Our good friends at RDRP have published an interesting interview with the recent 2012 Czech National Champion in 2WD: Kája Novotny!
Hello Kája, how are you?
– Hi Michael, I am fine. Thanks. And how are you?
I´m, doing great!
You have so many titles under your belt. And now, you won the Czech Winter Nationals in 2WD. What is your goal to make it happen?
– Thanks, my dream (for Czech nationals) was to became Czech winter and also summer national
champion and this year, thanks to Team Durango cars, highly equipped by RD products, my dream
We want to know, how you prepare your car for a race and how you make your set-up on a track. We know 2WD is your favorite class. So our questions are only 2WD related.
First, what electric equipment do you use?
– We changed the radio just after the EOS, because of during the last few races we had quite a lot of
problems with the receivers. Now we have Sanwa M12.
– Servo – Savox
– Speedo – LRP SXX V2
– Motors – we used to have Speed Passion V3 but now we have purchased LRP X20(both 7.5 T). It
was easier to drive with Speed Passion, but the car did not have enough speed on the
straight. As the cars are faster and faster I started to loose some positions on the
straightaways (like EOS 2012/13 round 1 – in last four laps I was racing with Matt
Castelano, it was a great race, but in the last lap on the straightaway I didn´t have as much
power as Matt and lost a position in A-main ). Therefore we are trying LRP X20 now.
What type of battery do you use usually? A stick-pack, or a shorty? What difference when driving ,do you feel between a shorty and a stick pack battery?
– We do have stick-pack batteries only. Because of I also race with 1/8 electric buggy and I don´t have
any sponsor for batteries, we can´t afford to have so many batteries. Once someone offered me to
try his shorty battery, so I did it, but the car was worse than normally. As we are using RD balancing
weights, we have managed to have perfectly balanced car with the normal battery.
What Motor do you use most to fit your driving style? Is there a favorite wind of motor you use?
– I have already mentioned that I like Speed Passion but now it became to be too old and seems to be
little bit slow for me, therefore we have bought LRP X20 and so far I am happy with it. (We have to
ask Hupo for proper timing). In 2WD I am using just 7,5T motors.
How do you start making set-up, when you are on the track. Time for practice is tight to find a good set-up on the big races. What settings do you change first and what settings makes the biggest difference for you to get a good result? We give you a chart of setting-methods. Please set them in the order of you personal importance. And please add some comments with some more details about, how you set-up those things.
– Most of the work on the cars does my dad, I am learning from him and trying to gain some
experiences, it is quite complicated but slowly I am starting to understand something, mainly thanks to valuable advices from experienced profi drivers on EOS races. So I would like to thank to my parents, that they make it possible for me to race in EOS series which gives me a lot.
Springs/Shock positions/Oil/piston 7. – for indoor races we are using one of the Jorn´s set-ups and
because of the car is great we are not changing it at all.
Weight distribution 1. – the front weight from RD helped me a lot (car has much more
steering) and in general since I installed it, the car is much easier
Suspension Geometry 5. – It is quite a complex and difficult point. DEX 210 has a lot of
possibilities so we are slowly learning its advantages, but in
general, again we are using that what was already discovered by
Motor 9. – When we have a new motor, we only ask someone, who is already using the
same one, for gearing and timing, we set it and that s all. We do have a
conservative approach in this field and we change motor only when the old one
it is almost gone.
Battery 10. We have to use that what is available here and currently we do have quite old
mixture of batteries from a different brands, but they are still OK.
Speedo 3. – We do have LRP speedo and we do have it mainly because it is easy to set up it.
So, during practice we do few laps with the set up as it was from the last race
and then we play just with the feeling setup as per the track conditions.
Transmitter 6. – I started to study the transmitter possibilities just when I have got SANVA and
discovered that there are a lot of advantages you can get if you know all the
possibility of your transmitter. With the old radio, we used it just as it was set
from the production. (Of course father had made that basic set up like servo
travel and so on for each car.)
Ride-height 8. – We try to set the car as low as possible and then, if there is some problem
because of low clearance we are going up step by step ( using RD tools) until it
Tires/inserts 2. – In Czech Republic we use mostly dBoots Nanobytes tires with Schumacher
hard inserts on the carpet and as I am quite happy with that, we are not trying
other combinations. We are only playing with the cutting of the outside pins.
And for outdoor racing we use Pro Line tires and inserts.
Differential 4. – We use gear differential, our basic oil is Durango 2000 cst.
Body 11. – J- concepts – and we are happy with it – only problem is that it is not available
here, we have to order it from the US and then I have to spend at least half a
day at customs office.
You have all RDRP weights for the DEX210 as option for your car. How does affect the weights the handling of your DEX210? When do you use them, when not.
-We do have the front one in the car permanently. As I already mentioned, when installed, the car is
much easier to drive, I think so that everyone should have it. Regarding the rear ones – we have got
them just recently and did not have chance to try it, but I am sure that they will be great mainly for
How do you prepare your tires? What tires Do you use, and tell us, if you do cutting the pins, or preparing the inserts.
– Tires are glued by my father, but I am trying to learn it, to make the races more comfortable for him
as he has a big problem with his eye and therefore it is more and more difficult for him. For
summer season we use Pro Line tires and inserts (cuting the edges of inserts).For carpet we use
dBoots tires and Schumacher hard inserts. Usually cut the outer row on rears and outer and inner
on the front. We do not modify the inserts. We are very happy that dBoots are the controlled tires
for EOS as they are perfectly packed, they are clean, easy to fit and they do have the best
performance out of all tires we have used so far. For races in Czech Republic we are using our worn
tires from EOS and they are still fantastic.
There are many discussions about the TD Big Bore shock pistons. Do you have a general set-up on your shock, what you use very often, or do you change it from track to track. What pistons and oil do you use mostly?
-We are using standard TD pistons and we do not have any problems at all. We did not hear any
complain about it here. Again we are using the pistons, springs and oils as per Jorn´s set – up, which
works well everywhere.
Do you have some special settings on your transmitter, what you use most?
– Last week I raced 2nd time with my new Sanwa M12 and the manual has 120 pages. So I am still
learning something new. M12 offers a lot of settings .It is good for experienced drivers, or for those,
who are patient enough to learn the whole manual. But when one manage to understand it and
knows what to do with the transmitter, he has a great advantage.
Can you please explain us your driving style? Who are the top 3 of your favorite drivers and why? Do you try to match the driving style from another driver?
– I am doing my best to be as fast as possible, but without a mistakes. I am not the fastest one on the
track, for instance I lose 0,3 s each lap, but all my laps are almost the same, I am patient and in
case I am faster, I follow the competitor as close as possible and waiting for a chance. Sometimes it
is difficult, mainly in qualifications if someone holds you for instance for three laps, but if I loose
the patience and just try it, usually both of us are out. . So I try to concentrate and think all the time
I drive and be just as fast as I can.
– Jorn Neuman, Hupo Honigl and Atsushi Hara.
– No, I am driving just by sense, I do not think so that it is possible to copy the driving style as each
person is different, so everyone has to drive on such a way, which suits to his possibilities. But what
is a fact – in case I use set-up of anyone else than Jorn´s one, the car is difficult to drive for me.
In what age did you start racing?
– I started when I was 8 years old.
Can you tell us, what was important for you to improve your results and to become an international top driver, like you?
– Thank you very much, but I don´t think so that I am top driver. The biggest change came when I
have got my first Team Durango car. I started to drive buggies with another brands – we had three
different brands , but we weren´t able to set the car for me. Then Durango came with their first
car – DEX 410 and in the first season with it I finished 2nd in the Czech national championship,
Since the first race with DEX 410, it was clear that I will never drive any other RC car then Durango .
Their cars are for everyone: basic set-up fits to everyone, but more experienced drivers have many
options to set the car as they want. Durango is the only real racing car in the field of toys. So it is
easy to have good result when you have such a car. But it is coming to be more and more difficult
for me, as almost all good drivers are switching to the Team- Durango cars.
What races are on your agenda for 2013?
– Czech national championship (summer and winter) 2013 1/10 and 1/8 E, all races of EOS, Summer
Mibosport cup 2013, Astra nitro cross 2013, maybe German national championship 2013 1/10 and
1/8 E and maybe (but I don’t think it will be possible) European championship 2013 1/10
What race is on your wish-list outside Europe?
– At least once in my life I would like to go to race in US.
You told us, you have dancing lessons. Do you have other hobbies and interests outside rc?
– Dancing lessons – it is not my hobby, it is somehow a must for everybody at this age here, as it is
considered as a part of basic education, but I enjoy it.
– I have to study hard /this is my top priority/, so there isn´t so much time for other hobbies. In the
past I did archery, but now there is no more spare time for it left.
What are your plans for your future, when you leave the school? Do you want to study something?
– I would like to study the law or medicine. It isn´t an easy way, but I trust that I will make it.
Here are some typical questions:
-What is your dream car?
Now it is Audi RS 6, but I don´t think I will ever have so much money to afford it, and if so, I will be
already too old to drive such a fast car.
-With what person do you want to meet?
I have never thought about it, but in the world of R/C cars, I would like to meet Rob Hopkins and Atsushi Hara. (Rob is a very funny guy – Michael)
-McDonald´s, or Burger King?
-What rims are faster? Yellow, or white?
I think so that the yellow one have more steering and the white are faster – this is a reason why I drive special combination of rims on my DEX 210 J
Kája, thank you very much for taking time for us! Is there something else, what you want to say?
– Thanks a lot for interview.
I would like to thank to the Team Durango, to you and to my parents for everything you did and you
are doing for me. I do appreciate it very much. Without the support from all of you, my racing would be hardly possible.
Thank you, Kája! We are looking forward to see at the next races. We think, you become a true top driver in the future. It is always great to see you driving and to see, how much you enjoy racing. Hopefully you will find a Sponsor for your batteries soon! See you at the next EOS!
Interview Revolution Design, Michael Vollmer and Kája Novotny