Sean in the driving seat for Italian job
Q: Racing remote control cars is an unusual sport, how did you get into it? A: Well my mum and dad brought me to the Motor Show exhibition in the RDS when I was about seven-years-old and I saw a demonstration there and they were showing different remote control Formula One racing cars. I was fascinated with them and really wanted to have a go and get one for myself but my parents thought I was a bit young at the time. We went again the next year and my parents saw that I still had the same interest so they bought me one of the cars. The guys doing the demonstration were from a club called the NNAI based in Raheny and I joined that and started racing there. About two years later I was approached by Serpent to race for their team and from there I started racing at a national level. The NNAI don’t exist anymore so now I’m a member of the club ORCA who are based in St. Anne’s Park in Raheny. Q: Have you always had an interest in the real Formula One racing? A: Yeah I’ve always watched it on telly and have been fascinated with the sport so it was great to find that I could do it just on a smaller scale. The cars I drive are 1/8 to the scale of a real car and they can reach a speed of 115 kilometres. After each race I have to take the car apart and clean the bearings so I’m learning a lot about Formula One cars while I’m doing it. Q: You’re 14-years-old now, where have you represented Ireland in your chosen sport? A: As part of the Serpent team I have raced in England twice, Portugal twice, Spain once and next week I will be travelling to Italy for a Grand Prix this weekend. I’ve done well in all the races which is great feeling to be away from home and to do well. Q: How does it feel to be the youngest competitor in your chosen sport? A: It feels great to have achieved so much at my age but I do get nervous before races because I’m aware that I’m much younger than the rest of the drivers who are usually in their twenties or thirties. In the last race there was a guy who was about 18 or 20 so that wasn’t too bad. But it’s such a great feeling representing my country abroad because not that many people get to do that at my age and I’m doing it through something that I love. Q: What is your typical day, how to do train for competitions? A: I don’t practise that much during the week but at weekends I go out to St. Anne’s park on both days for a few hours and practise on the track there. I also practise on the playstation because it helps with developing my control and concentration that are both very important when it comes to a race. Q: What year are you in now in school and has travelling to competitions and training affected school at all? A: I’m in third year in Colaiste Raithin in Bray now and so far the racing hasn’t really affected school because most of the races happen in the summer. But when I go to Italy this week I will be missing about four days from school so I’ll just have to bring my books with me and do my homework and stuff there. Q: How do you feel about the upcoming Grand Prix in Italy? A: I am a bit nervous but I came third in the Irish Nationals and that is how I qualified for the Grand Prix so I should be ok. I always get nervous before a race but then I calm myself down and on the day I’m usually ok, so Italy won’t be too much different to any other race. Q: Do you get Family support? A: Yeah my family are a hundred percent behind me. My dad Vincent is my mechanic so he comes to all my races and my mum Helena comes to as many as she can. My granny Bridie and my granddad George also give me great support and are always there if I need anything, which is great. Q: You’re still so young, what are your plans for the future? A: When I’m older I would like to be a race car driving instructor or have something to do with motor racing. Of course I’d love to be a Formula One driver but I don’t think I’d ever have the money to do it. In the near future for next year I hope to qualify for the European Championships and maybe get a new car or new engines.
Sean Doyle with his 1/8th Scale car Serpent 960-08.