For those that don’t know who Ray is. he’s part of the team that brought us the Losi Mini 8 and is working on all the latest Losi kits that we all know and love. We caught up with him a while back but this interview got lost but I have found it and returned it to its rightful place!
(MRC) Hi Ray, thanks for taking time out to chat with us. There will be some people reading this that are wondering who you are and why we are interviewing you? Can you give us a bit of background as to who you are and what you do at Horizon?
(Ray) Thanks for having me on your new wonderful website. I’ve been in the hobby since I was 10 years old my first car was the Tamiya Grasshopper and I was hooked, after serving in the Navy I moved to the Chicago area and I worked in a local hobby shop, Venture Hobbies for about 3 years. I was recruited to work for Hobbico, and I was the product manager for OS Engines, Muchmore Racing and other product lines. I worked for Hobbico for 6 years and then I started at Horizon Hobby in 2010 working with the BLADE helicopter team developing micro helicopter and accessories. I have always been a car guy and they knew this and they gave me the opportunity to move to California and work on the surface team, I started working on the new Vaterra product line and then moved to the Losi product line in charge of the mini and micro vehicle development.
(MRC) We’ve done a bit of googling to find out as much as we can about you before this conversation and your name comes up quite a lot with reference to helicopters, touring cars and other scale surface racers. What is your favourite class of racing?
(Ray) My first love is on-road racing, touring cars are my favourite but 1/12 is a close second. I fly RC helicopters and planes also not as much as I use to, I race a lot more 1/10 off-road now that I moved out here to California.
(MRC) Would you say you are an Engineer first then a RC Racer or is it the other way round?
(Ray) I’m a racer first and a Product Developer second Lol! But I’m always in work mode when I’m at the track, I love it when I see customers use our products and having fun.
(MRC) For some of us working for a RC Car company and being able to get paid for your hobby is a dream come true! (I know I’d love to earn a living out of RC Racing, I’m just rubbish at it that’s the problem. J ) Is it an industry that you’d recommend some of younger members to look at on careers day in school?
(Ray) I would say yes, this industry is very competitive and is never boring. We always need young bright people to work in the hobby industry, so get off the Xbox and pick up a DX4R Pro radio!!
(MRC) Have you been involved in the design/production process of any of the other Losi cars on the market at the moment like the 22-4 for example?
(Ray) I’m currently working on some new LOSI projects but I have not worked on any of the current LOSI/TLR products on the market.
(MRC) You have written that you are working on the Mini 8ight and are trying to resolve the issues some of us have found by racing them. What do you hope to achieve from your fact finding exercise?
(Ray) I want a better vehicle for the customer and insure that you guys are having fun with LOSI products. I enjoy feedback, and I feel that reaching out to you guys help me in creating a better product.
So please keep the feedback coming, and if you guys have any product ideas I would love to hear them.
(MRC) So does that mean there is a Losi Mini 8ight 2.0 on the way?
(Ray) Well I can tell you what’s coming, J
(MRC) As you can tell reading through the forum most of us racers already have our preferred servos, motors and speed controllers etc. Is there a plan to release a racers kit without electrics so we can chose our preferred internals?
(Ray) Not at this time, but I would love to see a competition kit someday.
(MRC) Micro racing or Mini’s as it has been known in the states is not as popular at the moment on that side of the pond as it is over here. Is there a growing trend toward Micro racing over there?
(Ray) Your correct Mini’s are not big in the RC race scene here in the US. Mini’s in the US are considered beginner vehicles, you don’t see many racers buying them. It is hit and miss when it comes to Mini racing in the US, if there is racing it is mostly done in the winter months.
(MRC) We are holding a Micro X event in the UK in early September this year (hot news), if you can make it we’d love to show you how we race the cars over here and introduce you to the community. What you say, are you in?
(Ray) I would love to come over and race with you guys! Let’s see if I can get it approved first and I will get back to you.
(MRC) One last question, in your opinion should a beard be a proper beard or not at all? For example,
Not a proper beard
(Ray) LOL! I like the big beards, my father had one, I can’t seem to grow one if I could I would grow a proper beard.
(MRC) Thanks for taking the time Ray, hopefully this project may bring you to our shores one day.