’s the best part of RC racing? What about RC racing annoys or bothers you?
NL: I think the best part of RC racing is being able to make friends all over the world, travel to different places and learn different cultures. ‘Hit and Run’ RC drivers annoy me the most!
AW: What is your favorite track? What about your favorite racing class?
NL: My favorite EP track has to be where I’ve raced my first EP Worlds at. It is in Torino, Italy, but I was too little to remember where it was. Some guys said it no longer exists. My favorite 1/10-scale GP track has to be Melzo, Italy. I’ve spent a lot of time in the touring class, and it has got to be my favourite!
AW: Who are some of the people that have helped you the most?
NL: It’s a long list, and I am fortunate enough to have many friends around helping me. My dad has been the most influential figure in my life. Mike Reedy had provided me the platform to be where I am now. Lastly, my local hobby store, Stargek, has helped me a lot as well.
AW: Thanks for the interview! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
NL: I would like to thank you and LiveRC for featuring me in this column! See you soon. :)
(Non-watermarked photos from www.n1cholaslee.com)