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Meet HB Racing: Torrance Deguzman

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Press Release From HB Racing:

This episode of Meet HB Racing focuses in on the man behind the designs of the World Championship winning HB cars. Torrance Deguzman is the man, he’s been designing RC vehicles for more than 20 years, and is the exclusive designer for all of the HB cars for the past decade. The list is long and includes nitro cars like the D413, D418, D216, D812, D815, D817, D819, D8T Evo3, and corresponding electric versions of the 1:8 cars like the E8T Evo3 and E819RS.

While some companies rely on a team of designers, HB Racing uniquely puts all of the design squarely on the shoulders of Torrance, and gives him total control over the direction and success of the HB line. It’s a unique opportunity for a designer to have total control of the process, and Torrance has proven that he’s up for the challenge.

In RC racing success is often measured in big race wins. Torrance’s designs have won 7 IFMAR World Championship titles and countless national and international titles. But winning isn’t everything, so Torrance uses his experience to make sure the cars arefast, durable, easy to maintain, good-looking, and as affordable as possible.

Recently we bounced some questions off Torrance about his background and design philosophy.

What got you started racing RC?

As a kid I’d been a fan of motorsports (F1, Indycar, IMSA GTP, Group C, MotoGP, etc.). I wanted to get into motorsports somehow and RC racing was the most affordable way to do it. I was 10 when I got my first car, a Tamiya Frog.

How did you become a RC designer?

I wanted to be and engineer/designer because I really enjoy vehicles; not just cars but also motorcycles, boats, airplanes, helicopters, etc. Anything mechanical that you can ride or control. So I got my Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Irvine. Being an engineer/designer allows me to be involved in creating things that are interesting and exciting.

So after getting your engineering degree what was next?

In 2000 I started working as an RC design engineer at AE working under Cliff Lett. My designs included the Nitro TC3, RC10B4/T4, RC12L4, RC18T. With Worlds wins with the B4 in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009 and another Worlds win with the 12L4 in 2004. Then in 2005 I moved to Taiwan and designed for AE and Thunder Tiger, cars like the RC8, RC8T, SB5, KT8. In 2010 I started designing for HPI/HB Racing with projects like the HB D812, HPI Apache and Jumpshot. And since 2016 I’ve been exclusively with HB Racing doing the complete design process for all of the HB 1:8 and 1:10 cars and all of the option parts.

What’s your design philosophy for the cars?

I look at the goal that a certain product aims to achieve, and then do everything within my ability to make it happen. Sometimes I use design concepts that are proven to work. Sometimes I let my imagination go crazy – for example the HB D413 and TT SB-5. My preference as a designer is to go nuts with a design because it’s more interesting that way, but it’s not always prudent. Sometimes a project is budget limited, or time limited, or market perception limited. So in those cases I go with proven designs but try to be innovative on some components. Take the D812 for example, which is a very conventional car but with the new-at-the-time monocoque suspension arm design.

What are some of your favorite RC designs?

  • Not designed by me – Tamiya Avante
  • My first design – AE Nitro TC3
  • My most memorable design – Thunder Tiger SB-5
  • Favorite that I designed – HB D413

Where do you live and what other hobbies do you have now?

Currently I live and work in the Philippines but for most of my life I lived/worked in Southern California. My list of other hobbies is long but the one that stands out is sailboat racing. Not RC sailboats, but actual sailboats.

How often do you race or go to races?

Prior to the pandemic I was at the track once or twice a week testing, practicing, and racing. With the pandemic that routine ground to a halt but now that restrictions have eased up, I’m getting my gear ready to race again.

What’s your design concept to meet the needs of team drivers and high level RC racing?

I communicate with my drivers to see what they’d like to have for our cars, or I ask them to test stuff I come up with to verify a design concept, then gather info and see how we can improve our products. This is the same way I worked with all my past drivers such as Ronnefalk, Tessmann, Hara, Baker, etc. which has turned out to be pretty successful

Any message for the HB team and HB customers?

I’d like to thank our team members and customers for their support – we’ll continue to do our best to support you. In light of the recent driver lineup change, don’t despair – it’s normal in motorsports. Big name drivers move from one team to another; it has happened to us in the past. We’re looking forward to the future with a great team and exciting new cars.

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About the Author

Tyler Hooks is a recent college graduate with a BBA in management and a Minor in Communications from St. Edwards University as well as a ROAR Stock National Champion and was apart of the IFMAR World Championship USA team in 2016. Tyler is currently an Editor as well as in the Advertising department at Live Race Media and frequently is apart of the broadcast team at major events.

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