Manetti: in Wackersdorf only victory matters

Columns: Interview
Karting icon Alessandro Manetti, born in 1972, in addition to a couple of World titles won in Formula A and Super A and a long, victorious career in practically every category, with and without gearbox, is back on track to compete in the World Championship in Wackersdorf in the KZ Master with Team Crg. He won't go to make an appearance, told us, but to win that race (fm)

«I got back on a go kart for the first time in almost ten years, in October 2022 - Alessandro tells us, who in fact, after the 2013 season, in which he had competed with Praga Kart, quit racing. That year despite being in fact a test driver in that context , he also won races and obtained placements in various categories – just to see where I was, almost out of curiosity. I have to say that it wasn't much at first, but then slowly I got the hang of it and I also got the urge back. After that first track days, since January I've been driving more consistently, hitting the track about every 15 days. At that point the goal was to go back to racing on some occasions and, indeed, go to the KZ Master World Championship in Germany to win it.» Manetti is someone who, when he gets back into a kart, doesn't do it just for the 'pleasure of driving'. He does it with a precise goal, which is to win: «I raced twice in KZ in Italy this year. Two rounds of the Coppa Italia in Cremona, and in Pomposa, winning them. At that point it was even clearer that there are probably the conditions to show up in Wackersdorf with ambitions. We did the preparatory race in July on the track where the world championship will be held (where 39 over 35 riders were present, including Davide Forè ed) and we finished third, we can say that we are there.» The Italian from Forlì has some notes on the KZ Master regulation, which could perhaps be improved in some parts, but he doesn't hold back: «I would change the age for access to the category from 35 to 40, considering that as you know there are very skilled driver who come from the upper categories and some are between 35 and 40 years old so they could access the Master. The laps in the final initially seemed a bit many to me – 25 – but in reality it wasn't that hard.» You will think that Manetti trains constantly in the gym, to be able to jump on a KZ "just for fun" and afford these results, from the Over 50 which he is: «Actually, I've never been a gym kind of guy, you know? Lots of cycling and lots of walks with my dogs (his great passion ed.) if I have to be honest, these are the only ‘training’ activities I allow myself. To think that I don't even use a rib protector - in training, because it's mandatory in FIA races..». The opportunity is tempting to ask Manetti if it's not a pity that today there is no single-speed Top Class in which drivers of his caliber can compete with the current specialists in the category. «We obviously cannot consider OK, because it would mean competing against very young drivers, and we were often over 20 years old at the time, even if I would really like to try one of these karts. But this is the current approach that has been given to this sport from above, with its junior racing that provides for the transition to cars at a very young age and therefore patience. If I had to think of a modification to create a real Top Class in karting as in other motor disciplines I was thinking of KZ1: putting 6-inch tyres, which are regularly on the market as they are the ones used by 250 Superkarts, could really give KZ super-category traits in which to find top drivers, competitiveness and technique at an even higher level than the current one. It would probably even lead to a little more selection among the drivers.» This consideration leads us to close our chat with an always open question: if a driver who has been stationary for 10 years, albeit with a first-rate talent and past, can be so competitive right away, it is perhaps because the level of karting isn't it very high today? «I wouldn't say that the drivers aren’t good, there are really strong drivers. In general, sport has become in some respects ‘easier’ and perhaps it is more difficult for superfine talent to emerge. In my opinion, the idea of introducing 6" tires could give a stimulus in this sense.»

We just have to wait nowfor the weekend of 7th-10th September to see Alessandro Manetti on track, who, waiting for that race, will be busy again with Crg for tests in Teramo, a track that will allow testing the engines in similar conditions to those envisaged in Germany.

Created by: fmarangon2 - 24/08/23

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