TALK IT UP TUESDAY: Cactus Classic Stock Buggy Champion Kamryn Ayers
Tuesday, Mar 24, 2015 02:06pm
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!
RC tracks around the world are full of parents racing with, and often against, their children. It’s one of few competitive activities in which age, size, and physical ability are not a factor, which makes RC racing an incredibly family-friendly hobby. However, RC racing is also typically male-dominated - and most often, these family teams are comprised of fathers and sons. That’s part of what was so special about the Stock Buggy A-Main at the Cactus Classic a couple of weeks ago, when thirteen-year-old Kamryn Ayers beat the boys to take the win in front of the loudest crowd of the weekend. Of course, immediately after the race (and her live interview on the LiveRC broadcast), she ran down the drivers’ stand to give her father and mechanic, Lance, a big hug. I sat down in the pit area to talk to Kamryn and Lance before the race and find out more about her RC career.
Aaron Waldron: How old are you, how long have you been racing, and where are you from?
Kamyrn Ayers: I’m thirteen years old, and I’ve been racing for two and a half years. I’m from Peoria, AZ.
AW: Do you have any sponsors?
KA: I do! I’m sponsored by B-Fast, Team Associated, Reedy, Schelle, Hobby Action, Warehouse 3, and WWHD. Also, I owe special thanks to all of the local Team Associated drivers - Spencer Rivkin, Tanner Denney, Tommy Hinz, and Jeff Helms for all of the advice, tips, and help. They’ve made me the driver I am.
AW: How did you get started?
KA: My father bought my brother a Losi stadium truck at a local hobby shop to drive around the yard, and they broke it. They went to One Hobbies to get parts to fix it, and noticed the track. We went back the next day to start practicing and racing.
AW: What was your first car?
Lance Ayers: I bought her a Losi XXX-SCT RTR so that she could get into racing, too.
AW: Did you have any sort of motorsports background that made the transition to RC racing any easier?
KA: Our family often went out to the dunes to go off-roading when I was younger.
AW: How long did it take you to start getting competitive?
KA: I started racing when I was 11, and entered the local Dirt Invert event less than a year afterward.
LA: Fred and Brenda Bellito from B-Fast watched her win the third A-Main in Stock Short Course, and offered to sponsor her. That was the jumping off point. She started doing whatever it took to get faster after that.
AW: How do you explain your hobby to your friends at school?
KA: It’s difficult without being able to show them. If I say “I took third at the State Championship last weekend!” the answer I usually get is “you race what again?” I just tell people that I race toy cars.
AW: Does your brother still race at all?
KA: His last race was the 2014 Surf City Classic. He’s 16 and has a truck now, so he doesn’t want to spend his Saturdays with his little sister and dad anymore.
LA: Plus, that was about the time that she was on the verge of starting to beat him.
AW: Do you have any RC career goals?
KA: Just to continue doing this and having fun. I want to come out to the track every week to have fun, and keep getting better.
AW: How awesome is it to spend time at the track with your daughter?
LA: It’s hard to imagine the pride when she does well. It’s even greater, though, to watch how well she handles adversity when things don’t go her way. She amazes me.
Two members of the SRS Raceway track crew took the place of the trophy girls to support their local hero!
AW: Are you intimidated racing against a bunch of guys all the time?
KA: Not anymore, really. Most of them are a lot bigger than me, so sometimes it’s scary when they get mad or upset when they don’t do well. Sometimes I’m intimidated by their speed, though.
AW: Are the boys that are closer to your age flirty at the racetrack?
KA: No! I’m close friends with Martin Johnson, since we race a lot together and we’re teammates. Sometimes we get teased.
AW: Do you have advice for other girls who might be interested in racing?
KA: Although it may be scary because there aren’t a lot of girls, racing has made me a lot more mature and confident. It’s a lot of fun, and it teaches a lot of life lessons. It’s nice to see the girls hanging in there with the guys on the racetrack. It’s an amazing part of my life, and I don’t want to give it up.
Here’s a replay of the incredible Stock Buggy Main Event, and her post-race interview.
By the way, Kamryn also bumped into the A-Main for the 13.5 Buggy class and finished fifth. Now that's quite a weekend!