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TKART magazine Editorial | Susanna Raganelli, the only female driver who made it to the top as a World Karting Champion
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08 November 2019

Talking about women in motorsport is, despite everything, still a complex task. Progress has undoubtedly been made over the years yet, although today there is no shortage of female drivers especially in karting, in the collective imaginary world of engines it is still, for the most part, male-dominated. Let alone in the 1960s, when women began emerging in any field, sports or as a business professional, was even more overwhelming.

Yet, it was precisely in those years, that in karting a woman was able to win the World Karting Title: Susanna Raganelli. An outstanding achievement which deserves to be remembered and told much more then what was actually done.


Indeed, it is quite difficult to understand why the name of Raganelli is essentially unknown to most, including karting enthusiasts, rather than becoming an example to follow. The only woman to have ever succeeded in winning a World Karting Championship which is an unbelievably physically demanding motorsport class.
The year of Susanna Raganelli’s great undertaking, she was mostly called Susy, was in 1966 when the 100cc world test was raced on the Amager circuit in, near Copenhagen in Denmark. Susanna, behind the wheel of a Tecno chassis (brand of the Bologna’s Pederzani brothers of Bologna, not related to the current brand Tecno whose headquarters are located near Turin), with a Parilla engine won all three finals scheduled for that racing event, finishing ahead of Leif Enstrom and Ronnie Peterson, not exactly just any typical driver when a few years later he was racing in F1 for 9 seasons, winning 10 GPs. Moreover, let us not think that the Word Championship was just a single accomplishment for her, because Raganelli, the previous year, had already won the Italian 100cc Super and again in 1966 she contributed to the victory of the Italian team in the European Nation’s Championship (third consecutive for Italy) along with her team-mates Giulio Pernigotti, Duilio Truffo, Mario Costantini and Oscar Sala.

Born in Rome in 1946, she was the only woman capable of winning a World Karting Championship. After a few races in the Gran Turismo, she retired, and her incredible racing history was forgotten all too quickly

Susanna Raganelli with the Italian National Team overall
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