By Tyler Hooks
Future Stars of RC is a regular column on LiveRC where aspiring RC journalist Tyler Hooks has a conversation with fellow up-and-coming racers across the country, covering youth-friendly topics such as school subjects, watching TV, throwing huge whips and, of course, girls.
For this week's edition of Future Stars of RC we caught up with 17.5 rising star Antonio Counsil after some solid results at the ROAR Nationals, Surf City Classic, and Sactown Showdown.
Name: Antonio Counsil
Age: 13 years old
Sponsors: Hobbywing, SchuurSpeed, Pro-Line, MIP, RC Speed Secrets
TH: When did you first begin racing?
AC: I first began racing in 2011 when I was 6 years old. My Dad bought me my first Traxxas Slash 4x4 and we started club racing for fun. I enjoyed it so much my Dad upgraded my ride to a Losi SCTE 2.0 and we started attending big events. My first big race was the 2013 Jconcepts Summer Indoor Nationals in Chico, CA. I was able to take a 2nd place podium in the Rookie Class and from there I was hooked.
TH: What is your biggest racing accomplishment?
AC: I would have to say 2018 ROAR Nationals has been my biggest accomplishment. This was my first time attending Nationals and the competition was stiff. My goal was to stay focused and race my cars and hopefully make the main event! I was able to make the A-mains in both my 17.5 2WD Buggy and 13.5 4WD Buggy and finish 5th overall in both classes. It was so awesome to be able to accomplish this.
TH: What is your worst racing failure?
AC: My worst racing failure is my first time at Stock Nationals. I ended up in the D Main in both cars and I know I could have done way better than that.
TH: Where do you attend school, and what is your goal for a future occupation?
AC: I currently attend Piedmont Middle School and I am in 8th grade. My future goal is to attend college for engineering.
TH: Do you have a girlfriend?
AC: NO!!! I do not.
TH: What is your favorite class for school and racing?
AC: World History and of course 17.5 2WD Buggy.
TH: What do you think of the old saying “girls just get in the way of racing?”
AC: I think this saying is not true. My mom and my sisters definitely help me stay focused and keep my belly full when I’m racing.
TH: What is your real dream car?
AC: 1970 Chevelle SS 454 LS6
TH: Huge whips, driving absolutely flat out or more calculated driving, smoother on the throttle?
AC: I would say I like whipping the car to a certain extent to get it to work well but more on the calculated side.
TH: Action Sports or Conventional sports, what do you follow in your free time?
AC: Action Sports for sure!
TH: This interview comes after some excellent results at the ROAR nationals and Surf City Classic, how have the last couple of months been for you?
AC: The last few months have been great! I have really been focused on improving my driving skill and getting the best results possible. I have been trying to travel and get out to as many big events as possible to be able to drive with the best racers out there. My biggest goal right now is to be able to race the Reedy race.
TH: Who did you look up to when you were an even younger racer, or who has been the biggest help to you as a driver?
AC: I have always looked up to my Dad he has been my biggest supporter and motivator. He gives me the best advice and always stays on top of my set-up for my cars! He knows my driving style and is able to keep my cars dialed.
TH: What is the biggest piece of advice you would give to a new up and coming racer?
AC: I would tell them to have fun, practice as much as possible and never give up. Also don’t be afraid to ask for help.