TALK IT UP TUESDAY: Broc Champlin
Tuesday, Feb 14, 2017 09:37pm
By Aaron Waldron
Welcome to LiveRC's weekly column, "Talk-It-Up Tuesday!" Here we spend a little time talking with industry icons including racers, manufacturers, team managers, developers, promoters, and everyone in between! Sit back, relax, and go behind the scenes as we interview them all!
Broc Champlin’s Open 4WD victory at the Reedy Race of Champions last month was rather surprising for a few reasons - he was one of the youngest drivers in the final competing against a stacked field (he was the Junior 2WD champion in 2016!), he started fourth on the grid, and he races primarily on carpet. Champlin’s ability to log quick laps was eclipsed only by his composure under pressure, as he held on for a narrow victory in A1 and then sped away from the field in A2 to clinch the title. I asked Broc about his big win, his racing career and more in this week’s Talk It Up Tuesday.
Aaron Waldron: How old are you, and where are you from?
Broc Champlin: I am 14 years old and live in St. George, Utah
AW: How did you get into RC, and how long have you been racing?
BC: I have been around racing my whole life, from watching on the sidelines to becoming a racer myself. I began racing RC in the spring of 2011 at age 8. I got into RC after my dad was injured while racing his dirt bike at the World Minis. We had seen Traxxas trucks during demos at that race and others. After two surgeries my dad was told that he would not fully recover and it would be a good time to explore a new hobby. My dad had known Richard Saxton from the motocross track at the speedway in Las Vegas, NV from back when Richard rode dirt bikes and then began racing RC. After asking some questions and doing some homework we quickly learned that RC racing was done worldwide, and this was the beginning of our adventure into the world of RC racing.
AW: When did you decide to start taking racing more seriously, traveling to larger races and acquiring sponsors?
BC: After messing around with my first RC car, a Team Associated RTR SC10, I was hooked. I am competitive by nature. We began traveling almost every weekend to Las Vegas to race at 702 RC Raceway because it was the closest track to us - and it still is. My brother, Blake, and I got a little faster each time we drove and we quickly learned that we needed to make changes and upgrades to our cars to be more competitive. Steve Antill was the fast guy at the track back then and helped us set up our cars better. I think it was 2012 that we decided to start looking for some support because with three racers in the house it can be quite expensive, and being able to race only once in a while would not be often enough for any of us.
AW: What's your favorite track? Favorite big event? Favorite racing class?
BC: My favorite track has been OCRC Raceway for as long as I can remember. My favorite race each year is the Surf City Classic held at OCRC - probably because this was my first big race back in August of 2011. What an experience to see so many racers in one place. My favorite racing class would have to be 2WD buggy and a close second would be 4WD buggy.
AW: Can you walk me through the roller coaster of emotions during the double A-Mains?
BC: My win at the Reedy Race still hasn't hit me. I am not sure where to start. Reedy is one of the most prestigious races with so much history, it is an honor to be able to participate with racers from all over the world. As I left the driver stand after winning A1 in 4WD, I was in awe of what had just happened. Up next was A1 of 2WD, with a case of the nerves I had a few mistakes and finished 3rd. I focused on making sure my cars were tuned and ready for the second set of mains. I had to put my head down and give it my all. My Team Associated B6D and B44.3 were both on rails and handling great. Up next was A2 of 4WD and, with a not-so-great start, I worked my way up. Once out front I had to be smart and conservative to hold onto my position and keep my car performing for that final 10-minute main. Then in A2 of 2WD, still full of excitement and suffering from a case of shakes, I took some deep breaths and put my head down once more to take the win of A2 for second overall. All I can say is wow, what an incredible week of racing!
AW: It's not very common to win a multi-race A-Main from fourth on the grid. When did you first realize you could win it all?
BC: Heading into the Reedy Race I didn't think 4WD would've been my class to win. I felt I could be up there and battle it out, but I was much more confident about 2WD throughout the week as seeding and qualifying felt pretty solid. I definitely proved myself wrong! In racing, anything can happen until the final sound of tone at the end of the race - so when they announced A2 was over and I had taken the win, I could finally breathe.
AW: How difficult was it to stay focused in such a close race during A1?
BC: Staying focused in A1 was difficult. I have been in a few high-pressure situations like that and did my best to stay focused on my own race. I took the lead mid-race and had XRAY driver Kyle Turner as well as my teammate, Tommy Hinz, breathing down my neck for the second half of the race.
AW: Other than your Reedy Race Open class victory, what are your most proud racing moments?
BC: My proudest racing moment to date of course was the 2017 Reedy Race, with the victory in 4WD and runner up in 2WD - that moment will be remembered forever! Another proud moment was when my brother, Blake Champlin won Stock Short Course and was runner up in Stock Buggy at the 2013 Surf City Classic. To be able to race with my dad and brother on a regular basis is priceless - and when we podium together, it is the best.
AW: Do you have any goals for your RC career?
BC: I am looking to make a career out of RC racing and this is a huge ongoing goal, but I also want an education to fall back on. I am striving for both!
AW: When you're not at the racetrack, what are some of your favorite hobbies?
BC: When I'm not racing I like to hang out with family and friends. There are very few weekends that I get to spend time at home because we live about 1 1/2 hours away from our nearest track, 702 RC Raceway in Las Vegas, NV. I also enjoy a good video game.
AW: What's the best part of RC racing? What about RC racing annoys or bothers you?
BC: The best part of racing is the adrenaline rush and the people you meet along the way. Your teammates become like extended family. Being able to travel and race with my family is something not many people get to experience and that I am grateful for. The most frustrating thing about RC for me is not being able to travel to all of the races I would like to, but I hope to do more of this in the near future.
AW: Who are some of the people that have helped you the most?
BC: The biggest help in my racing career has definitely been both of my parents. My mom has seen my dad race so many times, from jet skis, to dirt bikes and now RC. They both know what it takes to be great and what a racer goes through. My next biggest help is my brother - he is just as fast as me and pushes me to go faster, and so does my dad - neither of them are slouches. Practicing together and competing against each other is the best training. Thank you as well for all of the support of my sponsors: Team Associated, Reedy, JConcepts, Schelle Racing, Sticky Kicks, 702 RC Raceway and LiveRC.
AW: Thanks for the interview! Is there anything else you'd like to add?
BC: I am already looking forward to next year, running in the invite class and seeing what I can do with it. Let's go racing!
Photo: 702 RC Raceway, via Facebook