Living life in the fast but quite small lane

Mark Stiles gets a buzz out of model racing
Mark Stiles gets a buzz out of model racing

Racing cars is a dream for so many and one man has achieved that albeit with a slightly smaller sized vehicle.

Mark Stiles, 26, of Thame , was the highest British finisher at the European 1/12th Scale Radio Controlled Model Car Racing Championships.

The Torro Rosso Formula 1 design engineer said: “It’s a little bit misunderstood by a lot of people. They think we’re like train spotting types.

“But I’ve always been into cars and motor racing. It’s been part of family life.

“I’m competitive by nature. For me I get a huge buzz out of competing and winning.”

The former Lord Williams’s student discovered his love for radio controlled cars in after school and lunchtime clubs.

Competing doesn’t come cheap for the Wycombe Radio Car Club member though and before attracting sponsorship it used to cost him several thousand pounds.

“It’s a hobby I take reasonably seriously,” said Mr Stiles. “It has cost me quite a bit of money, though.”

The engineer said he thinks model cars have helped him learn a lot about manual skills, electronics and mechanical engineering principles.

And Mr Stiles said for some model racing is ‘big business’ although he has never been tempted to try his hand with the 50mph cars professionally.

He added: “For the professional guys I think they tend to enjoy it less and there’s more pressure for them to perform.”