In occasion of the 25th Andrea Margutti Trophy to take place next 27-30 March,Giancarlo Fisichella and Andrea Belicchi remember Andrea Margutti and theirvictory in the categories 100 ICA and 100 National at the first edition of the Trophy named after the young driver from Rome.
The first edition of the Andrea Margutti Trophy was held in 1990, at the Pista d’Oro circuit in Roma. This is what the first winners of the two classes remember about that race, Giancarlo Fisichella and Andrea Belicchi who won the 100 ICA and the National 100 cc.
“I kept Andrea's picture in my racing helmet for several years”
Margutti trophy winner in 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1994: “I still remember Andrea as if it were yesterday. We started racing at the Pista d’Oro circuit in Roma together when we were 8. We grew up together on the circuits, we were good friends. He is always in my thoughts. He was great, fun and happy. We used to have great fun together, then again at that age all the kids arehappy to be with others, and we were just the same. We practised a sport that we loved. We really got on well. We took part in so many races at the Pistad’Oro, then we starter entering for international events in two different classes, you see he was one or two years younger than me. It was after his death that the Margutti Trophy event was set up and, although I had alreadystarted racing in Formula 3. I wanted to be there at this important kartingevent. I managed to win a fantastic race, I am still very proud of my results. It was an even that brought all the world of international karting together, and I am glad that it is still one of the most important karting races out. I hope that it will keep going for years to come. The first two editions werehosted at the Pista d’Oro, and I won on both occasions. I remember that especially the first edition was fantastic, I really wanted to win, and it was the track where we both had grown up on karts. I worked hard to get first. I knew the Pista d’Oro very well, but I knew that it wasn’t enough to know the track well. I practised hard, I tried to find maximum concentration so as not to make any mistakes and in the end, despite my international rivals I made it. Andrea’s parents were there to hand out the prize, I remember that I burst into tears on the podium. I had Andrea’s picture inside my helmet, and since then I continued to have his picture there for several years.”
“The first edition of the Trophy has given everyone strong emotions”
Together with Fisichella who won the 100 ICA, also Andrea Belicchi, who raced in the National 100 in 1990, was there to take home the first Margutti Trophy and then he also won in 1993 in the top Formula A class: “I remember that the first Andrea Margutti Trophy was a great success. It was very exciting for me, because I was Andrea’s friend and I knew him very well, we used to race in the same class. I did well in that even right from the start, qualifiers; I won the heats and then the Final. I remember it was very exciting, we were still very much involved in the sadness of the situation, Andrea had left us only a few months before the event. I wasn’t there on the track in Parma when it happened, I was at school. I heard about the accident when I got home, it was on the news, it was a great shock. His death really hit me. At the end of the first edition of the Andrea Margutti Trophy at the Pista d’Oro, his parents and sister were there to hand out the prize. It was a very touching moment,because we had been friends since childhood, we shared many dreams and hopes for the future. I still remember the strong emotions felt when I was handed the prize. Still today, when I think about my career, I remember the days when I raced in karts with Andrea. It’s not easy to get over some accidents. I continued to race in karts until 1997, and then I went on to car racing. Now I race in the Endurance World Championship and at Le Mans, like Giancarlo Fisichella, with whom I shared Andrea Margutti’s friendship and also the first win at the Trophy event set up in his memory. I am really very proud to have won two editions of this race, which still today is one of the most coveted on an international level.”
Parma, 27 March 2014