Martin Wollanka has won Austrian championships in a variety of classes, from 1/12-scale on-road to nitro off-road, and made finals appearances at the European Championships including a runner-up finish as part of the XRAY team. He was one of the biggest names to switch major sponsors at the end of 2017, when he moved over to the unproven SWORKz squad - and he didn’t mince words about how he felt about his former employer. Read more about what Wollanka had to say in this week’s Talk It Up Tuesday.
Aaron Waldron: Congratulations on the switch to SWORKz! What was the main factor behind your big move?
Martin Wollanka: I was not realy happy at my old team. And i had need something new to get my old motivation back. With the Sworkz team I’m sure the people stand behind me and want to help me to do the best results what are possible.
AW: How much track time have you had with your new equipment? What have your first few days with the team been like?
MW: I was not allowed to practice at all before, so I started on January 2 with testing. I’ve had one week with 1/8 and 4 days with the 2wd buggy. The cars are very easy to drive and not easy to flip, so all looking good so far. The time is too short to know how well it will work out in the long run.
AW: You had been a part of XRAY for a few years. Was it a difficult decision to leave?
MW: The only thing that was difficult was to get out of my contract. But finally, I’m free and very happy about that.
AW: When did you start talking to SWORKz? What excited you most about the opportunity?
MW: We started talking one year ago. What I like most are the people; you can talk normal with them without thinking what I said can be wrong. They are just normal and want to help me every time if they can.
AW: Atsushi Hara raced for SWORKz in nitro for two seasons, but the company hasn’t had a major racing presence since. Are you looking forward to helping the brand establish a presence at major events?
MW: Yes! We want do as many major races as possible to be present on the race track and help people around the world as good as we can.
AW: How did your old teammates respond to the news?
MW: My old teammates had known it for a long time. I just tell them that the problem was XRAY not letting me go a year and a half ago. But finally, it was possible.
Photo: Nicolaas Burleigh, via Facebook
AW: Have your racing career goals changed along with this team switch? What are you shooting for for the 2018 season?
MW: My goals didn't change. I will try to do my best and be fast.
AW: Did you talk to any other brands about joining them before making your decision?
MW: I got a lot of requests, but Sworkz was what I want
Having previously been powered by XRAY’s FX engines, Wollanka will be using Picco engines this season.
AW: Will you be changing any other sponsors for 2018?
MW: Let that surprise you; we will know it soon.
AW: Thanks for the interview! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
MW: See you on the track.