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ETS YOUNG TALENTS – Interview with Tristan Bergheim

In our series of “Young Guns” Interview we are presenting you our young drivers attending the Euro Touring Series. This time, we talked to Tristan Bergheim from Kiel, Germany. We took some time to talk ask him about RC racing and his life beside the racetrack. Enjoy another ETS “Young Guns” Interview.

ETS – Hello Tristan, great that you took the time for us. How are you doing after a great and, for you, successful ETS outdoor season?

Tristan – Hi ETS Team! The season went well in my opinion. So far, I am satisfied with the results. Due to the case that I often arrived at the events on Saturday morning I was not able to achieve more.

ETS – You finished 10th in the Orca 17.5 Stock class at the last race in Luxembourg. You have been showing a clear upward trend all season, after you qualified for the A-fMain in all four races. What do you think about the season so far?

Tristan – That’s right. So far I’ve been able to qualify for the A-Main all the time, but often only at the last moment due to a bump up. I would like to improve that and qualify directly and on an even better position on the grid. Starting from 10th or 11th place, it is a long way to the front. 

ETS – Now back in time a bit… When did you start with the RC hobby and who inspired you?

Tristan – In 2015, at the age of 11, I did my first drive with a Fighter Buggy at a local Tamiya dealer. I got totally hooked on the cars and driving them. For the first Fighter Cup I got my first own buggy. After that I raced regularly in the Fighter Cup and later switched to touring cars in the Tamiya Euro Cup.

ETS – Can you still remember your first remote-controlled car?

Tristan – Yes, of course, it was a Tamiya TT01 Race Truck. We got it for Christmas in 2014. A great car which I had a lot of fun with.

ETS – You live in northern Germany, in Handewitt near Flensburg to be precise. Are there racetracks and clubs near you, or do you always have to travel a long way to go to practice, for example?

Tristan – That’s really a problem, the local club has a very outdated 1:8 outdoor track. In the winter they set up a track in a gym every weekend. However, since joining the ETS I have been going further and further to train. Without regular training I won’t improve otherwise.   

ETS – Do you practice often, or do you rather try to do as many races as possible? 

Tristan – In between races I try to practice regularly and try out setup changes to the car. Lately I’ve been concentrating on the ETS and TOS races and one car. 

ETS – You are almost always at the races with your father. Is he your mechanic and you “only” the driver, or do you also do the work yourself?

Tristan – Of course, my father has been very supportive of my hobby from the very beginning. So, he is my mechanic and I am the driver. However, I also like to work on the car myself to understand everything exactly and to improve. Of course, it’s great to have a mechanic at the races. That way I can collect myself between the races and refocus.      

ETS – In the last two years you have competed in almost all ETS races. Which is your favourite racetrack so far, and why?

Tristan – The track in Apeldoorn is my favourite. The layout of the track is unique, the whole layout is just very nice and suits me very well.   

ETS – Do you prefer asphalt or carpet?

Tristan – I like carpet more. The driving is more demanding, and the tracks are varied. 

ETS – If we are informed correctly, you are currently driving an Awesomatix A800MMX touring car. What makes this your car of choice?

Tristan – I tried other current models and got the best results with the Awesomatix. The car suits my driving style. In the 17.5 class many other drivers are using this model, so it is easy to compare and test. The support from experienced Awesomatix drivers is also very good in my environment.

ETS – What makes you get up early at the weekend to race RC cars?

Tristan – The racing event is a lot of fun for me, the atmosphere with the other drivers is great. There are more and more like-minded people my age. That makes it easy to get up early 😊

ETS – What was more special for you: your first ETS A-Main participation, or your best result so far with 7th place at the first race of this season in Apeldoorn?

Tristan – A-Main is always good to race! The 7th place in Apeldoorn, achieved with arrival on Friday evening, without me having to drive in for a long time, was already a great experience.

ETS – What is your life like besides the RC hobby? Are you still a student or have you already started working?

Tristan – I’m in my second year of training as a commercial vehicle mechatronics technician specialising in bodywork technology at a defence company.

ETS – Your father sells sailing and motorboats in Flensburg. That sounds very interesting. Do you sometimes help there, too, or do you prefer to disappear into your hobby room wrenching on RC cars 😊?

Tristan – Sometimes I help a bit at the fairs or take boats to fairs with the employees. We do the wrenching on the RC stuff together afterwards.   

ETS – Is RC car racing your only passion or do you have other hobbies?

Tristan – Besides RC car racing, I also like to ride my motorbike, in the summer of course my motorboat, and I go kickboxing and to the gym twice a week. 

ETS – When you talk to your friends about your RC car hobby, how do you explain to them what exactly you do? What do your friends say about it?

Tristan – The RC car hobby is not a big topic with many of my friends because it is a bit exotic. However, they do notice the amount of time I spend on it at weekends.

ETS – Do you have any special goals for the rest of the season, or do you just look from race to race?

Tristan – Of course I want to improve constantly and be able to drive top 5. Anything above that would be unrealistic this season.

ETS – Tristan, thank you very much for this interview and your time. We are very happy to call you part of the ETS family. We wish you all the best and most of all good luck and success on the track!

Tristan – Thank you guys for the opportunity to be interviewed, I am happy to be part of the ETS family.