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TKART magazine Once in a lifetime | Angelo Parrilla talks about the Senna we don’t know about in his karting days (and more)
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Mattia Livraghi
08 December 2022 • 9 min. read
If beyond the legends and fictional posts written on Facebook, you really want to know Ayrton, this is the article for you to read, listen and understand, from the words and voice of those who experienced it personally, who Ayrton was. Without the filter of the cameras or the pages of glossy newspapers, here is an exclusive story, the memories, emotions and anecdotes. Like that time Ayrton with Carol Alt...
1 May 1994, the day of Ayrton Senna's death, in motorsport, marks a gap between two generations. The ones who saw, knew and were able to appreciate Ayrton Senna da Silva first-hand, one of the greatest drivers in the history of motoring, and those who, on the other hand, have only experienced the myth of Senna. In Italy, however, there is a man who can act as a bridge between these two generations: Angelo Parrilla. Founder, together with his brother Achille, of the DAP, Parrilla was the one who welcomed Senna to Italy and launched him in international karting. A privileged source who opened his memories of him and gave us an unprecedented Senna: an authentic driving prodigy, a shy and polite boy in everyday life, but a warrior on the track and ... A gourmet!
Angelo Parrilla, one of the absolute myths in the history of karting. Together with his brother Achille he founded DAP in 1970, a Milanese company established to produce kart engines, and then, since 1974, also focused on the design and production of chassis. This move proved to be spot on and, in a short time, Parrilla imposed itself among the industry leaders of the time. So much so that the DAP branded chassiss allow numerous drivers to become protagonists in the most important international championships.
"If I remember correctly, it must have been the 26 or 27 of August 1978", begins Angelo Parrilla, as he recounts the day he heard the name Ayrton da Silva for the first time (because that was his name, at the registry office, before starting to use the surname of the mother, Senna, in fact). The occasion is the call of an intermediary who promises him "someone who goes like a shotgun". For him it was not uncommon to receive phone calls of this kind, given that at the time his DAP was among the leading brands in international karting, yet Parrilla decided to give credit to the words of that man, opening the doors of his team (and later also from his home) to an 18-year-old Brazilian driver who in 15 years was to indelibly mark the history of motorsport.
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