TALK IT UP TUESDAY: Alan Wight
Tuesday, Sep 20, 2016 09:32pm
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!
Like many RC racers, Alan Wight came from a competitive background and was introduced to the hobby by his father. Unlike young drivers who are raised at the track, however, Wight got a later start than most - though he progressed quickly and won his first 17.5-class national championship after racing for just five years. I shot him a set of questions to learn more about his racing career for this week’s Talk It Up Tuesday, but it certainly wasn’t the first time I’ve ever talked to him:
Photo: Team Orion, via Facebook
Aaron Waldron: How old are you, and where are you from?
Alan Wight: I just turned 25 on September 1st. I was born and raised in Gainesville, FL. Home of the Florida Gators!
AW: How did you get into RC, and how long have you been racing?
AW: I have been racing since the age of four. I raced go-karts for about 14 years and rode BMX for a couple of years before getting into R/C. My dad and I started in the radio control hobby with RC airplanes and helicopters. We traveled all over for events and fly-ins. One day, we went and checked out a local RC car track in Ocala, FL. The next Saturday we were there and we were racing. I've now been racing for about six years.
Photo: Cheryl Joye-Shiver, via Facebook
AW: When did you decide to start taking racing more seriously, traveling to larger races and acquiring sponsors?
AW: I started taking racing a little more serious around 2011-2012. A good friend of mine, Daniel Castaneda, and I were both working at HobbyTown USA in Gainesville, FL. We started traveling to the JConcepts SuperCup races and competing. From then on I've been hooked and enjoy every race weekend like it's my first.
AW: What do you currently do for work? Is it difficult finding time to commit to practicing and racing?
AW: I'm currently working at HobbyTown USA in Gainesville. I'm very fortunate that I get to work in the industry in which I get to race! Scheduling can be difficult from time to time, between working full time, going to school full time and racing. It's very difficult finding time to practice before a big race. I usually try to have the day off before a big race and try to maximize my practice time before the event gets underway.
Photo: Boris Yaw, via Facebook
AW: How long have you worked in the RC industry? Do you like it?
AW: I've been working in the industry for almost 9 years. It's great to work with families and meet so many new people that want to start a new hobby and have fun! I enjoy working on pretty much anything RC-related.
AW: What’s your favorite track? Favorite big event? Favorite racing class?
AW: I would have to say that my favorite track locally is Newberry RC Park. I am one of the board members for the park, and it's been a great learning experience. We just held our first JConcepts SuperCup race this year and it was a huge success. We are looking forward to many more events.
My favorite track and favorite event of all time would have to be OCRC for the 2016 Reedy Race. I was blown away with the facility and the racing scene. It was an awesome place to be able to travel to.
My favorite classes would have to be 2WD Stadium Truck and 2WD Buggy.
AW: What are your most proud racing moments?
AW: I would have to say that my most proud moment in RC would be winning the 2015 ROAR Off-Road Nationals in 17.5 2WD Truck at SRS.
AW: Do you have any goals for your RC career?
AW: The biggest goal I have in front of me right now is I would like to win a 17.5 2WD Buggy regional and national title.
Photo: Cheryl Joye-Shiver, via Facebook
AW: When you’re not at the racetrack, what are some of your favorite hobbies?
AW: If I'm not at the track, I'm probably at work or school. In my down time I like to visit some of the microbreweries we have in town.
AW: What’s the best part of RC racing? What about RC racing annoys or bothers you?
AW: The best part of RC racing is the friendships that you create and keep. As far as what bothers me about the industry, that's better left unspoken. LOL.
Photo: Kevin Abbott, via Facebook
AW: Who are some of the people that have helped you the most?
AW: First and foremost, my family has provided lots of support! Ernie Provetti, Kevin Abbott, Jason Ruona, Paul Wynn, Miguel Miranda and Ray Reno have all done everything they can to help me grow in the industry and the hobby.
AW: Thanks for the interview! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
AW: I would like to thank all my sponsors for giving me the opportunity to represent them and their products and I'm looking forward to the latter part of 2016: Trinity, JConcepts, EZcustoms, HobbyTown USA Gainesville FL, Fast Eddy Bearings, Stickit1Racing, and Newberry RC Park.