Featured Driver: Don Natale
Occupation: Senior Tech Support for Team Associated
Years racing: I am on my 31st year
Sponsors if Applicable: I get my parts, motors and batteries from work. Team Associated and REEDY!
Car: I have many, but my road Touring cars are the TC6.2
GT10 Body of Choice: HPI’s Honda NSX GT body 200mm
Some of you have seen him around the local Socal Race Scene. He is hard to miss, being usually one of the biggest guys in the pits, Don is one of the most approachable and friendly guys you will ever meet in the Onroad scene. You will find him running the fun classes like GT10, VTA, 1/10 Pan Car, and Nastruck to name a few. He is always willing to help out any racers who asks for help and is always one of the first to volunteer to Turnmarshall when one is needed. It is a no brainer why Don is the GT10 Series’ Featured Driver this month. Here is a little more 411 on the legendary Don Natale.
Hey Don, what is Favorite Race Experience: There has been so many over the years it’s really hard to pick out one for the best. But I do remember when I first started out I was a big Velodrome race held at the Encino Velodrome. I was way over my head as far as speed and knowing what to do but went anyway because I wanted to race on that big track. Well I was on the track chugging along when all of a sudden a Black Car was flying through my car like I was sitting still on the track…destroying my car. I went down to the track picked up the pieces and when back to my pits. Setting there looking at the pile of parts I was wondering how I would fix this thing. When a guy came up to me and said that Cliff was really sorry for hitting my car, at the time I didn’t know who Cliff was, hint, hint (Cliff Lett) he told me that if I gave him the car he would fix it and bring it back. Well, I didn’t know him either being a newbie to RC, come to find out it was Topper who at the time was Team Associated Customer Support guy. Well here I have many years later and I am the senior customer support rep for that company.
What are your thoughts on having a GT10 Series in SO. Cal?: I like it, series racing has always been fun, no matter how you do that day you have the next race to make your way back.
What would you like to see in the future?: Hmmm…..that is a good question! For me I would like to see more newcomers to the hobby that I have enjoyed and loved for so many years.
Do you think this will help boost on road in SO. Cal as a Whole?: I don’t know if it would boost it but it might bring out some drivers that haven’t ran for some time, and it might also bring some new drivers especially with the spec type class, there is a bit more cost to start out but the benefit would be they would have a competitive motor and esc that they could use later in other touring type stock classes.
What is the best Advice you can give a Beginner?: Practice as much and as often as you can, don’t get frustrated when you are on the track an someone is faster, it’s just they have more driving time and have learned what it takes to go faster. As for the cars, remember to check them before you go out on the track. Make sure screws are tight, nothing is damage or leaking it will make your track time better if you car is not falling apart when you driving it. With touring cars we use rubber tires and sometimes the glue holding the tire to the wheel will come loose, so be sure to check them, just slightly pull back on the rubber near the rim and see if the tire is coming loose. Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask questions or for help, there are plenty of us who have done this for many years and we understand that there is a lot to learn and know.
Thankyou for your time Don! Looking forward to seeing you at the track and helping out as you usually do!