After much speculation about the future of top Dutch International electric racer Jilles Groskamp, we can confirm to you that he has signed to Tamiya. Jilles, who has raced for Xray for the past 6 years, leaves behind a succesful term at the Slovakian manufacturer that has seen him win many major races as well as make the final for multiple European and World Championships. We caught up with Jilles recently and put a few questions to him about this exciting new deal.
UPDATE: We have some pictures below the interview from Fridays test in the Netherlands thanks to our sponsors, the Border.
Click more to read the full interview…
Red RC – So Jilles thanks for agreeing to take the time to make this short interview for Red RC. Jilles – No problem!
Red RC – So after a long term at Xray you have decided to make the move to Tamiya, can you tell us the reasons behind the change. Jilles – After more then six years with Xray I wasn’t motivated anymore. I needed a change, different car , different team , different people around me.
Red RC – What was the main deciding factor in you choosing Tamiya? Jilles – Tamiya has been my favourite team for many years already. The TRF team always has something special and there is always a nice atmosphere around it. Also on big races the performance is always there and with the 416 it will be even better!
Red RC – You join a very strong team in Europe already with Rheinard, Wilck and Honigl, do you see this situation as any different to that at Xray? Jilles – Yes for sure. Xray has been a big team over the last couple of years which is sometimes a disadvantage. Set-up share was always an issue and many times a problem. Now with Marc, Viktor, Hupo and me we are a small team with a lot of race experience. We don’t have anything to hide and we can share all info very closely.
Red RC – Have you driven the new car yet and if so what are your initial impressions of it? Jilles – I have been testing the car the last couple of weeks and my impression is really good. I started of with a prototype 416 which was slightly different than the kit version. The kit version is just amazing. The balance is perfect and the car is really easy to drive and has really good steering. Also the quality of all parts is really outstanding.
Red RC – With the Tamiya perceived as a good car on rubber tires and the Xray a good car on foams, will we see you make the move to more rubber racing than foam, or is your place on the team to help develop the car on foams? Jilles – Tamiya has scheduled a lot of races mostly on rubber tyres as most important races are on rubber tyre including the Worlds. I will participate at the Snowbirds with my Tamiya and some foam tests are already made which were really impressive.
Red RC – Following our conversation in Argentina back in October it seems that 2008 will be all change for you having moved away from Xray, Trinity and Hudy. You have already announced that you will use SMC cells, but are there any further deals inked for 2008? Jilles – SMC is my main sponsor for batteries. Motors is not decided yet but soon it will be! Leaving Xray was not only for the electric but also for the nitro class. Sirio will be my main sponsor for nitro in which I will use a Kyosho chassis.
Red RC – We see that you are booked into the DHI-Cup, Red RC will be present to cover this event live, so we look forward to seeing you there and talking to you further about the car. Jilles – Oke, Eoghain, speak to you next week in Denmark!