Angelo Parrilla: Ayrton Senna and that damned World Championship in Estoril

Angelo Parrilla is one of the “legends” of karting, founder with his brother Achille of DAP. He was the man who “discovered” and brought Ayrton Senna to Italy, by establishing a relationship with him which went far beyond the sporting association.

A Senna was 19 years of age in 1979 and, in his first year in Italy, he already showed all his skills behind the wheel of a kart.
The World Championship was being held on a temporary circuit in Estoril, Portugal, which uses part of the car racing track.

The race format includes three finals. The first was won by Peter de Bruijnm, who also led the second one before being betrayed by the chain. The third final was won by Senna, who celebrated, convinced he was world champion. But instead…

“I have many beautiful memories of Senna but, out of all the images, the one that I will never forget is when Ayrton thought he had won the world championship in Estoril in 1979.

The entrance to the track was free and I think there were something like 20,000 spectators.
20,000 people cheering Ayrton Senna, who had won the third final and was running around the track with a raised fist because he believed he had won the world championship.
Instead, ..