Arguably the fastest man on the planet in the RC world, Ryan Maifield sits down with JConcepts’ Jason Ruona in an exclusive, in-depth interview. From 1/8th scale to what it’s like racing in Tacoma, Maifield shares his thoughts below.
In the Pits with Ryan Maifield
Jason Ruona: Ryan, you’ve had a great start to the year and picked up some major victories already, what is your next goal?
Ryan Maifield: Well my next goals for this year are honestly to keep having a strong showing everywhere I go. I’ve been doing that so far…. so if I keep up the pace then more wins will come.
JR: I’ve noticed you have been running a lot of 1/8th this year including some club racing in your local area. What’s it like to transition from a club race to a national caliber race?
RM: Yeah I’ve been having a lot of fun racing locally in my area with the nitro TLR cars. There is a great vibe amongst the local nitro guys in Arizona. Transitioning from a local level race to a national level event isn’t difficult for me anymore as it used to be extremely nerve racking, but now I have a lot of experience and confidence in my driving and program which helps a lot with staying comfortable during high pressure situations.
JR: This weekend you will be racing the 2wd and 4wd class at the Spring Indoor Nationals. What do you look for from yourself at a race like this? You are obviously expected to win but it’s not always that easy is it?
RM: I’m always looking for ways to make my cars faster and myself a little better. There is always fast talent at all these JC indoor national events and they always keep me performing at a high level. I think this event in Tacoma has some of the best young local talent in the nation so it will definitely get interesting.
JR: Last week you raced at PNB in Georgia. You had some good results and battles with Jared Tebo, how would you compare that track and condition to what you’ve run on in the past? Will you go back next year?
RM: Ya the PNB was a lot of fun and it’s definitely a very unique event. The surface gets extremely bumpy and is changing every lap as you race, the atmosphere in the pits and unique obstacles on the track keeps people coming back and it will bring me back again for sure.
JR: There was a huge shake up a few months ago with Adam Drake leaving TLR. Have you had to take on any additional responsibilities since that move? At events, drivers and customers approach representatives all the time. What do you like about this side of your job?
RM: Ya Adam leaving was a shock. I don’t think it has added any more responsibilities for me asI have been extremely involved with vehicle development on the 1/8th and 1/10th programs since I made the move to TLR last year and I look forward to continuing working with everyone at TLR/Horizon. I do like meeting and working with our customers at the events, they typically see the product differently than I do and it’s cool and enlightening to see how the customer uses the product and their overall experience with the products.
JR: We are approaching the Worlds warmup for 1/10th off-road in Japan. First, are you attending and if so what are your expectations? The last off-road worlds in Japan was in 2007. You placed 2nd and 3rd, do you believe you can match or exceed those results this time around?
RM: Yes, I will be attending the Worlds warm-up. My expectations for the event is to simply gather as much information for the worlds and the team as possible. I have no experience on a surface like that so it will be a bit of culture shock and I’m excited for the challenge. Yes, at the 2007 worlds in Japan I was close to winning 2wd there and was competitive in 4wd and finishing on the podium in both was awesome. I have a lot of podium finishes at the electric worlds and I’m hungry for a Worlds title. With hard work and dedication I know I can win no matter what the surface or circumstance.
JR: Thanks for your time and good luck this weekend.
RM: Thank you