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Tkart magazine

Editorial | Giuseppe Mioso: world surprise

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17 November 2016

It was 1986, I had been in IAME for 12 years, but I was such a huge motor-head that I’d hit the track every weekend. That’s how I became friends with Gianni Piazza, an esteemed tuner that had just launched the Nordikas team.

It was a nice outfit, brand new, and at first I’d lend a hand push-starting karts. But with time I felt useless hanging around just to do that, so I started helping out as a mechanic. During the week, I’d work for IAME and whenever there were races, I’d ask for permission to follow them with Nordikas, since they used our engines. That’s how I ended up in Jacksonville, Florida, to support an unknown Brazilian driver in the Formula K World Championship, Augusto “Guga” Ribas. I’d never seen him before and I never crossed paths with him again. When I first laid eyes on him, so skinny, in that unbearable heat and humidity, I didn’t think he’d amount to much. Instead, already in the first practice sessione, he was stamping very nice times.


Then we also had to deal with European drivers making a fuss about safety, complaining about track conditions and the main straight being too long. But it was just the Europeans who didn’t want to race and, in fact, after a few practice runs, they they decided to quit. I remember that on Saturday and Sunday the track was packed with policemen, perhaps to keep things from getting out of hand. Nothing actually happened, except that only a few drivers ended up racing. Ribas was doing well, for sure, and in normal conditions he would ‘ve easily made fourth or fifth place. But from here to winning... Instead, with all that happened, Ribas found himself battling for victory. A few laps form the end, someone crashed into the straw blocks that organizers had used to improvise a chicane to break up the long straight. The yellow flag waved, so Ribas eased off the accelerator, which was the right thing to do. Kroeger, an American, got past, but after the race he was inevitably penalized and had to hand the world title to Ribas. We didn’t celebrate all that much, but I remember that he gave me a thousand dollar tip, which at the time was a lot of money. That was the last time I saw Ribas. I heard he planned to race the following year as well, but I have no idea what happened to him.”

After his surprise victory of the world title and a total of 11 years of karting, Augusto Ribas found the way to make it into the car world: Formula Ford, Touring, Stock-Car. After that, his sporting career took a drastic turn into “practical shooting” - an action sport, in which athletes simulate reactions in realistic contexts, shooting at moving targets while running and getting past obstacles. And guess what, Ribas managed to win the world title in this sport too!

He joined IAME in 1974, when he was 20, and went on to live 4 decades of top level karting. Today he manages engine production and fine-tuning for the Zingonia factory.

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