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Editorial | Francesco laudato: the memories of a kart driver

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Who knows why, when it comes to the “most successful kart drivers”, his name is not amongst the most mentioned. Yet, looking at the list of achievements, Francesco Laudato does not have much to envy to anyone else: one World Championship, a World Cup, 4 European Championships, 3 Italian titles, 3 Tornei delle Industrie and various other victories are not a list that many can boast of.

Maybe it is a matter of character or that of education. Perhaps there are those who by nature or fortunate circumstances end up in the spotlight more than others. No harm done, because what truly matters, for those who have passion is to race in a kart and be sure that you have done the best possible. Francesco Laudato, from his point of view, has more than a clear conscience: “I have no regrets related to my career. I am very satisfied with the results obtained and the relationships I have had with all the people in this environment who have worked with me”.

Let us, then, go back to the beginning, to tell how it all began: “It was my father, a great enthusiast of engines and a former hill climbing driver, who took me to the track for the first time. I remember that unforgettable moment perfectly. We went to the Cobra Track in Potenza, where I fulfilled a dream I had since I was quite young. The first race, however, was a disaster. My kart was really old compared to that of the best drivers (I was also made fun of…). I ended up amongst the last spots, yet I did not get demoralized at all. On the contrary, my desire to compete on the track remained unchanged. So, at the fourth race I competed in, the victory was achieved: it was a Regional Championship test on the city circuit at the “Oltremare” an exhibition in Naples. I was making my debut with a much-desired new kart and, after having achieved the 3rd time in qualifying, I moved to the lead keeping it until the end. The thing I will never forget is that, for the first time my father, who was also my mechanic said ‘good job’ to me. I think this can be a useful example to keep in mind for all of the younger people who approach karting: at the beginning, this is a difficult sport, yet with tenacity and determination it is possible to reach the highest rankings in the sport. The first important victory came in 1994 in Lonato, on the occasion of a round of the Italian Championship raced as a “private” driver, always with dad as the mechanic. That year I also got my first title: the Italian 125 National Championship. The most beautiful victory was, without a doubt, the first World Championship won in France in 1999. It was the crowning achievement of the dream that every kart driver pursues from the very beginning of their career. Indeed, speaking of who is starting to race, what advice can an experienced driver like Francesco Laudato give? “To compete at the highest levels, one must have a lot of confidence in oneself and one’s own potential. Karting teaches a lot from this point of view and strengthens our character, helping to build a correct mentality and also when facing many situations in life. To stand out, though, one must have perseverance, overcoming the difficulties encountered especially at the beginning of their career”.

Italian driver born in 1975. During his 20-year career he won 2 World Championships, 4 European Championships, 3 Tornei delle Industrie and many other Italian and international titles.

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