TALK IT UP TUESDAY: Jerome Treignier
Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 01:04pm
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!
At 30 years old - with half of those spent in the industry - Jérôme Treignier has accomplished more than most ever will in their RC careers. Like many of those who make the transition into the business side of radio control, Treignier started participating in the hobby with family but then founded his first company in college. Since then, he’s become the export manager for a major manufacturer, organized some of the largest events in Canada, competed in two IFMAR World Championships and, just two weeks ago, came within one spot of a clean sweep of the Open classes at the Psycho Nitro Blast. Learn more about Jérôme Treignier’s life and career in this week’s Talk It Up Tuesday.
Aaron Waldron: How old are you, and where are you from?
Jérôme Treignier: Hi everyone! I’m 30 years old, and live in Montreal, Canada. I was born in France near Paris but moved to Canada when I was 22 for my studies.
AW: How did you get into RC?
JT: I had a track 10 minutes from my house in France. When I was younger I was always looking at the races. One day I asked my grandfather if I could try one. I got a small Tamiya 1/10-scale car, then a HoBao buggy and went to the track for the first time in 2002. I loved it and my driving was not so bad, so my dad got involved and we started racing together - attending regional races first, then the nationals and EFRA Euros.
Photo: RC Concept, via Facebook
AW: When did you decide to launch JTQ? Was it your first business, and your first time working in the RC industry?
JT: I was still a student and was looking to get some money in order to be able to race. One of my friends asked me to build a car for him, and this was the start. I was able to build cars, get them ready to race, and break in engines. I was also using products I really trusted in order to help racers in my area. It was my first business into the RC industry.
Another mission of JTQ is to promote races in Canada. I created the Quebec Classic in 2014 and we have worked on the Quebec Indoor Nationals which will be held this weekend. Last year we got 280 entries at the Quebec Classic in Montreal; it was a great achievement.
AW: What’s your favorite track? Favorite big event? Favorite racing class?
Ahh, it’s hard to say. There are so many nice tracks. My favourite track of all-time is the C-Netic track. Every pro needs a full day of practice to get a 5-minute run without mistakes! Everything is awesome on that track. The C-Netic challenge in 2013 was the best event I have been to so far. I also love for sure the event I’m doing in Canada. My favourite class is nitro 1/8-scale buggy by far, and mainly because it was the class I started with.
AW: How did you get involved with RC Concept?
JT: At the Worlds in 2014, Sebastien explained to me the concept behind RC Concept. I was not sure at the beginning, to tell you the truth - I wanted to be sure we would offer some of the best products in term of quality, but I also wanted to be sure we would offer top-notch service. As soon as I was sure we were on the same page, I started to work as a US representative. Then, in September 2015, I started to work as export manager and began dealing with hobby shops, distributors and drivers worldwide. Now I’m also in charge, along with with Sebastien, of the electric development program called WTi®.
AW: How many people work behind the scenes at JTQ? And how many at RC Concept?
JT: JTQ is a side job, so there is just my wife Alyeska and me involved. There are four of us working at RC Concept, plus Reno who is also involved as product manager for JConcepts (as we are the French distributor for JConcepts products).
Photo: RC Concept, via Facebook
AW: Do you find that you are able to race more or less often now than before you started JTQ and RC Concept?
JT: Clearly less! First, because as I am a race promoter and announcer for all 1/8-scale races in Quebec, I can’t race them - plus, the last two years have been so busy with the development of RC Concept. Last year I decided to race less and focus on helping Reno and our drivers. When I go racing, I’m more focused on helping RC Concept users than anything so it’s hard to be focused on my racing program. Nevertheless, as our products are really reliable and we are not facing issues, I decided to race more this year and enjoy it again.
AW: Can you walk us through the process of brainstorming, developing, and finalizing a new product?
JT: Sure. First of all, we are always listening to our worldwide distributors and drivers. We are trying to understand our customers’ needs, and build the project around that. Our main focus is the final customer - he needs a reliable product that performs well and meets expectations. When we got that, we start brainstorming with Sebastien, Reno and Guillaume (the other owner of RC Concept) on how to meet the customers’ needs.
We come up with solutions we want to test and ask our suppliers to provide some samples. It is the same with all of our products. We have many exchanges with our supplier regarding design and, in the case of a new ESC, software development. Then we go to the track and test. If it’s not good enough, we request new modifications until we are happy.
On the other hand, we also come with some innovative ideas in order to make our products better. For example, we revamped the carburetor on our engine line - or what we will release soon with our WTI® technology.
It could take months, and sometimes we have some delays, but at the end of the line we are releasing a 100% perfect product.
Photo: JConcepts, via Facebook
AW: What products and company milestones are you most proud of?
JT: Last year, we made the IFMAR World Championship final in Las Vegas with Reno Savoya. I don’t think many two-year-old companies in the RC industry have done that. We may not have any world titles yet, but we are working hard everyday to outperform our competitors.
AW: What are your most proud racing moments? How does winning two Open classes at the Psycho Nitro Blast stack up against your other favorite career highlights?
JT: Attending an IFMAR Worlds or a European Championship is always special. I got lucky to be on the ROAR team at the Worlds twice, in Argentina in 2012 and again in Italy in 2014. Those were some really special moments.
At PNB I won Nitro Truggy and E-Buggy and ended up second in Nitro Buggy. It was such an awesome feeling to be able to fight again against some super-talented and fast drivers. I really had an awesome time racing. The support from everyone was great and that makes those wins special.
Photo: JConcepts, via Facebook
AW: Do you have any goals for your RC career? How about for your companies?
JT: To do my best to promote RC racing. I think all companies need to understand it’s better for all of us to make the cake bigger than fighting for bigger market share. We all need to have more people involved in racing RC cars. I will continue to work to offer people some of the best products through RC Concept and JTQ and to organize some awesome RC events thru JTQ also.
AW: When you’re not at the racetrack or the office, what are some of your favorite hobbies?
JT: The office and racetracks are 95% of my time and 4% is traveling, lol. When I have some free time I really enjoy being with my wife, my friends and going to do some sports like running and skiing. I’ve always been a huge fan of racing so I watch F1, rally, Supercross and Rallycross when I can.
Photo: Dorothée Treignier, via Facebook
AW: What’s the best part of working in the RC industry? What about the industry annoys or bothers you?
JT: The best part is that you put your work and your passion together. For me it’s always a pleasure to work, answering people’s questions and working on new products. But it’s also the bad part; no free time and no separation between being at the office and being away from the office. I also get less motivation to go racing during the weekend, just because I have already been on RC all week long!
AW: Who are some of the people that have helped you the most?
JT: First - my family, my wife and my friends. I had so many non-RC friends that came to help me through the years, it is just awesome. In the RC industry, Reno Savoya has helped me a lot. Mark Pavidis and Richard Saxton also helped me when I arrived for the first time racing in USA.
From L to R: Treignier, Eric Deschenes, Andre-Francois Blanchette, Richard Saxton and Reno Savoya
AW: Thanks for the interview! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
JT: I just would like to thank LiveRC for all the hard work. You are giving us the opportunity to promote RC races better, thanks to the streaming video and professional coverage.
I would also like to thank all people behind me for all those years. It means a lot. For all people I don’t know yet, please feel free to meet me at any races - I’m always available to help.