Raffaella Giacomini: the woman that lives in one of the excellence of international karting to Franciacorta.

Columns: Close Up
We went to Franciacorta Karting Track to visit Raffaella Giacomini, the woman that works in the incredible international-level ascent of this highly appreciated track. Her skills and references were known a bit by everyone in the karting world, due also for her past in Tony Kart. In a short time she, together with Stefano Bonara, gained remarkable notoriety across the globe, positioning themselves in the elite of the FIA Karting circuits. Here is how they did it. (words M. Boscariol)

Raffaella, how are the on-track activities going?
I'd say we're very happy! It's now a year and a half that we've been open, exactly since July 10, 2020. The year 2020 was a break-in year (although we already had experience with the racetrack) which unfortunately coincided with the pandemic. Actually, we should already have opened in March, but various vicissitudes led us to open in July. The year 2021 was the real year of the Franciacorta kart track, the year in which we also managed the "two wheels", something that from this year we decided to abandon to dedicate ourselves to karting 100%. We made this choice because we were born as a kart track and we want to continue in this direction, especially if we want to reach certain international levels, having obtained the higher-grade homologation. We are open seven days a week exclusively for karts and I see that people are happy with this choice. Then our track differs from the others in speed and also because it’s not completely flat. At the end of the straight, you can reach really high speeds!

Are there spikes in the number of visits during the week?
There’s a definitely greater influx on weekends. I tend to notice that many "official" teams come n during the week , while the amateur tries to enjoy the track during the weekend. Anyway, you can find one or the other more or less during all seven days. In any case, at the weekend, when the track is full, we always run in shifts divided into categories and groups, so that there are never traffic problems. Then we always guarantee services such as recovery on the track, marshals on the track, etc. We never leave drivers and teams to "do it yourself". And people appreciate, for example, the presence of the marshall who protects the kids. We are also finalizing the medical center to have a permanent on-site presence of ambulances. We also have the anti-doping center ready, expressly requested by us when we did the international homologation.  A protective measure for us and for the drivers.

Upcoming news and appointments?
The first appointment is an international race on February 27, "Champions of the Future - Winter Series" (OK - OKJ - KZ2). Then on March 13, there will be the stage of the ACI Sport Regional (also open to foreigners) "Trofeo Franciacorta di Primavera" (Mini - Mini GR3 - KZN - KZ2). Then we will have endurance races with a fleet of rental karts that we shall also use for the evening rental (not until late because the lighting system has yet to be completed). Then there will be the Swiss Championship on April 17, the ROK Cup Italia on April 24, the Rotax on May 8, the IAME Trofeo Italia on May 15, the Aci Sport Italian Championship on May 22, and the Easykart final on October 16, and many other races... but the most important event will be the final of the OK - OKJ European Championship on July 10, our track’s very birthday! The week before there will also be the final of the "Champions of the Future" (preparatory championship to the European Championship). Three international races in one year, after not even two years that we are open, I'd say it's an excellent result!

What is a track manager’s life like?
There is never a moment's rest, especially when you have to host international races! Cutting the grass, checking the water, painting the kerbs, various finishing touches... Our approach to the track is not just to sit and register the drivers when they arrive; we literally eat bread and karts for breakfast, lunch and dinner: my husband Stefano Bonara created the track together with his father Ettore after a great experience in Autodromo di Franciacorta . Finding the track, the paddock and the bathrooms clean are details that drivers and teams have now learned to appreciate when they come to us. Then there is a bar-restaurant and it will going to open one in self-service mode. 
We also host a kart store with spare part and track support. There is a briefing room where we plan to offer training courses, especially for the track staff in winter, in order to keep our staff/marshalls updated. Finally, we are thinking about organizing corporate events with a dedicated sales office. But I repeat, our priority is free practice and races, especially international ones! However, I’d like to clarify one thing, especially with regard to the issue of children on the track: children who want to drive around the track with us must have the correct category license. I’ve had 6-year-old children with their dads who wanted to drive an “BIG KART!”. With us, these things are not allowed here! During the week, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, we create special shifts for the Babykart category, so that children at the beginning of their karting experience can drive in total safety. In other words, whoever wants to race with Minikarts must be of the correct age for their category. There is no compromise on this.

Continues on pocketmags.com

 

Created by: cggiuliano - 16/05/22

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