Next one up in our series of ETS Family Interviews is Frederik Broløs Mikkelsen from Denmark. He is one of the fastest Pro Stock racers of the last years making the A-main at almost every race!
Hello Frederik and welcome to our series of “ETS Family Interviews”. How are you and your family doing at the moment? Has the Covid-19 lockdown affected your life in Denmark a lot or was it not so bad in the area you are living?
Thanks a lot for having me. My family and I are doing fine at the moment and are nearly back to “normal” life again. The Covid-19 lockdown came a bit quick in Denmark, but on the positive side it meant that we could still go outside and enjoy the weather. It seems like the virus outbreak, for now at least, is under control and we have been able to go to the track and race RC again.
You live in Tølløse which is located somewhere between Copenhagen and Odense. Tell us a little bit about your home town and what you are doing there when you are not racing RC cars!
Tølløse is a nice relaxing and quiet city, with many farm areas around. When I’m not racing RC cars or preparing them for the next race, I’m spending some time running. I’ve never really been good at running, but it’s a good challenge and I like to try and improve and see the progress.
You are 22 years old right now - at what age you started the RC hobby and how did it happen? Who was the person who got you involved in the RC hobby?
I was 13 years old when I went to the local hobby shop in Tølløse to buy an RC car. The owner told about a club where they had a track that I could run and I thought that might be fun instead of using it on the road at home. At first it was once a week that I went to the track at club nights, but I got addicted to it quite fast and once a week, became quickly 2-3-4-5 times a week.
What was your first RC Car?
My first RC Car was an LRP S10 Blast TC. Already after a couple of months, I decided to buy a more advanced car. I had been to a couple of races as a spectator and thought it would be fun to try, so I bought a used Tamiya TRF 416 to compete with.
Do you still remember the first official race you attended and how it turned out for you?
I don’t remember my first official race in Denmark, but I do remember the first time I went to an ETS. I had been racing for almost 2 years at that point, when my father and I decided to go. It was the 2nd round of the ETS in Hrotovice/Czech Republic in 2013. I had some technical issues where the car would run fine for 4 laps and then go into limp mode and go really slowly. We found out the issue a little late, but for the last two finals the car drove all 5 minutes and I could win the N-final overall. So apart from the technical issues it was a really nice experience.
How big is the RC racing scene in Denmark? Do you have a lot of tracks to practice and race around you or do you always have to travel larger distances to get your car down on a track?
There is not too many drivers unfortunately but we do have quite a few tracks around in Denmark. I’m quite lucky to have a track only 1km away from home, so normally when I want to practice, I can take all my stuff in a bike trailer and then cycle down to the track, which has both an indoor and an outdoor track. On Zealand (the east side of Denmark) there are 5 tracks for asphalt racing and 3 tracks for carpet.
When we look on your last couple of years racing RC cars, it is easy to see that you improved a lot as you now make the A-main in Pro Stock at the ETS very constantly. What, from your perspective made you that much better? Was it just more practice or did you also learned more about the perfect car setup and stuff like that?
I think it’s a bit of both as well as huge support from my sponsors. Toni Rheinard from Tonisport has been a big part of my racing career supporting me since 2014 and has helped a lot both on and off the track, pushing me in the right direction. In 2018 Jürgen Lautenbach from LRP also came in the picture and supported me. I had been using LRP products for quite some time, so being able to drive for him was quite special and working together with him has been a pleasure.
Practice wise I already from the beginning, when I started racing, I had been eager to go to the race track and practice. I think that consistently practicing every week has helped, maybe not if you look at it short term, but in the long run, it has definitely helped me. One key thing that has helped me the last couple years was finding the right car that suited my driving style and also had more setup opportunities. Going to many of the big international events has also helped me a lot as that’s where I have learned a lot setup wise, but also watching the fast guys to see where I could improve.
The Pro Stock class at the ETS is ultra-competitive and especially when you are fighting for an A-main spot there is no space for mistakes. As almost everybody is kind of nervous before qualifying, what do you do to keep calm and focused before an important heat?
I try not to think about the end result too much and instead just focus on the racing lines and when to brake and accelerate, because otherwise it can be extremely stressful when you are tied with 5 other people in a qualifying run. So instead of thinking I need to be that fast or in that position, I try to think that I just need to do my best and then I can see the result afterwards and then make changes accordingly.
It seems that a lot of successful Pro Stock drivers don`t want to make the next step in entering the modified division. Is this caused by the limited amount of other modified races (compared to stock races) they can do during the year or do some of them rate the competition in modified as “too high” for them? What is your opinion about that and do you plan to race modified at some day?
I don’t look at modified as the next step from Pro-Stock. I look at them as two different classes, which both has their own unique feel. I think the reason many Pro-Stock drivers don’t race modified instead, is because they enjoy the feel of Pro-Stock and like the balance in power. When I started racing RC it was only after 1 year that I decided to race modified and did that for a couple of years. I do still enjoy racing modified but I do prefer Pro-Stock and the close competition at ETS.
The ETS series seems like a magnet for so many racers as a lot of them are doing more than only one or two ETS races per season. What keeps you racing at the ETS and always makes you travel to the races again?
I think it’s the good atmosphere and the high level of competition. It’s nice meeting up with friends from all around the world and enjoy the hobby that we all enjoy. I’m also learning a lot every time I have been to an ETS. I haven’t been going home from an ETS without learning something new and I do really enjoy the whole trip, driving to the different countries and as the competition is very high, I like to try and improve and do well at every race.
What was the best racing experience you had until now in your RC racing career?
Definitely the ETS in Apeldoorn last year where I ended up 2nd. Got 3rd earlier that season so being able to move one step higher on the podium was special for me and has given me more confidence going forward. The weather was extremely good and the track in Apeldoorn is really enjoyable to race on especially when it`s sunny.
Do you have an all-time favorite RC racer you look up to?
I would say Marc and Ronald. I remember when I started racing RC I always enjoyed watching them whenever they were driving.
What is the best Racetrack you have ever raced on?
Definitely Apeldoorn. The grass is always green and the facilities are really well maintained. The asphalt gives a really good amount of grip and the curbs are perfectly build so they can be driven on, which is perfect for racing.
Is there any special race around the world on your bucket list that you would like to attend someday?
TITC in Thailand has always looked special and maybe also the World Championship some day in the future.
Do you have any other hobbies beside RC racing?
I do run quite a bit when I’m not racing RC cars. I try to run 4-5 times a week depending on how my legs feel. My ultimate goal would be to complete a marathon in under 3 hours, but that is still a bit out in the future.
What style of music do you call your favorite?
I don’t have any particular favorite, but I’m not really a fan of heavy metal and rock.
What is your favorite destination for some relaxed Holidays?
As I was younger, I really enjoyed going to southern France with the caravan. We used to start our holiday at midnight and then started the journey driving through Europe, spending some days at different campsites in different countries, with the end destination being southern France.
Which typical Danish food do you enjoy the most?
That would be a chopped steak or Danish pork meatballs with potatoes and Danish brown sauce.
As we are coming to an end now we want to thank you for your time Frederik! We really appreciate having you in our ETS Family and if you like to thank somebody you can do this right now!
Thanks a lot for having me and making these great Interviews. I want to thank my Mom and Dad as well as my sponsors Toni Rheinard from Tonisport and Jürgen Lautenbach from LRP for making all this possible!
|06.||Frederik B. Mikkelsen||592pts|
|03.||Martijn v. d. Heijden||569pts|
|04.||Steven M. Olsen||598pts|