By Aaron Waldron
Ian Ruggles, a pan car racing diehard who helped preserve the longest-running event in RC racing, will be remembered for the impact he made on his beloved hobby as well as his voice booming from the PA speakers of some of the nation’s biggest carpet on-road racing events.
“He was the voice of 1/12-scale racing,” said Brian Wynn of Calandra Racing Concepts, Ruggles’ long-time sponsor. “Everyone wanted him on the mic. We would wait on the drivers’ stand for him to announce the important heats.” In addition to the U.S. Indoor Champs, Ruggles often provided commentary and race direction at the Halloween Classic and various ROAR Nationals as well as other local and regional events.
The Springfield, OH native died Tuesday after suffering a seizure. According to a Facebook post written by his fiancée, Suzy Vaughn, Ruggles had been sober for five days following a decades-long struggle with alcohol abuse. He was 41 years old.
Ruggles began as a part-time announcer at the U.S. Indoor Champs in Ohio in the early 2000s, and took over organization of the event with his father, Joe, in 2010. “At that point, the Indoor Champs was kind of going away,” said Paul Ciccarello of Serpent America, “and they kept the race alive.” The U.S. Indoor Championships was held this past November for the 37th straight year.
Just one month after directing their first U.S. Indoor Champs, Joe and Ian took over Access RacePlace and Hobbies in Springfield. Here’s a video replay of Ian announcing a club race:
Ruggles is survived by his three children.
Ian’s parents, Joe and Claudia Ruggles, will be hosting a memorial service for Ian at Access RacePlace on Sunday at 1:30 PM. The facility’s address is 1365 W First St. Springfield, OH.
If alcoholism is currently affecting you or someone you know, you can find information about treatment options from the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse here: