TALK IT UP TUESDAY: Josh Pain
Tuesday, Mar 7, 2017 11:46pm
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!
I first met Josh Pain at the 2014 Reedy Race of Champions, where - when racing heads-up against some of the fastest off-road racers on the planet - the Australian seemed more apt than most just to enjoy the experience rather than get hung up on the intensity of the event. Take this headshot pose, for example.
Photo: Red RC, via Facebook
The following year, at the IFMAR Worlds in Japan, Pain was a vocal critic of the decision to hold the race on astroturf - despite enjoying his career best finish at the event - and told me how he felt in a cuddly conversation live on camera for the world to follow along.
Photo: Chris Sturdy, via Facebook
He was also suggested that we wake up Chris Sturdy from a nap in the pit area by sticking the camera in his face, then invited John Watkins to join him for front-row seats to the action.
Photo: Andrew Foord, via Facebook
I spent quite a bit of time chatting with Josh while at Yatabe Arena that week, and have increasingly looked forward to seeing him at international races to enjoy his refreshing candor and unmistakably Australian wit - he’s absolutely the silliest person I’ve encountered at an RC race. I realized, though, that other than being a very successful racer back home in Australia I didn’t know much about him - and guessed that most of our audience didn’t, either - so I hit him up for this week’s Talk It Up Tuesday. (Cover photo: Kai Jaeger, via Facebook)
Oh, and while digging around our archives for photos of Josh, I found that he’s no stranger to our cameras.
Aaron Waldron: I appreciate you taking the time to do this! First off - how old are you, and where are you from?
Josh Pain: Hi Aaron, thanks for the interview. I am 34 and from Perth, Western Australia.
AW: How did you get into RC, and how long have you been racing?
JP: I first got interested in RC when I started reading Radio Control Car Action around 1994. I remember reading about Masami Hirosaka and his triumphs. A local toy store had a Tamiya Super Hornet and I saved up my paper run money to buy it. I thought, “I will race against Masami Hirosaka and beat him with my car.” I looked around and there were no local tracks to race at, so then I bashed for around four years. In 1998, a hobby store nearby had a Team Associated RC10T Team Edition. I got the truck and convinced my parents to drive me two hours to the nearest track, and I instantly fell in love with the sport.
Photo: Ian Boulter, via Facebook
AW: When did you decide to start taking racing more seriously, traveling to larger races and acquiring sponsors?
JP: Instantly I was above average as a RC car driver. My local track I had been to 5 times hosted the Australian Nationals, so we got a Team Losi XX-CR Kinwald Edition and I entered in the stock class, where I managed a fifth-place finish in the A final. A few people said I should participate in the state series and do a few other big races around the country. The next year I won the 2WD stock class at the nationals, and I was serious about racing from then on. Things got more serious when Matt Griffin and I became friends and he took me along to the 2006 Cactus Classic. Matt was a factory Team Associated driver at the time, and he introduced me to Brett Thielke and Kurt Wenger - whom I got along with very well. I became a factory driver for Associated in 2007 and raced for them through 2010.
AW: When did you first pursue turning your hobby into a career? How did you become involved with Ryper Hobbies?
JP: I had always dreamed of having my own hobby store. In 2007, Ryper Hobbies was looking to expand searching for an investor and director. The only down side was leaving the east coast and relocating on the west, but it’s been a great experience and expanded my racing career.
Josh proposed to his long-time girlfriend, Jessica, while in Las Vegas for the 2016 IFMAR Worlds - he
may never have a problem getting her to attend races with him ever again!
AW: Is it difficult finding time to commit to practicing and racing?
JP: No. My fiancée is very accommodating when it comes to racing. She enjoys watching me race and knows how important it is to me. I try and bring her along to any events that might have some tourist attractions.
AW: What’s your favorite track? Favorite big event? Favorite racing class?
JP: My favourite track is the now-closed Charters Towers track in North Queensland, Australia. My favourite big events are the electric off-road nationals and IFMAR world championships. My favourite class is 4WD Modified.
AW: What are some of your favorite places you’ve visited for RC races?
JP: Japan, for the culture; the USA, for the RC facilities; and Thailand, for the parties.
AW: How does the racing scene in Australia compare to other parts of the world?
JP: We have 15 great drivers, but unfortunately we only get to race against each other around 4 - 5 times per year - we’re just so far spread out. The RC community is pretty small when you compare it to other countries, but there is still a lot of passion. We don’t really have any indoor tracks, either; our facilities are council-operated with volunteers, and the tracks are all classic outdoor USA 90s-style courses.
AW: What are your most proud racing moments?
JP: I think your first big results are the ones you look back on most. At the 2007 Cactus Classic I made the B-Main in Modified 4WD. My first modified nationals win was in stadium truck in 2009, and in 2011 I TQ’d and won all four modified classes at the nationals.
AW: Do you have any goals for your RC career?
JP: I really have achieved all my realistic goals. I just want to stay competitive with the young group of drivers coming through. With the IFMAR 1/8-Scale Off-Road Worlds coming to my backyard in 2018, I would like to get a great result there.
This bar was right around the corner from our hotel in Japan - and here’s Josh, leading the charge.
AW: What’s the best part of RC racing? What is the worst part?
JP: The best? Traveling and seeing my racing buddies from around the world. The worst? Wrenching.
AW: Who are some of the people that have helped you the most?
JP: Jeff Primmer, The Cotton Family, Matt Griffin, David Simms, Kurt Wenger, Anthony Campbell and, of course, all my sponsors who have supported me over the years. For 2017, that’s Ryper Hobbies, AKA, Schelle, Team Associated, Fast Owl and Hobbywing.
AW: Thank you for the interview! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
JP: Thanks to all my friends who make this hobby so great :) Cheers.