For Serpent latest ‘Racer in the Spotlight’ caught up with Belgian driver Robin D’hondt. Fresh from winning the opening round of the Belgian 1:8 National Championship opener here is his response to our questions.
Driver Background information
Name – Robin D’hondt
Date of birth â€“ 20 June 1989
Nationality â€“ Belgium
Lives â€“ Oedelem (close to Bruges)
Sponsors â€“ Serpent Motorsport, Mega, ATS tyres, Gammalube, Ghiant
No. of years racing â€“ 5 years
Class experience â€“ 1/8, 1/10 235 mm
Sporting hero â€“ Ayrton Senna
Serpent – How did you become involved in the sport?
Robin – When I was about 6 years old my favourite toy was a little rc car (like almost every child has at that age). I was always racing in the kitchen or in the living roomâ€¦ When I was a little older my dad came up with the idea of buying a â€œrealâ€ rc racing car. Actually RC Racing is something my dad always wanted to do when he was young but he never got the time and the money.
Serpent – Can you tell us a little about the r/c racing scene in Belgium?
Robin – Well Belgium is a small country but we do have 5 circuits. Every Belgian Championship everyone has a great time. Everyone laughs, sometimes there is a barbeque on Saturday evenings. A lot of people go racing for their pleasure, to have fun, and still I think the level in Belgium is high.
Serpent – Which track in your country would you recommend to fellow racers as most worth checking out?
Robin – Definitely I would recommend Roeselare. This new circuit has the 1:10 EC B this year and the 1:8 EC A next year, were I will be competing. I mean itâ€™s a beautiful circuit, itâ€™s fast and technical. My favourite corner is the one after the straight, full throttle to the next corner!! After this there is a very technical part were you can win or lose a lot of time.
Serpent – What are your race plans for the coming season. Will you be racing in any major international events?
Robin – I will compete in the 1:8 EC A in Lostallo. I want to race other international events but thatâ€™s not possible for me because I have to go to school. I will also compete in the Benelux Championship in Roeselare and the Belgian Championships. I hope the Belgian Championship will be a close race between Steven Cuypers (Serpent team driver) and me, I love close racing.
Serpent – What has been the highlight of your racing career to date?
Robin – That would definitely be the EC Sweden were I went from Â¼ final to main final. It was a big surprise for me to hear I could go to the main final especially if you know I was aiming to be in the first 30. I hope I have the same luck in Lostallo.
Serpent – What element of the sport do you like most?
Robin – I think the mechanical part of RC Racing is just fantastic. When I tell my teachers about downstops, offset, gurney, stabi, â€¦ they just canâ€™t believe what they hear. All that in such a little car, Mecanical stuff also interests me, itâ€™s also a part of my studies (Industrial Science). Also I like the travelling, when you compete in international events you really see the world. And last but not least, the people, at events there is always a good mood among the drivers and a lot of fun.
Serpent – If you could change anything about the sport what would it be?
Robin – I would make the class 1:10 235 mm more popular. Itâ€™s such a nice class and a lot cheaper then 1:8 or 200mm. I know people of my age that have to pay everything by themselves, and this class makes it possible for those people to drive. The 235mm Impact was my first Serpent and I learnt to drive with this car (2WD). Nowadays 235mm is really starting to die out.
Serpent – If you had to pick a team-mate for the World Championships who would you choose?
Robin – Steven Cuypers. We are team-mates at Belgian championships and we always help each other out. If I have questions about setup or other stuff I can always ask him and if heâ€™s got questions he can always ask them to me. Or Michael Salven of course. Michael has many years of experience and knows everything about the car and engine. Also at the EC in Sweden Michael and RenÃ© Cornella pitted for me in the final and they did a fantastic job!
Serpent – If you were not involved in rc racing what other sport do you think you would have pursued?
Robin – I think I would still be playing basketball. I quit playing basketball for RC Racing. There was a match every weekend and I wanted to go racing. Or just no sports, when there is no race I fill my weekends with going out with friends and having fun.
Source : Serpent