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TKART magazine Editorial | When Mike Wilson bet on the young kart driver Lance Stroll
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10 June 2019

Since 2009, Mike Wilson, the greatest kart driver ever, winner of six world titles, tutored a young Canadian kart driver: Lance Stroll. An adventure that began with some doubts but turned into a satisfying partnership. Supported by a conviction: "That driver has the stuff to become a champion”.

It all started during a conversation with my dear friend Andre Martins (importer of the Tony Kart brand into the United States - note from the editor), who told me about a Canadian gentleman who was looking for a tutor for his son.


He said his name was Lawrence Stroll and that he was an important businessman in the fashion industry, in the past also a sponsor and friend of Michael Schumacher. To be honest, I didn't know him, but a few days later we spoke on the phone and he asked me to visit him in Canada. Before leaving I said to my wife: "The father told me that the boy is very good. But it's normal to say that, do you know how many times I've heard it before? I assure you that if he is not phenomenal, I will return home, I don't want to waste time". Instead, when I saw him on the track, I realised that his father had his reasons and that this was a special child, with something more than others. Above all I was surprised by his determination: it was greater than normal. And this is strange, because boys who comes from such wealthy families generally do not need to struggle to get anything; consequently, they are not very determined. Not him. Quite the contrary! Before him, the last boy I had seen with his "willingness" was Fernando (Alonso, Mike Wilson's team driver who in 1996 won the CIK-FIA 5 Continents Juniors Cup – note from the editor). Lance drove well and listened to all the advice. I remember a ROK International Final in which he started from the front row, in second place.

Born in 1959, he was the best driver in the history of kart racing. The only one able to win 6 world titles: 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1988, 1989. After retiring from driving, he remained in karting as a consultant and tutor for young drivers

Mike Wilson together with Lance Stroll in 2009, when the Canadian was an 11-year-old kart driver
Some images of Lance Stroll's career: here he is with the Chiesa Corse overalls when he was driving karts
Some images of Lance Stroll's career: here he is with the Chiesa Corse overalls when he was driving karts
Stroll won the first edition of the Italian F.4 Championship powered by Abarth in 2014
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