The “Trofeo delle Industrie” is the oldest karting race in the world. It is organized by Parma Motorsport as the most full of history and glorious karting race. Among the numerous protagonists that started their career at the Trofeo delle Industrie, several have kept their momentum becoming great names of the main formulas of motor racing.
Everything started back in 1971 from an initiative of the Parma’s Kartodrome owner Umberto Pellegrini, who has made the circuit of Emilia become the fulcrum of international karting organizing several Italian as well as European and World Championships: precisely, 37 Italian, 4 European and 5 World championships. It was not by chance that Umberto Pellegrini used to call his track the “Mondial… track!”.
The tradition of the “Trofeo delle Industrie”, as well as that of the other big event taking place in Parma, the Andrea Margutti Trophy, is still lively thanks to the commitment of Umberto Pellegrini with Tiziano, Donatella and Germano.
This is the memory of Umberto Pellegrini: “When I started to manage the circuit of Parma, back in 1968, Italy housed only a few important karting events and those couple of appointments were held one at the Pista d’Oro of Rome (the famous Champions Tournament) and the other at the Pista Rossa of Milan. From September to March there were no races. This is why talking with Sala from Birel, Grana from Iame and other constructors we came up with the idea to organize an event in autumn at the circuit of Parma. This initiative started in 1971 with the support of the main kart constructors of the time, among which Birel, BM, Pcr, Parilla, Tony Kart, Dap, Tecno, Kalì-Kalì by Calogero Vanaria, and this was the reason why the event was called “Torneo delle Industrie” (Industries Trophy). It was a huge success since the beginning.”
For a long time the “Trofeo delle Industrie” has been the jewel in the crown of the international karting and this round became so important that in the Seventies it was used by the companies to present their products for the following year. This was a particularly lived event and one that was awaited by the whole karting world. It was also blessed with a rich money-prize made available by the karting constructors that take part to it, back then as still happens today.
The Absolute Title for all categories has always been awarded to the driver scoring the best overall result. The Absolute Trophy was named after Commendatore Carlo Fabi who was a huge fan of motorsport. After his departure, his famous – due to the motorsport success – sons Teo and Corrado kept this tradition alive and the trophy is still named “Memorial Carlo Fabi” today.
THE BEGINNING IN 1971
The first edition of the “Trofeo delle Industrie” was organized in 1971. It involved 4 rounds, that became 5 in 1974 and then 7 in 1984, 1985 and 1986 due to the high number of entered drivers. From 1987 it went down to 5 rounds again and then to 3 for several years and finally to 2. From 2009, due to the decommissioning of the Parma Kartdrome, the event started featuring only one round.
All the main drivers have been competing in the “Trofeo delle Industrie”, a lot of which have moved shortly after to professional motor-racing and to Formula 1. Among the main names winning the Absolute Trophy, the first winner back in 1971 was Gabriele Gorini, and then Corrado Fabi (1973, 100cc), Ivan Capelli (1978, 100 Cadets), Stefano Modena (1981, 100 Avenir), Giancarlo Fisichella (1990, 100 International) and Daniil Kvyat (2008, KF3).
THE PROTAGONIST OF 70s AND 80S
A lot of other drivers that came to the fore winning their category at the Trofeo delle Industrie have then moved on to an excellent career in motorsport or have become great karting interpreters. Successful debuts at this event were made by Beppe Gabbiani (from 1971), Eddy Cheever (1972), Riccardo Patrese (1972), Elio De Angelis (1973), Teo Fabi (1974), Andrea De Cesaris (1974), Paolo Barilla (1975), Emanuele Pirro (1975), Roberto Ravaglia (1976), Gianni Morbidelli (1980), Gabriele Tarquini (1980), Antonio Tamburini (1981), Mike Wilson (1981), Roberto Colgiago (1982), Gianluca Beggio (1982), Alex Zanardi (1982), Emanuele Naspetti (1982), Vincenzo Sospiri (1982), Tamara Vidali (1982), Massimiliano Papis (1982), Luca Drudi (1982), Fabrizio Giovanardi (1983), Enrico Bertaggia (1983), Andrea Montermini (1985), Luca Badoer (1985), Luca Rangoni (1986) . Some like the President to be of the Italian Karting Federation Oddino Domenichini and the FIK Advisor Giampaolo Melonaro have also been competing at the 1975 edition of the Trofeo delle Industrie.
Year 1988 was Jarno Trulli‘s turn to claim the victory at the end of a good challenge with Giancarlo Fisichella, then Fabrizio De Simone (1988), Gabriele Lancieri (1989), as the latter is currently a Federal School instructor.
At the beginning of 80s, other drivers have also been racing at the trophy before becoming important constructors like Roberto Robazzi, Albino Parolin, Jorn Haase, Michele Panigada, Roberto Ninzoli and Giuseppe Cavaciuti, or future team managers like Dino Chiesa, Armando Filini, Pietro Sassi, Sandro Lorandi or Guido Cappellini, who became motorboating champion. Others owned circuits like Francesco Calzavara (owner of Jesolo’s track), Fabio Torsellini (Circuit of Siena), Marco Corberi (South Garda), Massimo Wiser (Pista Winner), Matteo Grassotto (Pista Friuli Venezia Giulia). A very good interpreter of the Trofeo delle Industrie was also Andrea Margutti (1988).
THREE F1 WORLD CHAMPIONS IN THE 90s
90s started with Giancarlo Fisichella winning the Absolute Title of the 100 International in 1990. Andrea Belicchi won the Trophy in 1991, year that saw Tonio Liuzzi‘s presence in 60 Mini and that of Ronnie Quintarelli. Some journalists also took part in those years at the Trofeo delle Industrie, such as Giovanni Paterlini, Maurizio Voltini and Alberto Sabbatini in 1991, who is Autosprint’s director, and Fulvio Cavicchi, who is the son of Carlo Cavicchi, Autosprint director first and then Quattroruote’s.
Among the main names of the 90s, Giorgio Pantano, Thomas Biagi, Alessandro Sferrella, Raffaele Giammaria (1993), Fabio Francia (1993), Francesco Laudato who won the Trophy back in 1995, Fernando Alonso in 100 Junior (1995), Marco Ardigò and Stefano Fabi both in Mini (1995), Alessandro Balzan, Alberto Pianta, Alessandro Manetti (1996) and the several times winner Danilo Rossi (1996). Among the girls, Ketty D’Ambroso managed to shine in 1997 and before winning the 2004 edition of 100 ICA. During the same year he debuted in the 100cc Junior finishing fourth in the overall standings Stefano Fabi always podium in the following years. The driver with the highest number of victories is Alessandro Piccini, who won it three times in a row in 1992, 1993 and 1994 in 125 International.
In 1998 Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton alternated at the victory of ICA Junior in the same year when Fernando Alonso won Formula A. Edition 1999 of the Trofeo delle Industrie housed a good number of future F1 champions with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg competing in ICA, that were joined by Nico Hulkenberg and Sebastian Vettel in Junior and Robert Kubica in Formula A. Hamilton won the ICA Tournament while Vettel was third in Junior.
Among the protagonists of the Trofeo, three drivers went all the way to become Formula 1 World Champions: Fernando Alonso (2005-2006), Lewis Hamilton (2008, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018) and Sebastian Vettel (2010-2011-2012-2013).
In the nineties, the number of drivers partaking in this event became quite remarkable, with the record of 261 entered drivers in the first round of 1993, and a total of 718 drivers in the three races run in that year.
SEVERAL MORE CHAMPIONS IN YEARS 2000s
A lot of foreign drivers joined the race in 2000s. A total number of 19 foreign countries were represented in year 2000, while in 2002 the Trophy was run in two rounds. In 2003 Jaime Alguersuari was at the start, while some champions currently present in the international scene made their debut in Mini such as Felice Tiene, Flavio Camponeschi, Lorenzo Camplese, Mirko Torsellini and Kevin Ceccon. Daniil Kvyat made his debut in Mini together with Antonio Giovinazzi in 2005, while Mini’s debut for Carlos Sainz Jr came in 2006, when he ended fifth in final one ahead of Kvyat. Aaro Vainio got the win in 2007’s edition of the race in KF3. The 2008 Absolute Trophy went to Daniil Kvyat, who won in KF3 ahead of Antonio Giovinazzi and Raffaele Marciello. The “Trofeo delle Industrie” relocated to Pomposa in 2009 and was run in one round only. The race moved to Castelletto di Branduzzo in 2010. From 2012 the race started regularly at the South Garda Karting circuit of Lonato, the story continues…
THE TROFEO DELLE INDUSTRIE IN LONATO
2012. Year 2012 marks the relaunch of the Trofeo delle Industrie, and the race held in Lonato recorded a boost in the entries that climbed up to more than 150, with a good participation in all the four categories on track at the event. The absolute Trophy was won by the British driver Ilott Callum, who was the winner of KF3, while the Polish Igor Waliko won KF2, and the Swede Joel Johansson KZ2. The victory of 60 Mini went to the American Logan Sargeant, who won also the KF Junior World Championship three years later.
2013. Edition 2013 of the Trophy was won by Davide Forè, who had been competing in category KZ2. He secured therefore his second victory after the one taken back in 1989 in category 100 Italia. The winners of the other categories were Nicola Abrusci in Mini, the Russian Alexander Vartanyan in KF3,and the British winner of the previous year’s KF3 Trophy Callum Ilott in KF2.
2014. The 43rd edition held in 2014 registered a further increase in the number of drivers present that reached level 180. The absolute winner was Leonardo Marseglia, who competed in 60 Mini. The victory of KF went to Stefano Cucco, that of KF Junior to the Austrian Simon Reicher, while in KZ2 the victory went to a surprising Swede Kevin Engman.
2015. The 44th edition of the Trofeo delle Industrie took place at South Garda Karting in Lonato in 2015 as another karting star got the spotlights: the young Spanish driver Marta Garcia won in fact KF Junior after having just won the CIK-FIA Academy Trophy. The victory in KZ2 went to another strong interpreter of the international shifter category: the Finn Simo Puhakka, while the emerging Mattia Michelotto had the upper hand among the 60 Mini youngsters, claiming also the absolute victory of the Memorial Carlo Fabi.
2016. The Trofeo delle Industrie scored record figures again in the 45th edition of 2016. A total of 214 drivers coming from 27 different Countries confirmed once again the importance of this historic event organized as usual by the staff of the Pellegrini family under a new brand Parma Motorsport. Riccardo Longhi took the victory in KZ2, while the Russian drivers Pavel Bulantsev and Nikita Bedrin won respectively OK-Junior and 60 Mini respectively with Bedrin took also the victory of the Memorial Carlo Fabi.
2017. The 46th has been a really memorable edition for the Trofeo delle Industrie, the international race organized by Parma Motorsport that has taken place in Lonato at the South Garda Karting circuit. The event has enjoyed a record participation of 248 drivers coming from 32 different Nations to compete in categories KZ2, OK, OK-Junior, 60 Mini and Iame X30 Senior. An historic record has been scored this year by this amazing edition of the Trofeo delle Industrie – the event was second only to edition 1993 when 261 drivers entered the event that took place at the Kartodrome of Parma – which confirms this karting race as a really very important event on the national and international karting scene, obviously thanks to the presence of the main constructors and teams. The victory of the 46th Trofeo delle Industrie went to Riccardo Longhi (KZ2, BirelArt, BirelArt), Chris Lulham (OK, Forza Racing, Exprit), Dexter Patterson (OKJ, Forza Racing, Exprit), Nikita Bedrin (60 Mini, Baby Race, Tony Kart) and Vittorio Maria Russo (X30, Pacitto Racing, Tony Kart). The absolute Trofeo delle Industrie Memorial Carlo Fabi was won by Dexter Patterson of OK-Junior, due to his best results in qualifying, Prefinal and Final.
2018. A good event characterized the 47th edition of the Trofeo delle Industrie, race that had the four categories KZ2, OK-Junior, 60 Mini and Iame X30 Senior on track. The event has been quite successful due to the presence of 231 of the 240 entered drivers from 37 Countries and to the organization put in by Parma Motorsport in the usual context of the South Garda Karting Circuit in Lonato. The Trofeo delle Industrie event was also completed by the nice exhibit set up in the paddock of Lonato “Angelo Parrilla tells about Ayrton”, with the kart DAP used by Senna at the beginning of his career and a photographic exhibition of the karting past of the Brazilian champion.
The KZ2 victory went to Alessandro Pelizzari (Energy Corse/Energy-TM-Vega), OK-Junior’s to the Russian Kiril Smal (Ward Racing/Tony Kart-Vortex-Vega), 60 Mini’s to Coskun Irfan (Baby Race/Parolin-TM-Vega), Iame X30 Senior’s to Andrea Bristot (Team Driver/KR-Iame-Komet). The overall classification of the Trofeo delle Industrie – Memorial Carlo Fabi was won by Kirill Smal, OK-Junior, due to his full haul of results in qualifying, heats, Prefinal and Final.