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January 28, 2013

Ellis Stafford – The Man, The Racer, The New Team Durango Star

Filed under: News,Team Driver,Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Stuart @ 5:33 pm

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To the more seasoned of our loyal followers, Ellis Stafford will need no lengthy introduction. For those of you new to the world’s fastest growing sport, who may not be aware of the truly formidable racing C.V of Team Durango’s newest pro team driver, here is the first of a series of super exclusive team driver interviews. Team Durango’s pro team just got even stronger. Welcome Mr Ellis Stafford.

Team Durango – With so many manufacturers providing sponsorship deals for a driver of your experience and capability, can you tell us the main reasons that you found Team Durango the perfect home for 2013 and beyond?

Ellis – I’ve been watching the cars for a while and like the way they are striving to really make the car not only really fast but also a really good product to suit everyone. They seemed to be really pushing forward as a company and when speaking to them it was clear the whole group wanted to progress things and make things better and had lots of ideas. I’m sure Durango are going to become an even bigger player in the model car world over the next few years and I’m really excited to be part of it.

Team Durango – Can you explain the history for your choice of colour scheme for your racing livery and explain if you plan to alter anything about your famous racing colours for your new team drive?

Ellis – Some of it is not really all that old to be honest. I’ve pretty much had the blue rear for a long time but used to have a small amount of white at the front then a peeled back section of purple leading to the blue. Then the roof used to be black with the lightening. About 8 years ago I kind of decided that really it was just too dark and going round the track it just looked like dark blue. So I decided I would brighten it up a little and came up with pretty much how it is now other than the lightening. That came back just over a year ago, I actually found one of my old shells and thought I really should have it back on them. I don’t plan to change it to be honest. People just recognise you by your colours, strange really how it should make a difference on track but it does. Just before I joined I actually had a car to try and just had one of the ready to run shells. I tried the car at Maritime (no one knew at the time and I sneaked the car on track) and everyone just tried to race me, even when I closed up really fast on them. When I’m out with my normal colours people just kind of give you room when you catch up.

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Ellis is known for his tidy electrical placement

Team Durango – Can you give us an insight into your racing campaign plans for 2013?

Ellis – I plan to race as often as possible to be honest, I have some considerations like my family and the fact that my real job, which gets in the way of racing, only has a limited amount of holiday. But I will be at all the nationals and hopefully regionals, any big meetings that crop up we will discuss and decide if we will attend but also the euros is on the cards and maybe another couple of away meetings as such. I’d like to do a lot more but like I said my holiday allowance kind of stops a lot of it. As to the worlds, I’d like to go but right now not 100% sure, I feel like I’ve never really had a fair shot at it before but with the tyre rules now, last worlds I attended was 1997, it should be a lot more level, but I will see how the year pans out especially holiday allowance.

Team Durango – What is your favourite element of your new DEX210 buggy?

Ellis – I actually was impressed with the fit etc of it all when I built the car initially. Everything just fits perfectly, everyone always rates the Japanese cars for their build quality, well I have recently had two of them and this is right up there with them. I also like all the inserts that you get with the car, impressive for the price it sells for and even more so when you get it on track, I have a few bling bits on my car, but even from stock the car is a good competent package.

Team Durango – Can we expect some ‘Big E’ custom parts for the loyal Team Durango fans?

Ellis – Not really thought about that actually or even spoken to the guys about it, maybe in the future but right now I have my hands full trying to learn the cars as fast as possible.

Team Durango – Describe the DEX410V3 in 3 words?

Ellis – Quick as “bleep” 😉

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Inside the DEX410V3 of Ellis Stafford

Team Durango – From your early testing with your new Team Durango cars, what has been your best experience so far?

Ellis – Probably the performance of the 2WD to be honest. I knew the 4WD was going to be fast having seen what the likes of Jorn and Hupo have done with it but I will admit I had a big question mark over the 2wd. It has shown good speed but just not all the time, especially over here in the UK. It took me a good day to get a nice base setting on the shocks but from that it’ been really pretty easy so far, although it is early days. It was very pleasing to be running at the top pace at Maritime the other week, I knew my old car inside out and from about 4 runs of the car in there I was right back on that pace, that was encouraging.

Team Durango – Can you give us a better insight into what makes Ellis Stafford tick when you are on the rostrum? Give us some details about your racing mentality?

Ellis – Blimey, not really sure, I don’t think much at the best of times :-). I try to just keep calm, and concentrate on what’s happening and just do my thing, don’t get all worried about what others are doing. I don’t really talk to myself much in the head, other than if I do make a mistake I’ll just calm myself down and I do like to listen I to commentary if there is any to get a feel for what’s happening. I’m not one to be mega precise and really I’m a reactive driver and I don’t have break markers etc, I just seem to somehow know where I can turn in or break etc? I do have to tell myself to slow down often, with how many years I have been racing its funny how things have changed so much. 300 years ago when I first hit the national scene I was just too aggressive and used to struggle with battery power and used to have to slow myself down so as to not go flat. Then it kind of leveled out and I could actually drive as fast as I wanted to or could, now the cars are so fast it’s really very very easy to overdrive them, it feels fast when it’s stepping out off turns and your sideways in to them but it just isn’t fast on the clock so I’m once again slowing myself down but for different reasons.

Team Durango – If you had a chance to create your own Team Durango body shell, what would it be called and why?

Ellis – I have no idea on a name, I have enough trouble remembering people’s names let alone coming up with one for a shell. I do like the angular shells though, I just think they look nice and aggressive yet slightly modern with almost a stealth style.

Team Durango – Have you admired a certain racer for many years but have never had the chance to share that admiration? If yes then who is it?

Ellis – Blimey your making me think. A long long time ago, in another century I did have one idol when I first started racing…..Andy Carter. He always just looked so fast and yet so smooth as well. I’m lucky enough to be really good friends as well with Andy now and we actually live only about a mile apart. When I was reading the magazines as well when I was young there was a certain Jamie Booth who used to win everything, I’ve been friends now with Jamie and Craig Drescher for a long time now and had some really good races with them back in the day. I have been lucky to have been in this game for a long time and to have been competitive for such a long time as well, I’ve met many people over the years and I’ve been lucky enough to have raced, beaten, talked and joked with many of them. I’ve not met a lot of the current USA guys but hopefully I will at some point. I’m not the most outgoing guy though so I don’t always talk to a lot of people.  I do have a good laugh with people once I get talking and I’m always up for a chat with anyone, just they normally have to start the conversation!

Team Durango – Are you looking forward to having a 2WD buggy that has rear motor capabilities? Any RHR Dirt plans this year?

Ellis – Yeah I am, it was one of my main considerations when I was looking to move teams. Mid motor can be really fast even on some dirt tracks, but not all of them, it does struggle a bit in slow corners against rear cars, so to have the option of rear is nice. I have one built up and did try it at Maritime, it felt amazing after nearly 7 years of not having the option, mid was still a little faster but I had so much traction :-). I’ll try and get to RHR dirt for sure and obviously for the euros I will be running the rear car. I plan to run it a bit over here though as well from time to time just to get a feel for it and a mild set up. I will of course need a dirt track to really tune it in.

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Inside the DEX210 of Ellis Stafford

Team Durango – Just to settle this on-going debate once and for all. DEX210 cab forward or cab rear?

Ellis – If it was purely on looks, cab rear, I think the stock shell is awesome looking, but for on track I’m afraid the cab forward does just work better, it gives more steering and helps keep the front down, especially on a 2WD.

Team Durango – What would be the ultimate race meeting to win this year for you and why?

Ellis – I’d like to win everything to be honest but I know that won’t really happen, for anyone. I have 3 main aims left on my check list, I want to make a worlds A, win a 2WD euros and win the 4WD nationals over here. But any big meeting win to me when all the fast guys are there is a really nice feeling. Most of all though I want to just be competitive and feel that I have given it my best shot but also help bring the cars on as well. I’ve always said I would walk when I felt I wasn’t fast enough anymore, well I’m not planning that to happen for a long time yet….again, I’ve been lucky enough to have been supported and sponsored by some really special people over the years and I do just enjoy the racing so much.

Team Durango – Now you are with a team who provide several short course race trucks can we expect to see you giving this class a try?

Ellis – Yes I will be having a little dabble when I can, I have one at home built and I’m just waiting for my new electric sponsor to bring out their 550 motors etc and ill have it on track. It’s a class that when I watch it, it doesn’t seem that much fun but driving them is awesome fun, it’s just not that big over here. I do plan to try and use it as much as possible and I the meantime I am tinkering with my sons one as he has started to race a little with a DESC410.

Team Durango – What is your favourite dBoots tyre and why?

Ellis – I like the look of the Terabytes to be honest, I think they could be a very good all round tyre and I plan to run dBoots tyres as much as possible this year when the meetings allow but so far I have not had too many options to run them.

Ellis is a true master of his craft. We are very excited here at Team Durango to not only enjoy Ellis winning with our cars, but also to learn from his wealth of professional racing experience. Welcome to the team Ellis.

Our thanks go to Ellis for giving such an inspirational interview.

To learn more about the Team Durango DEX210 click here: http://www.team-durango.com/race-cars/dex210/

To learn more about the Team Durango DEX410V3 click here: http://www.team-durango.com/race-cars/dex410v3/

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Ellis Stafford - DEX210 & DEX410V3

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