RC PROfile: Dave Henry - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:55 PM   #1
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RC PROfile: Dave Henry

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RC PROfile: Dave Henry

Hot off winning 1st place for Nitro Buggy, E-Buggy, and 2WD SCT Open in Winnipeg at the 2011 RC Pro Canada finals, Ontario’s own Dave Henry takes some time with us to answer some questions and share with us some of his thoughts and history as an R/C enthusiast and racer.

In my experience in the hobby, Dave is one of the classiest guys I have had the privilege to, as he would say, “race little toy cars” with. As the captain of Sprucewood Team Losi Racing and proprietor of Pinnacle Hobby, Dave represents himself in the best possible way.

Without further delay, check out what Dave has to say, and learn a little more about the man you are racing with.

Q: How long have you been in the hobby?
Dave: I have been involved in hobby class R/C since 1986.

Q: What got you started? What was your first kit?
Dave: My first real R/C car was a used 4wd Kyosho Optima that was chain driven.
It was state of the art for its time and I saved my pennies for quite awhile till I could afford it. It had a resistor type speed control that quickly melted so my first hop up was an electronic speed control so I could at least run the car. It is amazing to see how far the hobby has advanced since then.
I can still remember tearing it up and down the sidewalk and jumping it off the curbs!

Q: Who was your mentor when you were 'coming up' in the race world?
Dave: I had many friends racing R/C and we all learned from each others mistakes (boy, did we learn a lot), but in the racing world my “mentor” would have to be Kris Moore from California.
At the time Kris raced for Kyosho USA and Kyosho International (Japan), and I raced for Kyosho Canada and Kyosho International. Kris always had time for my questions and as probably the best 1/8 Off-road racer in North America at the time, he knew the answers and was excellent at passing on his experience. I have always tried to be as patient and helpful with other racers as Kris was with me.
We would see each other at the 3 big U.S. 1/8 scale races and he would fill me in on the latest tricks. I would say I learned 2/3 from asking him questions and 1/3 by watching the decisions he made as a race day went on.
I will always be indebted to Kris for his patience!

Q: In all of your years racing, what has been your favorite class?
Dave: 1/8 Buggy Off-road is definitely my favorite class and I have been lucky enough to have traveled the world racing it!
I love all the aspects involved from the maintenance and prep work required and the challenge of tuning the chassis and engines to adjusting to the ever changing track conditions and the racing strategy required to get the most from myself and the race car.

Q: If you could bring one class back, what would it be?
Dave: One of the funniest classes I ever raced was the 1/8 “truck” class. It existed long before the Truggy class and used 1/8 Buggy chassis with a spec tire that had a flat street tread that offered very little traction on dirt.
The speeds were lower and the trucks were almost always sideways. It looked a little like 1/8 drifting on dirt and it was a blast because you could have several trucks all sideways right beside each other under control.
The “trucks” were tall and narrow and rolled around in the corners and required a very different driving style to the buggies. You could always tell when a heat of “trucks” was on the track by the smiles on the drivers stand!

Q: Last season, you also raced in the 2WD SCT Open class. Many have said that the Short Course classes have been some of the most fun they have had on the track in a long time. Would you compare your experience with the 1/8 truck to modern Short Course?
Dave: The two classes share the fun of being able to rub fenders a bit without getting tied up like the open wheel cars. SC is a great class especially for the newer racers and it allows them to try racing on a much smaller budget. The old 1/8 Truck class was very different because it was full of a bunch of pro racers running hand built race cars turned into “ill” handling trucks and every heat or main was a laugh fest to the finish line!

Q: Where do you see the future of Canadian R/C racing going?
Dave: We have seen much growth in the Canadian R/C scene over the last dozen years and I hope to see it continue, however I have also seen far too many racers get big heads and forget that this is first a hobby that we all enjoy.
It is great that more manufacturers are taking an interest in our racing scene and the Internet and it’s ability to get news and results out to the rest of the world has helped.
It is really up to us as racers to build the racing scene in a constructive manner and to help the tracks continuously attract new racers by giving them a family friendly racing/hobby environment they will want to be a part of. In southern Ontario we have recently seen the opening of several tracks and their smaller club racing events are what will grow the next class of R/C racers and it is very very important that the experienced guys do their part in helping these new racers at these events.
The big regional races and series like RC Pro are the place for the serious competition and I am happy to see the skill level of our Canadian racers continuing to improve.

Q: What would you consider your biggest achievement in R/C racing to date?
Dave: My personnel biggest achievement in R/C would be finishing 14th out of 150 invitees to the 2000 1/8 IFMAR Buggy Worlds that were held in Las Vegas.
The organizers built a massive track in a Vegas hotel parking lot that featured a driver’s stand made of enough scaffolding to get your eyes 3 stories up! The cars looked like 1/18’s down on the straight.
If I remember correctly the track took almost 1 minute per lap and you spent quite a bit of time at full throttle on the very fast flowing layout.
It was so cool showing up at that race and being shuffled into to see the O.S. engineers from Japan and be handed a “special” race motor for the event along with a box of new “goodies” brought from the Kyosho factory to up our game a bit more!

Q: What is one piece of advice you would give a first year racer?
Dave: Whatever you do remember to always have fun!

Q: Is there anyone that you would like to take a moment to thank?
Dave: I would like to thank all the friends I have made over the years in this great hobby (wayyyy to many to mention by name but you know who you are!).
I would also like to thank all the sponsors over the years that have made it easier for me excel at the races including not only my 2011 sponsors TLR, Sprucewood Leasing, Pinnacle Hobby, Spektrum, Horizon, CRC, Dynamite, Fastlane Graphix, Fox Racing, King Headz, Lambert Photography, Hobbycraft, Sidewinder/Morgan but also some of my big supporters from the past including Kyosho Canada/USA/Japan, Futaba, O.S. Engines, FTD, MIP, Pro Line, O'Donnell, Thunder Tiger, XXX Main, Duratrax and Pole Position.
Thank you Dave for taking the time to answer these questions with us, and good luck in the 2012 RC Pro Ontario Season.

For those of you that don’t know Dave. Stop by and introduce yourself at the next RC Pro event. He is always excited to meet new people.

‘Average’ Joe
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:40 PM   #2
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Great interview Joe. I can attest to the fact that Dave is an all around nice guy and is willing to answer questions. When you get a chance to meet Dave, do yourself a favour and introduce yourself. You won't be disappointed.
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:26 PM   #3
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Good read. Dave IS a stand-up guy for sure, and has a wealth of experience in RC. Couldn't have picked a better person to interview first.
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:28 AM   #4
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Thumbs up nice

nice job..
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Old 05-14-2012, 07:43 PM   #5
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Great interview Joe and Dave ! This "RC Profile" is a great idea !
Mugen Seiki Racing - Team Driver
SkyCraft Hobbies - Burlington
2010 & 2009 RC Pro Nitro Buggy Champion, Ont.
2010 Glorcs Buggy 3rd
2010 Glorcs Truggy 5th
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