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TKART magazine Editorial | Alessandro Piccini: in karting for over 40 years
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09 October 2018

All Kart, Dap, Birel, Mari, CRG, Chiesa Corse, Tony Kart, Intrepid, Maranello... These are the teams for which Alessandro Piccini, born 54 years ago in Vinci, the town of Leonardo, raced. 40 seasons of karting experience to relate, spent as a driver, world champion, dad, mechanic... and forever in love with the sport


The Piccini family has always been involved with motors: in fact, before opening his own transport company, Alessandro's father was a truck driver. In the first half of the '70s, during a trip he came across a kart and decided to buy it. The vehicle was soon abandoned in a company warehouse, until Alessandro discovered it: "I was 12 or 13 years old. I immediately wanted to try it out".


"Too bad that the engine didn’t want to start: the diaphragm of the fuel pump had deteriorated". In search of someone who could replace it, Piccini went to Fabio Mancini in Empoli, a guy who, in addition to finding the spare part, began to get him involved in the world of karting. "I immediately liked it a lot, so I convinced my dad to buy me a new Tony Kart with a high-performance Yamaha 125 engine mounted on the left: I did so many laps I wore the chromium off the cylinder".
Never has an inconvenience been more well-timed, since repairing it led to Alessandro meeting Marcello Cortigiano, the tuner who would then stay with him throughout his career: "In the world of karting, he was like a father to me!". Unknown to his parents, he competed in his first race (won!) and his second (won!). It became impossible to keep it a secret: karting had entered into Alessandro’s life completely.


"In 1980, I had my first test in the Italian Championship, in Parma, and won. Up until that point, the resources all came from my family, but after that victory I joined All Kart". The successes continued: in '82, in Parma again, another Italian Championship win and then, in Germany, the European Championship. "Let's just say I had quite a rapid rise. After those victories, while I started receiving greater recognition, my competition also got tougher. Those were the years in which Kali Kart was founded and karting developed considerably". At the ’83 World Championship came the first big disappointment when, having changed the piston before the final, he was left with an engine that managed 1,000 revs less. "It was not the only world championship lost, in 1989 I also would have contended the victory had a tyre not come off one of the wheel rims. Same thing in 2000, when an accident involving Davide Foré knocked me out of contention".

Born in 1964, he was one of the stars of the last four decades in karting. Winner of 4 world titles, he stopped racing at the age of 50. Nowadays, he follows his son Alessio, also a driver for Tony Kart

Magione 1987, Piccini conquers the first 125 Formula C world title. In a Pavesi-engined DAP kart
Pomposa 1982, first victory in the Italian 125 super
Germany 1982, first European 125 title. Piccini with the no.106. The no.23 was Frank Leutz
Alessandro Piccini and the memories and trophies of a lifetime spent in karting
Alessandro Piccini and the memories and trophies of a lifetime spent in karting

Let’s get back to ‘83: "At the time there wasn’t the professionalism you find nowadays and choices were based on people. After the World Cup, I probably should have changed team, but I didn’t and I think it may have cost me a few opportunities". Indeed, things got more complicated for three seasons. Then, in 1987, with the new Dap suit on, came the first World title at Magione. "However, of those won, the World Championship that gave me the most satisfaction was in 1990 in Laval, France, with Birel. In the first heat, I posted the best time, but they penalised me for noise and I started last on the grid. In truth, I didn’t even want to race, but Sala and Pavesi convinced me. I raced in another two heats and end up in twentieth position in the pre-final. I won it and, from pole position in the final, I built a 7 and a half second lead over 15 laps and I remained in the lead all the way to the finish line! That was when I realised that you always have to fight tooth and nail and keep the pedal to the metal right up to the chequered flag".
Alessandro also kept the pedal to the metal the following year, in Parma, winning a second World title for Birel. Same result in '93, in Val Vibrata, where Piccini won in his first year driving for CRG, a team with whom he remained for 9 years.
In 2002, he moved to Chiesa Corse, which at the time used the Parolin DC-One chassis and where two young hopefuls raced: Hamilton and Rosberg. "Hamilton didn’t speak much, but was incredibly practical out on the track. He could always get 110 percent out of the vehicle. Niko was quick, but a bit less instinctive and more ‘trained’: being the son of Rosberg, he was subject to higher expectations". The experience with Dino Chiesa, however, only lasted a year, because Piccini was called up by Tony Kart: "They wanted me to develop the 125 engine: up until 2005, we spent some great years together, Robazzi (the owner of Tony Kart - ed.) is a n excellent businessman: he demands a lot, but can give a lot in return". Then came the years with Intrepid and Maranello and, in 2011, a return to Tony Kart, a brand to which he is linked even today and for which his son, Alessio, races.

Pomposa 1990. Piccini with the no.87 (4 Tarabelli, 35 Mellini, 76 Iaglicci, 45 Ciconetti)
Jesolo 1989 with Achille Parrilla
Piccini with a CRG suit, which he wore from '93 to 2001
In Birel gear at the Pista d’Oro in Rome in 1990
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