ETS: Hello Niclas, welcome to the ETS interview with us. You were runner-up in the German Hobby class this year, and you also had some good results in the ETS in the Orca 17.5 Stock class. Are you looking forward to the first race of the new season in Apeldoorn or are you sad that the last season is over?
Niclas: Hello Patrick, basically I am looking forward to the new season. Hopefully I will have my A-levels and have a lot of time to train and race.
If you had to assess your last ETS season, how would you sum it up?
Basically, I am satisfied because I was in the A-Main in all five races I raced in and I improved in every race. Nevertheless, there was more in almost all the races, which means I am not yet satisfied with my performance in the finals.
How and when did you start driving RC cars? Was it your father who got infected with the virus or did you become aware of it through friends?
Yes, it was my father. Through my interest in building and tinkering with our model railway (H0), my father made me so curious about the Tamiya Cup that we just wanted to give it a try. In 2013, I got a Super Fighter GR for Christmas, which was then no longer approved, so then became the Neo Fighter Buggy. I raced the Tamiya Fighter Cup for many years. Fortunately, I was able to finish this series with the Onroad title before I got too old. I then drove Tamiya Euro Cup races for a while, but before that really got going with the Euro TW class in Sonneberg, Corona unfortunately got in the way. After a training weekend in Andernach, I decided to switch to ETS.
Can you still remember your first remote-controlled car? If so, what kind of car was it and do you still have it in your possession?
Yes, of course I can, even though it was ages ago. It’s a Dickie Super Fighter2 and it’s still around.
When did you take part in your first race? Can you still remember the result?
My first real race was qualifying for Sonneberg in 2015. That was at the RC-Glashaus in Quickborn, where I took 2nd place. I can’t remember this race exactly, I’d have to ask my father.
You live near Hamburg, in northern Germany. What clubs and race tracks are there in your area? Do you belong to a club?
We are club members at MC Flensburg. We race in Flensburg because it’s the only club that organises Tamiya Cup races in the north. Only if you are also in the club can you actively participate in RC racing. In addition, I have been a flat rate driver at the Megadrom in Hasloh for 3 years. We built a track there for the indoor season, so that’s where I trained the most.
We? Did you mean to imply that your father also races RC? Until now he always hides behind the monitor.
Yes, he always claims that he can drive. To be honest, I’m quite happy that he hasn’t put his claim of being able to drive in an ETS 17.5 into practice yet. Even though I’m of the opinion that we wouldn’t drive in a group anyway. Sorry dad 😉
Do you train often or do you try to do as many races as possible?
Both and I also play football for the club, so we try to split up all our appointments as much as possible. We also go to Andernach or Apeldoorn for training during the school holidays or like now during the Christmas holidays I was able to train for 8 days and at the end of the week there was a race in Hasloh.
You are a driver has competed in many ETS races. What was it like at your first ETS? Was there any difference to other events or was it like any other race for you?
The first ETS race was very special for me, I had only raced Tamiya Fighter Cup and Euro Cup before. The professionalism was very amazing for me and I saw races that were completely unknown to me before. The amount of drivers alone was overwhelming for me.
If we are informed correctly, you are currently racing a Mugen Seiki MTC2 touring car. What were the reasons for you to start with the Mugen chassis?
I decided to switch to Mugen Seiki in the summer of 2022, the biggest reason for choosing Mugen was the support from the whole team and especially from Ronald Völker. He gives me great support and is a great guy, so I would like to thank Ronald again. I am very happy with the change, the atmosphere in the team is great and the car is performing great on the track.
Now that the indoor season is over and it’s back to asphalt. Do you prefer asphalt or carpet?
I guess I disagree with a lot of people, because I would say I prefer to drive on carpet. I just find the smoothness of the carpet wonderful and also more predictable.
Usually guys your age party at the weekend. Is it sometimes hard for you to skip a party to go to an RC car race or do you make up for the missed parties 😊?
Great question Patrick. What can I say now, many know the discussions with my father on the subject. If I’m honest, it’s hard for me to skip the parties on some weekends, but some evenings at races can also be very amusing 😉 So I’m already looking forward to the next race in Bad Berneck, or rather to the evening celebrity race, whoever wants to know more can drop by. But when I’m back home, to be honest, it’s hard for me to cancel a party.
What has been the greatest experience so far in your time as an RC car racer?
I wouldn’t directly name one experience. Whether it was the first A-Main or one of the wonderful evenings with my RC friends. There are many things that make this hobby so wonderful.
What is your life like besides the RC hobby? Are you still a student or have you already started your working life?
I’m still at school and in spring I’ll start with my exams. If you ask me what I want to do after that. I don’t know yet ;=)
Is RC car racing your only passion or do you have other hobbies?
Besides RC car racing, I’m also a passionate footballer, because I’ve been playing for 14 years now. I have never really played in a higher league, but the fun of the game and the beer afterwards are most important to me 😉 Basically, it is difficult to combine both hobbies, which is why there is no possibility for me to play in a higher league.
We have heard from a safe source that your favourite club is HSV (a German football club). Are you often in the stadium and do you think that a promotion to the first league is possible soon?
I love HSV, but unfortunately I can rarely be in the stadium because of my hobbies. But I’m there for the important games, like the first and second leg of the relegation against Hertha. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out with the promotion, but now I’m sure we’ll make it into the first league without the diversions via the relegation. Nur der HSV.
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?
I tell them that I drive remote-controlled model cars. You can rarely go into much more detail that most of them don’t understand. Often they see it as toy cars, so to counteract that reputation a bit, I tell them how fast the cars go and that some do it for a living.
Is there a driver (or drivers) that you like to watch drive? If so, is there anything you try to copy or imitate?
I would say my favourite thing to watch at the moment is Ronald, the best Mugen driver. It’s just inspiring to see how well you can drive. It’s at these races that you realise how much you can improve.
Last season you finished in a good 8th place in the Orca 17.5T Stock class. What is your goal for the new season?
I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to improve. I don’t want to set a direct target but everything is at zero for the new season.
Would you like to try another racing class in the next few years?
We have that in mind. But if I do, I’d like to switch to Modified quickly and not work my way up to 13.5 first. Because driving in Modified is just a lot of fun for me, no restrictions and no limiter. Even though it would be a big step, I think it would be the right decision.
And Niclas, what else is coming up? Hasloh, Tamiya, TOS, ETS and defending the DM vice-champion title in EGTWHO this year?
This year I’m taking part in the European Championship in Türkheim for the first time, but of course I won’t miss the ETS and the DM. I can’t say exactly what it will look like towards the end of the year, because I still have to think about what I want to do after my Abi in the summer.
Niclas, 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 nothing but the best, and most of all good luck and success on the race track!
Thank you very much, I’m happy to be part of this awesome series and hope to stay with it for a long time. See you at the next race in Apeldoorn.
Follow Niclas at Facebook: facebook.com/NiclasStormRC