FLASHBACK FRIDAY: JQ Racing release party
Friday, Sep 22, 2017 06:56am
By Aaron Waldron
Everybody knows that Friday is meant for reminiscing old times. Each week we take you back in time as we flashback to some of R/C racing's greatest moments, products, drivers, and more!
JQ Racing press release party at the IFMAR Worlds in Italy
Yesterday marked the three-year anniversary of a swanky press conference Joseph Quagraine held at the IFMAR Worlds in Messina, Italy, where he treated invited the media to hear about his plan to form a more professional team concept with each driver using the same equipment and same branding. JQ had booked a villa for the team to stay in during the race, and wanted to us all over for the unveiling of his master plan. The third day of opening practice had just been completed in what was shaping up to be a long, hot week on the Sicilian coast, and we were all exhausted. So how did JQ get us all to show up?
Quagraine took a few minutes to talk about how proud he was of what his company had accomplished in the previous four years, going from a car that no one believed would ever happen to rivaling more established brands in the European racing scene and scoring championships around the globe. He also acknowledged those who had stuck by his side, particularly when much of the mainstream RC racing scene had written him off.
He also explained the advantages of having his team all running the same equipment, particularly the more streamlined sharing of setup information and potential for development of THECar and future projects (which we now know included at least The ECar). Not only that, but the brands associated with the team would get a boost in publicity as well. Quagraine also announced his intention to launch JQThreads, a lifestyle clothing brand that would enable him to market RC outside the industry as well as keep his representatives covered in apparel. (JQThreads launched in October 2014 - check it out here: eu.jqthreads.com)
The party also served as the public launch of Cosmic Industries, founded by fellow Fin Heikki Naulapää. Naulapää was a top 1/10-scale electric off-road racer in the 1990s, with four IFMAR Worlds appearances (with best finishes in the B-Main) and a fourth-place at the Euros to his credit. Not only did he graduate from the Royal College of Art in London, but Naulapää founded Power Racing in 1994 which distributed LRP, Yokomo and other brands in Finland. Naulapää sold Power Racing in 1999 and enrolled at Lahti University of Applied Science, graduating four years later and returning to London to create projects for companies like Aprilia, BMW, Nokia, Sandvik and Sunto.
Naulapää showed off his Balancer shell for THE Car, and talked about future products — like a Balancer for the Yokomo BMax-2 and BMax-4 buggies, as well as a bi-level wing for 1/10-scale vehicles. The products eventually went on sale in June 2016, and you can read the press release here: www.liverc.com/news/new_products/12193-Cosmic_Industries_introduced_JQ_and_Yokomo_bodies%2C_bi-level_wing_and_apparel/
With our mouths full of food, everyone in the room was a captive audience.
In an industry that increasingly relies on cheesy teaser images and contrived press releases, it was refreshing to see a couple of collaborating companies — both trying to do things in a new way — put together something that was out of the box.