Claudio Pagliarani: an Italian flag back to the podium of RMCGF

Columns: Interview
Claudio Pagliarani, a very experienced driver who spent a good part of his twenty-year career in the Rotax Trophy, has finally brought the Italian colors back to the podium. Today the owner of a team (Squadra Corse 54), he raced his eighth Grand Final in the DD2 Masters in Portimao, bringing home a result that he often missed in the past by a whisker. (f.m.)

Tell us a little about your Portimao
Since I've managed my Team, having made my passion my job, I race less. This year I staked everything on this race, I came here with the aim of winning it, I think it was within my reach. I got off to a great start right from free practice where we were very fast, but then unfortunately my mistake in one heat jeopardized my progress towards the Final. In the pre-final, starting 21st, I managed to recover up to the 4th final position and with the sum of the penalties, starting 13th in the Final, I managed to arrive 3rd: I have nothing to regret about, except for that mistake in the heats, but I'm happy to have given my best in all the races. A podium came out, and I'm still very happy, it's a great satisfaction for me.

What is your experience with Rotax?
Almost all of my twenty years of karting have been with Rotax. After making my debut and racing for a few years in the 100cc, I switched to Rotax in 2008. I raced initially in Max Senior and then in DD2, up to DD2 Masters which is a category more suited to my busy life. In 2022 I ran the necessary races to be able to qualify for the Portimao Final. With this, having raced the Grand Finals several times, this was the eighth edition for me. I participated both as a driver and as a mechanic for the drivers I followed, so I think I certainly did more than ten in all. Personally I think it is the most beautiful karting event ever.

What is your feedback, as an Italian, on the Rotax world? I mean that it has historically struggled to penetrate this movement: what do you think?
I can tell you that I was immediately a staunch supporter and promoter of the Rotax philosophy. Lately I see a large flow of riders who are heading here, in support of the theory that I have always supported, which is that the same engine for all guarantees that only the rider makes the difference. In relation to performance, the lap times speak for themselves: we are no less than any other one-make brand, on the contrary. The advice I can give is to rely on someone competent and who can give you a hand in the initial approach, to save time and money. Those approaching a one-make brand do not do it with the ambition of Formula 1 as we know, this is the right category to start and continue having fun.

Created by: fmarangon2 - 29/11/22

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