TALK IT UP TUESDAY: Mike Truhe tells all about the switch to Mugen Seiki
Tuesday, Dec 29, 2015 04:52pm
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!
About a year and a half ago, I interviewed Mike Truhe to chat about the first six months of his tenure with Serpent America. It was a huge career move for the multi-time national champion and former IFMAR Worlds runner-up after over a decade of racing TLR vehicles, and gave Truhe the opportunity to help one of RC’s most historic racing brands expand its reach in the off-road market.
The 32-year-old won a wide range of regional races with Serpent’s electric and nitro off-road vehicles, as well as the 2014 Novarossi Challenge when his boss, Joaquin DeSoto, handed him the keys (well, transmitter) to his personal Viper 977 WC. Though Truhe didn’t quite return to his 2005-2010 form, the deal seemed to be working out well for everyone - Serpent’s cars were improving, the team was growing, and Mike seemed to be enjoying his place as one of the brand’s most experienced and well-known off-road racers.
Needless to say, yesterday's announcement that he had signed with Mugen Seiki Racing and joined up with former TLR teammates Adam Drake and Tim Long surprised more than a few people - me included. Even after such a busy and exciting day, Truhe was eager to link up for this week’s Talk It Up Tuesday to discuss the move.
Aaron Waldron: Congratulations on the switch to Mugen Seiki! What was the main factor behind your big move?
Mike Truhe: I wouldn't say there was a main factor. I was presented with an opportunity that just fits my current situation and wanted to go after that opportunity.
AW: Have you built your new cars yet?
MT: Not yet. Still waiting on a few things to show up.
AW: How much did former teammate at TLR, Adam Drake, have to do with your switch? Are you excited to work with him again?
MT: He had a part in it, for sure. I am very excited to work together with him. We work well together and think very alike so it makes things work well very easily. Also, having Tim Long as the team manager was very appealing as well. We all have worked together in the past with great success so I look forward to continuing that now.
AW: Serpent underwent quite a lot of growth during your two years with the team. Was it a difficult decision to leave?
MT: Anytime you leave a company it is tough. Joaquin [DeSoto] and Paul [Ciccarello] were good to me and we have some great experiences and memories to always look back on.
AW: When did you start talking to Mugen Seiki? What excited your about the opportunity?
MT: It was not too long ago. Tim, Adam and I starting talking and we came up with this opportunity that we are all very excited about! To run the Mugen cars, which I've always admired for the way they drive, and to be able to work with the team that they already have assembled - who wouldn't be excited about that?
AW: The Mugen Seiki Racing team has had a long history of being competitive in international off-road racing. Do you feel any pressure to return to racing for championship wins?
MT: I don't feel the pressure to do so from anyone else besides myself, and I know that this package that I've assembled is the absolute best package I could ask for.
AW: Did you talk to any other brands about racing for them in 2016 before making your decision?
MT: I really didn't. Mugen was my first choice and once I knew that it was a possibility I went with it. I really wanted to "get the band back together" with Adam, Tim and the rest of the Mugen crew. It really has that “good ol’ times” kind of feel and that was my main goal with setting up my program.
AW: Will you be changing any of your other sponsors?
MT: There will be a few other sponsor changes for the upcoming year - more info to come soon on those. One thing I am certain of, though, is that all the changes are to the best products you can buy in my opinion. I can honestly say that I feel like I have absolutely no kinks in the armor.
AW: Thanks for the interview! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
MT: I'd like to thank you for this interview. I'd also like to thank Tim, Adam, Chris and everyone at Mugen for this opportunity. Also, to the rest of the Mugen team and customers I want to thank them for a very warm welcome. I was very happy to see the positive thoughts from everyone after this news broke. I look forward to these upcoming years and to seeing everyone at the races!