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He first came in contact with karts when he was 3, then at the age of 7 he took part in his first regional racing events. From there on it has been a steady climb to success in the karting world right up to the WSK KF2 title win in 2011. They say you never forget your first love, and here you are in Lonato lapping with CRG: do you often practice with karts? Sure, karting is the best way to practice for a racing driver and it’s always a pleasure for me to get into a kart. I’m thankful to CRG for having given me this opportunity to practice on such a splendid day in Lonato. It was great to go back to the good old days; I hope I get more chances to do so… Have you ever had a chance of trying the new OK karts? If you have, can you tell us what differences you have noticed compared to the KF2? I haven’t had the pleasure of trying an OK yet. I left karting when I was in KF2 and now I drive a KZ for practising. But, you never know, I will try an OK as soon as I get a chance to do so. Let’s get back to you: is there another important family, besides your own family that has helped you with your racing career? The Gelaels. How did you get to

know them and how has your relationship evolved over the years? True the Gelaels are a very important family for me, both in my life and in my career. I met Ricardo Gelael and his son Sean in 2011, when they were testing the PCR chassis for their team Sean GP; I was then PCR official driver. It all started back then, the year after I was racing for their team for my last racing events in karting before making my debut in the single seater together with Sean, in the Formula Pilot China Series. I have a great relationship with a fantastic family like the Gelaels that has become stronger and stronger over the 5 years I spent in the single seater with Sean, we’re practically like brothers. If I am where I am now, I certainly owe them a lot and I will always be thankful to them... What does leaving Martina Franca for Asia to follow a dream at the age of 19 mean to you? What have been the most difficult aspects of this adventure for you? At first, it was very difficult to leave my birthplace, my family and my friends. What made me do it was the reason for which I did it, my love for this sport and now I can say that I am very happy

for having done it and the way things have turned out, starting with my first championship in such a faraway place like Indonesia. Three years in F.3, first with Double R and then with Carlin: in your opinion what has F.3 got compared to the GP3? Three seasons in F.3 helped me a lot. The chassis in F.3 is hard to drive being a car with lots of down-force and little horsepower: these are characteristics that require perfect drive style and great concentration, without counting the overall competition level, which has been very high over these past seasons. I’ve had to compete with lots of excellent drivers, as you can see from qualifying time stopped, so many within a few tenths. Also the way the engineers and mechanics work is really extraordinary, the level it’s reached now is very high. Yes, I’m really satisfied with the time I spent in F.3, it allowed me to build up from the bottom and this was very useful for me to go on to GP2. DTM, Asia Le Mans Series and then GP2: tell u show things have changed for you to decide to go on to automobiles and even

VROOM INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE 19

Vroom Kart International #183 - September 2016  

In this issue: FANTASTIC 4 Marco Ardigò (Tony Kart/Vortex – KZ), Fabian Federer (CRG/Modena Engines – KZ2), Pedro Hiltbrand (CRG/Parilla –...

Vroom Kart International #183 - September 2016  

In this issue: FANTASTIC 4 Marco Ardigò (Tony Kart/Vortex – KZ), Fabian Federer (CRG/Modena Engines – KZ2), Pedro Hiltbrand (CRG/Parilla –...

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