Tim Roberts Interview – RC Pro Series
RC Pro Series sits down with what has become their annual chat with Tim Roberts. The 2008 Monster Truck Champion.
*RC Pro*: This seems like deja! Seems we did this about a year ago?
*Tim*: And a year before that too! I’ve been very fortunate the last three years to claim the RC Pro Monster truck title.
*RC Pro*: Which also makes you the only racer to win 3 RC Pro titles in the same class! as well as the only one to win 3 straight!
*Tim*: That’s not so say the competition hasn’t been strong though.
*RC Pro*: Because of all that we will see if we can ask some questions we haven’t in the past
The Monster Truck class may be smaller than in years past but it definitely has the competition!
I’ve heard all the BS about the pro guys running equipment no one else can get……. so how STOCK is your truck?
*Tim*: My truck is your every day off-the-shelf truck, but over the years I’ve learned some tricks to make it more reliable and handle a little better. Nothing I do can’t be repeated. I’m willing to share my
secrets to anybody that asks.
*RC Pro*: Oh I know how stock it is since I tech it at least 6 to 8 times a year! LOL
*Tim*: So true! I race as much as I can.
*RC Pro*: As we discussed last year you have an engineering degree. Does that give you ideas of things to try that no one else has tried?
*Tim*: I think so. Combined with my access to the Traxxas engineering department I am able to design and build new things real easily. When I get an idea I can design a part and build a virtual race truck to make sure it fits and works how I want. Some people think this is an unfair advantage, but eventually those ideas make it onto production vehicles. Take the Revo Platinum for example. All the stuff on that truck was designed based on my race experience and now everybody gets to use it.
*RC Pro*: Yea that could be perceived as an advantage but it’s not anymore than any of the other manufactured guys can do. You still have to drive it!
*Tim*: Exactly. Really my engineering background gives me a different perspective from other racers.
*RC Pro*: A slightly more hi-tech perspective?
*Tim*: I suppose. Off the track I’m just using the tools I have available to me. On the track I’m out there to win.
*RC Pro*: One thing I notice in tech is who has everything just right on their vehicles. I can’t recall ever seeing your truck dirty or with a problem.
*Tim*: My background in larger scale motorsports has taught me the importance of race car maintenance and preparation. I carry that into RC as well. For big races I really make sure everything is just right before my truck hits the dirt. It has really paid off for me the last few years with a long string without any DNF’s. I hope I didn’t just jinx myself!
*RC Pro*: I hope you didn’t either or I will hear about it! LOL
*Tim:* Fortunately I’m not superstitious.
*RC Pro*: This year we have opened up the rules for Monster Truck……. er Pro Mod Truck. How do you see that affecting your setup this year?
*Tim*: I don’t think so. I feel like my current setup is pretty optimal at the moment. I am a little worried about the speed I’ve seen from a few of the E-Revos lately. I might have to get one of those too just in case.
*RC Pro*: That was going to be the next question, if you had considered the E-Revo or not.
*Tim*: I definitely have. I still prefer nitro though and I’ll continue to run it through the year. I plan on building an E Revo sometime this year to dabble with.
*RC Pro*: No plans to strap a gallon of fuel into the truck or anything weird like that? LOL
*Tim*: LOL, not from me but don’t be surprised if someone does it! I’ll probably just add a few loops of fuel tubing and an extra filter to get a little more fuel on board.
*RC Pro*: Oh I know whats coming! Some of the guys that were around before the fuel rules came in to effect have been there and tried it without a lot of success. Seems the size of the tank affected the tune back then.
*Tim*: Exactly. There’s a practical limit to what gives you an advantage. All you really need is a couple more minutes per tank to cut out one pit stop.
*RC Pro*: Do you think we will see more brands tried this year because of the rule changes?
*Tim*: I hope so. More brands makes the racing more exciting and keeps people interested in the class. Now that all of the different trucks are legal there should be a few more that make it out to race.
*RC Pro*: I hope so! Nothing against any brand but the more that are involved the more interesting it is. Since we did drop the Gas Truck class do you have any thoughts of another class now?
*Tim*: I’ll miss racing the Jato around. It was fun making the truck do things that people couldn’t believe was possible for a RTR stadium truck. At the moment I’m not planning on racing anything else. Since Traxxas doesn’t offer a truggy or buggy I’m kind of stuck. More time to focus on my Revo instead I suppose.
*RC Pro*: I would like to see you try a buggy or truggy. I would be willing to bet you would surprise a lot of people in either class. Speaking of Traxxas…. How involved with the Slash and Slayer have you been?
*Tim*: Slash spec racing has gotten huge. I try to get out and run mine whenever I get a chance. There’s just something fun about racing them. They aren’t fast, they don’t handle that well, but the racing is amazing. Slash has really put a breath of life into the local racing scenes around the country. I can’t really comment on Slayer. They should be just as fun, but I haven’t been able to drive one much.
*RC Pro*: I hope it brings back club racing! At least that was the reason for us doing the National Championship Club Series. Every track wants to have a big race or more each year and it has gotten
to the point of no one club racing anymore.
*Tim*: The club championship is a great idea. I hope it catches on and I applaud you for taking the right steps to try and bring back local weekly racing to all tracks, not just the ones who land a big race date.
*RC Pro*: It has started out good so we will see. Are you going to be running at Indy during their NCCS races?
*RC Pro*: I don’t remember if they have signed the track up yet but Steve said he would. That should be a tough class at that track!
*Tim*: You bet. We’ve got some really talented Slash racers here. It has even brought out some retired guys that are give me a run for my money.
*RC Pro*: See the OLD guys are still fast!LOL I guess the question now should be are we going to see you going for a 4th straight Championship?
*Tim*: Absolutely. Being the champion three years in a row put a big bullseye on me this year, but I’m up for the challenge.
*RC Pro*: Maybe you should seek sponsorship from Target? Would have a built in bullseye
*Tim*: Not a bad idea. At least that would make a good Slash paint scheme!
*RC Pro*: Yes it would! Well I know this year should be tougher with hopefully more brands involved. I have heard for several years that we made the rules for the Revo. Even though the Revo wasn’t out yet when the rules were worked out.
*Tim*: I think it’s the other way around. Revo was made to exploit the rules.
*RC Pro*: Yea but try explaining that to the people who weren’t around back then.
*Tim*: There are definitely other capable trucks out here.
*RC Pro*: Oh I know this I’ve seen it!
*Tim*: Unfortunately so have I.
*RC Pro*: Yea I think you’ve had some stiff competition from other brands. Would you give us a rundown of your sponsors this year?
*Tim*: Sure. My current sponsors are Traxxas, Team Helotes, Majestic RC, Color Blind Paint, T&T RC, MoJo Mods, and Beneficial Massage.
*RC Pro*: Oh I have to ask about that last one!!! *Tim*: I figured. It’s my mom’s business and said I would do some advertising for her at the races.
*RC Pro*: You knew I would ask too! LOL
*Tim*: It’s a little uncommon to see a sponsor like that at the track, but it’s been working.
*RC Pro*: Oh I bet it gets questions and funny looks! I know how these guys in this industry can be. So other than the RC Pro stuff do you have any other big races your attending this year?
*Tim*: I’d love to but the national PMT scene has shrunk quit a bit over the last year. If there is a class for us at the Manufacturer’s Cup I’ll probably go to that. Otherwise my schedule is only filled with regional races.
*RC Pro*: Yes I noticed not too many races still have the PMT class anymore. The Manufacturers Cup proved if people are in the stands they don’t know a PMT from a Truggy and they will get excited if there is a good race. Too bad a lot of people in this industry feel the way they do about the PMT class.
*Tim*: There’s never been any problem with good racing in the PMT class. I just think the truggy class makes the most sense for a lot of racers out there since they can run the truck and buggy and share parts. Unfortunatley this means the PMT class has dwindled quickly. With the
popularity of high power electric truck out now I expect to see PMT racing pick up more and more.
*RC Pro*: I hope so I really want to keep the class but it’s up to the racers to come race! Which is the main reason for the rules changes this year.
*Tim*: I think it will work.
*RC Pro*: I do too. Well Tim looks like it’s about time to wrap this up so let me give you some room to thank anyone you need to for last year or the year before or the year before…. LOL
*Tim*: OK- First off I need to thank my sponsors for giving me the opportunity to run the best equipment possible. I also need to thank my wife and my family for all of their support. Lastly I need to thank you Carlton for giving all of us RC racers a place call home. I can’t wait to get the ’09 season underway.
*RC Pro*: Thanks Tim! I’ll be watching for a 4th Championship but I hope to see you with the toughest battle yet to pull that off.
*Tim*: Thank you. I look forward to the challenge!