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TKART magazine Editorial | Dads in karting: salvation or downfall of kart drivers?
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Dads in karting
Salvation or downfall of kart drivers?

Yanek Sterzel
14 June 2021

There are different roles In karting: kart drivers, of course, as well as mechanics. Then there are team owners, sponsors, race managers ... And then ... Then there are karting dads. Which can be the salvation or the end of our sport. And for those who practice it


In Italy there is a saying: "Women and motorized vehicles give joy and sorrow". A rhyming phrase in Italian that clearly states what can become two great passions of men, capable of giving incredible positive emotions, but which at the same time can also prove to be quite painful. The phrase, which today would be branded as sexist, is not useful for opening a debate on equality between men and women, but for coining a new one that is perfect in the world of karting: "Dads and motorized vehicles give joy and sorrow".

Yes, because the relationship between karting and the dads of the drivers who practice it has existed since this sport was invented. The two things cannot exist except at the same time. Because karting, 99% of the time, is something you start practicing when you are a child or at most a teenager. And in this case either there is a dad, who often gets involved in this sport more than the mother, who accompanies you to try karting for the first time, who buys you your first kart, who pays for trips, races, spare parts ... Either he’s involved or you don't do karting. Without doubt, this is more or less the case for all sports: when you are not yet financially independent and you do cannot do whatever you want, whether you play football, baseball, hockey or go fishing, someone must necessarily support you.

But if with 90% of sports the help a dad offers to his son or daughter is limited to buying the kit and equipment necessary to practice the sport and then, at most, he has to be a taxi driver when you are training or participating in competitions, the same is not true with karting. With karting, if a father decides to support his son's passion, being a taxi driver is not enough. The dad has to act as a sponsor, continuing to contribute a little or a lot of money (for tyres, oil, fuel, spare parts, etc.) to cover the various sessions on the track. And then they have to become mechanics or have to contribute a little more and pay for one. And then they have to become a manager, to choose the right chassis and engine, rather than the class in which to compete. A series of activities, roles and commitments that already on their own elects them as real "saints", rather than just fathers of the year. Because then karting becomes a very cool thing: it turns into an excuse to spend a lot of time together, with the father and the son who become accomplices, friends and allies. With the kart driver concentrating on doing something really healthy, perhaps in those years, those of adolescence, in which you are by nature led to discover the world and you often find yourself finding out even the less pretty sides of the planet and human nature.
There is a moment, a certain point, in all this, however, in which these "saints" are transformed into "demons ". For various reasons, which make this passage from "holy water" to the "devil" of the karting system understandable, but not justifiable, the father at a certain point can change his role diametrically. Let's see the main ones together.

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