Young Czech racer Kaja Novotny has quickly developed into an off-road RC success story. Having won his first racing trophy at the age of eight, Kaja, with the support of his father Karel, has ascended the ranks of European off-road racing with a rather enviable reputation for multiple podium places at the meetings he attends. 562 racing trophies attained so far by Kaja. Are we seeing the rise of a future European Champion?
Kaja, often referred to as Charlie by his friends in the UK, has been representing Team Durango for a few years, and during this time has carved a winning record that some racers struggle to achieve in a life-long career behind the radio transmitter.
We thought it was the perfect time to sit down with Kaja and ask him some questions about his relationship with not just the world of RC, but Team Durango products. Kaja is a real inspiration to young racers all over the world, and his commitment to taking Team Durango products to the winners spot make him a great ambassador for our brand.
Kaja Novotny answers our questions with the poise and maturity of a racer who is decades older than his years.
Kaja Navotny Interview – February 2014
Team Durango – At what age did you win your first RC trophy?
Kaja – I won my first RC trophy when I was 8 years old. It was my second RC car
race, when I won junior class in stock touring car.
Team Durango – How many RC trophies have you won since your career started?
Kaja – I had to count them to answer this question, and the answer is 562. More than half of them I have won with Team Durango cars.
Team Durango – Who got you interested in RC racing?
Kaja – It was my Dad. He took me to the Lestr cup race in Cezch Republic to show me how the race
looks and asked me, if I want to try that. I said yes, and my father bought me Tamiya RTR car. Few weeks later I raced on my first race.
Team Durango – What is your favorite Team Durango product and please explain why?
Kaja – Its difficult to say, as I like all of them and would like to keep all of them, but what I really love, it is DEX 410. It was my first Team Durango car and it bought me many good results, which would be difficult to get without such a perfect car. I always liked to drive RC cars, but since I have got it, I really enjoy it. Also, as it is the “oldest” Team Durango car, we are quite familiar with it, know how to set the car for different track conditions, which is a great advantage. Another great thing is that the 410 DNA remains basically the same as it was in the beginning, with a wide range of performance enhancements, which make it better every version update. It is still the fastest 4WD buggy in the world. When we got the first one, father said that it is the only racing car out of all RC buggies. I tend to agree
Team Durango – When you are racing, for the five minutes that you must concentrate, what goes through your mind as you are driving?
Kaja – I just think about each corner and jump, try to concentrate just on my car. I always try and find a little time to check on the progress of my rivals.
Team Durango – How often do you work on your cars away from the track?
Kaja – That is a little problem as I am really busy with school. My Dad helps out lots with preparing my cars. When I am home I also get involved, but usually I am studying. Next year I will have more spare time, as I have chosen to drop some subjects at school. This means I will be able to focus on my best school subjects and get more involved with my Team Durango cars. I am really looking forward to this.
Team Durango – Who is your favorite RC racer of all time and why?
Kaja – Probably no one will be surprised when l say that it is Jorn Neumann. He is really great person, helps us a lot on each race when we are together. I mainly respect him for his ability to drive on the edge in so many different classes and being everywhere on the very top. 1/10 2WD and 4WD Buggy, 4WD Short Course, 1/8 Electric Buggy and Truggy, 1/8 Nitro Buggy and Truggy, he performs at the highest level in every class!
Team Durango – Your father is a huge part of your RC racing career. Please explain how he supports you both at the race meetings you attend and when you are away from the track?
Kaja – I couldn’t race without my father, I wouldn’t have even begun. As I said, I am often busy with school and the preparation of cars goes to him. He also has to work on the cars during race meetings, as I usually drive three classes. I mostly drive or marshal, but when I don’t I try to help. Father also gives me advice as he can watch other racers and tell me where they are faster. When we are not at races, we mostly still discuss RC cars, but more about what is happening in the world RC scene than about us.
Team Durango – What is your favorite school subject and why?
Kaja – I love English. As I speak a lot with my RC friends from other countries, school tests and conversations are easy for me.
Team Durango – What RC race would you most like to win and why?
Kaja – I always dreamed to attend Reedy Race and to win such a race would be really awesome, but, dreams are to dream and I don‘t think so that this one would come true. And why you may ask? Reedy race is the race of the best drivers in the world, it would be great to be champion of champions.
Team Durango – Describe Team Durango in just four words?
Kaja – Winning, Durable, Co-operative, Friendly
Team Durango – What are your plans for your racing future?
Kaja – I would like to continue racing as long as I will have free time to spare. If it is possible, I would like to go more often to bigger races in other countries.
Kaja wanted to share these words with his fans and Team Durango racing colleagues:
“I would like to thank to Team Durango, to my parents and to sponsors for the support which I appreciate very much and fully realise how much they are doing for me especially now, during this difficult period of the world economy.
A special thanks to Rob Hopkins from Team Durango, because it is thanks to him that I am here. He decided to support me, when I was an unknown kid from a small country in Eastern Europe. This I will have always in mind and both of us, my father and I, are trying to give help to other kids as much as we can.
And last but not least I have to thank to Gerd Strenge, firstly for designing such a great cars and secondly for his help and advice during EOS races” – Kaja Novotny – Team Durango
We send our thanks to Kaja and Karel Novotny and wish them well for the rest of 2014.
If you are a young racer who wants to be the fastest at your local club and beyond, follow Kaja and his mature philosophy. Study hard, and race to win, no matter where you compete.
Explore the new DEX210v2 as driven by Kaja Novotny here now: http://www.team-durango.com/race-cars/dex210v2/
Own the DEX410v4 as driven by Kaja to win the recent Xray Challenge, click here now: http://www.team-durango.com/race-cars/dex410v4/
Race the 1/8 Electric Buggy used by Kaja Novotny now: http://www.team-durango.com/race-cars/dex408v2/