Hey Fans! Been a bit too long away from here. Lots have been going mostly personally which required me to pay more attention to the more important things in life. Whilst RC Drifting is a very big part of me and who I am, it in no way diminishes what’s most important in my life….and that’s Family.
My focus is to bring to you the people in the RC Drifting fraternity. Those drivers who are passionate about drifting and are all about pushing the limits of their skills and keeping this beautiful hobby alive. These are guys that are the legends in this country and here is where I tell you their story. My intention is to bring to you the person behind these Top Guns, who they are and what separates them from the average…i present to you Drift Royalty….
First up is someone I hold in extremely high regard and someone who in my opinion is the most knowledgeable person in RC Drifting and the current reigning champion in the RWD category …my friend Robin Nadesan, Hailing from the Mother City – Cape town. A long time crew member of the D-Evo RC Drift Club, his prowess in RC drifting has made him a drifter not only admired but almost feared as well as his driving style pushes his opponent’s to their absolute limit and beyond. Here is his story…
Why RC Drifting? What is about RC drifting that has attracted you to it?
Being brought up in a car loving family and growing up alongside cars, I naturally took an interest in motorsport, never liked f1 racing though and I’m not sure why, however I did like rally. Could be the fact I could recognise the cars on screen. The Impreza’s and Lancers as well as Celicas and Corolla’s caught my attention the most; the liveries on those cars are unforgettable. My Brother and I had passed exams well and my parents bought a PlayStation 1 for us and the first game that was bought for us was Gran Turismo and funny enough by then many of the cars in the game my Brother and I knew, due to reading loads of international magazines at Paperweight but Gran Turismo offered a little more insight and also fueling our already found love for Japanese cars.
My Mom and I went to the shops one Friday and I popped into a shop that sold games and there was a game that was all in Japanese but the cars on the cover caught my attention… the game was called Option Battle, and this was my go to game. In this game you go head to head against your opponent on the tough. I loved this game more than GT as one could blow your engine when over revving etc. I was 12 years old so these gimmicks blew my mind. Then my cousin showed me this one clip with some orange Silvia’s and 180sx’s drifting around people and also doing real close tandems and for good measure it had rave background music (I think it was building castles in the sky).
I had to dig deeper on this subject and my Brother and I researched this to great lengths. After a few years my Brother, GF and I took a drive to get lunch and we parked at a shopping mall and saw a few guys playing with RC cars. But this seemed to be drifting… low and behold they were drifting. This was close to 15 years ago… and I am still here doing RC drifting.
Which part of RC Drifting do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy every aspect, but the most enjoyable is taking real car setups and applying it to my RC car. Tsuisou’s are my favourite too, it’s when two cars drift in tandem and this is where the true art lies. What I find interesting is the different styles of each person and I enjoy watching each drifter.
How long have you been drifting for and how have you been able to maintain your commitment to it?
I have been drifting for close to 15 years, maintaining commitment is real easy when your family shows interest in it. I am truly lucky to have my Gf support me and who is also into Japanese cars. She not only likes the Japanese car culture but also understands what is going on, which means I can come home after practice and speak to her about issues I experienced on track and she will give sound advice and not yawn or say “car stuff again?!” She sits up until early hours to help setup my chassis and will sit track-side at most events. To add my Brother who is just into Japanese car culture as I am is also supportive and he knows a thing or two about setup and driving which all helps. Last but not least my Parents show interest and often come to watch and cool part they know and understand what drifting is about and how it is judged.
However I also maintain balance in making sure I have more fun than being stressed out and only drifting to win competitions. I don’t do this for being the best, I simply want to see how far I can push myself and each medal I get simply gets thrown a box under my desk… that medal/trophy is just a reminder to let me know I am on the right direction.
Do you see yourself ever retiring from Rc Drifting?
Nope, I am not doing this for likes or fame or wanting to be the best. To me this is my escape and I am not doing this because it gets many likes on Instagram or if you a drifter you get a free pass to join the cool kids. I am doing this because of that emotion it stirred in the early 2000’s. I still hear that rave songs playing in my head when I hit the track and manji down the straight and hook up the first bend. I still get goosebumps when my RC car does what a real car does and I still smile when I run a clean lap and allow the follow driver to Tsuisou with me and vice versa. Retiring means leaving drifting entirely, no person who follows drifting for what it is ever retires, they live it somehow whether they participate or not… they still following it.
What does it take to be Number 1?
It takes nothing but having fun, although getting 1st place in SA was not by luck nor chance , I have taken 1st place before but competition back then was not as difficult as it is today . It was 10 years in the making, it was a decision I made from the very first comp of last year to prove to myself that I can do it. For those that know the James Hunt (F1 Driver, I don’t enjoy F1 however I find his story fascinating) story will understand what I wanted to achieve. For many years I would partake in comps simply to see how I fair against others in SA. I won many and took many podiums; however I never once completed a full season. I would miss a few comps and simply not drift and rather watch (just as much fun). When I took first place at the first comp I decided lets go all out and invest everything (time/money/more time) and I will not do it again. Its not worth being stressed out and I personally lost the fun factor. When I did not take first place I simply got so upset at myself that for the next 3 weeks leading up to the next comp I would only think about what changes I need to do.
When I received the trophy for being the best in South Africa, I was not excited… I felt I lost more than what I won. This year I am doing it like I have always done it. Win or lose I go home smiling. End of the day I know I can be the best if I apply my mind, I have proven this to me and I am content if I never become champ again
What is your goal for this year?
Goal for this year? I have achieved it already, just Enjoy. I see many of my fellow drifters pushing so hard that they forget that its more of a hobby than sport. I noticed how the push to be the best is bringing out the inner beasts in some ( I was caught in this and I managed to get out) and people going from humble to aggressive in their journey to being the best is not good for our RC drift scene. I get it, we all want to move up and get results… but this is drifting, a pastime that started with crews hitting touge’s to show off their driving skills without rivalry and not wanting fame nor recognition. If I can show one person this way then another goal will be met, and once we work on driver skill winning will become slightly easier.