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By Tyler Hooks
Welcome to LiveRC's weekly column, "Talk-It-Up Tuesday!" Here we spend a little time talking with industry icons including racers, manufacturers, team managers, developers, promoters, and everyone in between! Sit back, relax, and go behind the scenes as we interview them all!
For this week's Talk It Up Tuesday, we caught up with Scotty Ernst, Scotty was one of the first people we saw be affected by the pandemic even before we were talking about it in America. Definitely wanted to catch up with him for my first official Talk It Up Tuesday and see how he is doing!
TH: Hey Scotty hope all is well, how have you been doing with all this going on?
SE: I am doing well thank you. It for sure is a difficult time for the World in all aspects of life but I am trying to make the most of it and thankful for being able to be home and spending the time with my family.
TH: I know you are more plugged in with overseas racing than most, when did you start hearing about COVID-19, and when did it start affecting races over in Asia and Europe?
SE: The talk in the international community of racing started at the start of February. The first big International event that was coming up was the TITC event in Thailand and many of the top drivers started voicing concerns about attending the event due to the virus. Many drivers decided to not attend the event. The event went on as scheduled with no reports of problems.
TH: Are things beginning to get back on track for you? Time to get back to the busy schedule?
SE: Unfortunatly no, I have had 20 events canceled so far this year and events around the World are still getting canceled as countries push the dates farther into the year where they will allow big gatherings. I am hopeful that we will be able to get back to racing sooner than later.
TH: What event would you say you are most looking forward to in 2020?
SE: At this point it would just be any racing, everyone is missing the camaraderie, friendship and good times they share at the races and I am just looking forward to getting back and helping racers have fun at our events.
TH: Do you have any favorite announcing moments from over the years?
SE: Wow, that is such a difficult one. I have been blessed to be able to commentate at so many historic and legendary events over the years that it is hard to pick out any one. If I had to pick a few it would be the 1997 US Carpet Nationals between Josh Cyrul and Joel Johnson in 1/12 finals. The epic Rheinard/Hara Battle at the 2008 WC in Bangkok Thailand Ronald Volkers WC Win in China. Finally one that may not come up on the Worlds radar but Kamryn Ayers Stock buggy win at the Cactus Classic, to hear the entire building chearing her on that it was deafening! It is exactly what our hobby was about. It may have not been a World Championship but it was a race I will always remember and be proud that I was able to be part of.
TH: Have you been building any kits or working on anything fun the last month?
SE: I have been for sure. I rebuilt all my Team Associated buggies and Short Course so I will be ready when I can get back to racing at Trackside and will soon be getting into my newest class of racing that I absolutely fell in love with last year. 1/8th On road. I will be building up my Infinity IF18 kit and look forward to doing some Nitro On road racing this year.
TH: When you were racing competitively, what was your favorite car or truck you ran?
SE: Since I am old school, my favorite cars will always be the Team Associated TC3 and Tamiya TA03. I had some amazing success racing these and many of my biggest wins in racing came with these cars. Ahhh the good old days. “ THE OLDER I GET THE FASTER I WAS”
TH: How is grandpa life? Is remote control racing going to be a 3 generation thing here shortly?
SE: When you talk to any Grandparent they all say it is an amazing feeling but it honestly is. It is a feeling that I never imagined. Such an amazing feeling of pride to see your child take the values you tried to instill in them as they grew up and become such wonderful parents. As for racing... Look out, Chad and Sarah are such great racers that it will only come natural and I cannot wait for the day I get to see my Granddaughter racing.
TH: Anyone you would like to thank or give a shoutout to?
SE: As I said earlier, I have been very blessed in so many ways during my over 30 years in the industry that it would be to difficult to list all the people who played a part in my RC life. but if I had to thank only 1 person who made so much possible for me it would be Mike Reedy. Mike helped me back in the 90’s at Trackside Hobbies when he brought Mark Pavidas and Billy Easton to the US Touring Car Championship which in turn skyrocketed the prestige and popularity of the event and made it a must attend race back in the day and in 2001 when he asked me to be the race director/announcer of the Reedy Touring Car Race of Champions. That invitation started my announcing career and I will always cherish the friendship and guidance he gave to me.
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