The RaceWorks Elite Racing Series has pushed existing teams to higher levels and also encouraged the formation of new teams. Team HB/HPI Singapore, one of the five teams, is not new and was formed in 2004 to promote 1/10 EP and Nitro onroad racing.
The team expanded in 2006 to include 1/8 nitro offroad racing and then in 2009, Team HB/HPI Singapore became part of the larger Juc Racing to cover other categories of RC activities in the region. Driving for Team HB/HPI Singapore are Allister Lim and Terence Ang, both of whom have been in the RC scene for some time.
Julie Chia of Tai Sing Corp, which owns Team HB/HPI Singapore, said, “We select our drivers based on their attitude, passion and experience as we believe such qualities will benefit the general hobbyists better. However this does not mean our drivers do not have good racing merits, all of them do have a profound racing merit, but it is our belief that in order to be a good brand ambassador, racing merit alone is not enough.”
“1/10 EP Touring has reached its peak in recent years and we hope that sending a team to the Elite Racing Series will showcase the higher form of RC racing to the public just like Formula One in motor racing,” she added.
As we head into the weekend for Round 6 of the Elite Racing Series, we catch up with Terence and Allister.
Allister started playing with Tamiya mini 4WD cars since his primary school days. Then in 1999 his local hobby shop started selling RC cars and it got him interested. He practised with them for a few years and then took part in his first race in 2002, in a Kyosho Mini Z race organised by Toykar, where he finished in the top 10.
The 28-year-old relationship manager continued this RC car racing hobby of his till today, sharing the passion with his group of like-minded friends.
“I like the sense of excitement while racing each other and the sense of satisfaction you get after doing well in a race. The Elite Racing Racing is an extremely competitive series with Singapore’s best and most talented drivers placed together. Each team has two drivers so there is a stronger need for the team to work together to find the best setup and achieve the best race strategy. I must thank Tai Sing Corp for the support throughout the series,” said Allister.
Currently running overall fifth in the driver standings, Allister is on track and hopes to stay in the top five, as well as achieve at least one podium in the remaining two rounds.
Allister feels that the RC car scene in Singapore is not as strong as it used to be, though there will always be a group of diehard enthusiasts to keep the hobby alive. “Having an indoor track will definitely help so we don’t get affected by our ever changing weather,” he added.
Terence, 34, played with RC toy cars during his childhood and only bought his first real RC car (a 1/8 GP on-road car) in 1996 after his O level examinations, when he was working as a part-time promotor for Tai Sing.
In the same year he bought his first proper RC car, Terence raced his 1/8 GP off-road buggy and qualified in D main, out of over 60 entries. A hands-on type of person, he enjoys the satisfaction from fixing, modifying and setting up RC cars by himself.
He feels that the Elite Racing Series “has an interesting format” and is happy being part of it, not setting any targets except to enjoy himself.
Exchanging driver duties with Ben Seet, Terence will be racing for Team HB/HPI Racing this Sunday, where the RaceWorks Elite Racing Series will hold its sixth round at RaceWorks Hobbies at Bottle Tree Park. At the moment, Alvin Koh of Tamiya SG is leading the driver championship. With just two rounds to go, victory is almost his.