All kart drivers knows very well without doubt that what unites them, in any part of the world, is that deep sensation of freedom that you feel when speeding on the track. A freedom often obtained through many privations and nourished with dedication by taking care of your vehicle.
Then, however, there are some drivers for which that freedom is even more valuable. Someone, for example, like Niccolò Niko Tremolada, a 27 year old driver living near Milan who had to face many more obstacles than many of us and whose journey on his kart kart hides anecdotes and lessons that are worth telling.
-Niko, first, how did you get through this lockdown?
“With the kart by my side! I never leave it at the track and, so, I could do some “chores” that I had been putting off for a while. The muffler, to say it, was quite rusty and I glazed it again. But the truth is that now I can no longer hold back the desire to get back on track.”
-Would you like to tell your ‘love story’ with the kart once again for those who might not know it?
“Given that, actually, I’ve always loved motorsports, let’s say that it all started nine years ago when, after motorcycle accident, unfortunately I lost the ability to use my legs. I had to react to this situation and, thanks to the help of my family and friends, I started attending Vignate’s Top Fuel track. At the beginning it was a very normal pastime, but, after seeing how easily I was able to get up to speed, over time I started to realize that, perhaps, I could go back to practicing a motorsport despite my condition.
In 2017 I expressed to my parents the desire to have a kart of my own, even if I did not have a clear idea on how to do it. So I spoke with Birel ART: they were very helpful and told me to got to a dealer like everyone else and just specify my needs in the order. And so it was!”
-Do you remember the first time on the track with your new kart?
“It was nothing short of an amazing feeling: it gave me further strength to leave behind everything had happened to me. But it was a rough day for my arms! I turned my first lapst at the Karnodromo Orobico in Curno, but then I also shot in Rozzano, Ottobiano, Castelletto, Borgo Ticino. In a short time I made a real full-immersion: on the other hand, for me, a track day does not involve particular delays compared to any other driver and I have not encountered any type of “barrier”.
But I was not satisfied yet. The desire to take part in races was getting stronger, so, finally, I managed to hit that target too last year at the Queen Cup in Corridonia, where after a great weekend I came home in second place. It was fantastic, considering that it was my first official UPN competition (Unione Piste Nazionale editor’s note) for drivers with disabilities.”
-This would already be a perfect happy ending for a story that shows that, together with determination and willpower, karting can become a powerful ally in someone’s life. But Niccolò heart goes so fast that, having reached a goal, is already looking towards the next : helping other people like him to experience the same emotions. For this reason he founded the Wheelchair Karting foundation
“This is something I’m really proud of! With this foundation I am raising funds to organize track days for people with disabilities, providing them with custom-made karts. I do it not only because there are many in my same situation, but also because I know the feeling that forgetting your condition through your passion.
I must say that in the last period during which everything has been put on hold, my project has had a really good reach! This is also thanks to all those who continuously support me, among whom I want to thank Bengio, AiM, Prisma and VEGA, who agreed to help me to fit the kart with their products once it’s ready.
If everything goes according to plan, I am sure that I will offer an unforgettable experience to many boys and girls to whom, in the meantime, I say not to be discouraged. Never stop believing, never give up!”
For those who would like to have more information or contribute to the Wheelchair Karting project, you get in touch with the foundation through the official Facebook and Instagram pages or write to wheelchairkarting.A.S.D@gmail.com