Choose the language.
Tkart magazine

Once in a Lifetime | Touching Senna’s kart

Exclusive Content


02 December 2016
For motorsport enthusiasts, Ayrton Senna still represents the icon of a legend. That’s why seeing the DAP kart with which he “grew up” up close is priceless

In the area around the south of Milan, the home of Angelo Parilla, the man who, along with his brother Achille, “discovered” Senna and brought him to Italy to race karts.


Because if there is one name on which all motorsport enthusiasts agree, at all times and in all places, it is Ayrton Senna


Touching Senna’s kart! The very one he raced! What more could anyone want..?


Following this experience, it will be difficult to feel the same emotions when looking at any other kart


Two chassis and six engines. This was the standard “arsenal” provided to Ayrton Senna for the more important races by DAP, an Italian company founded by brothers Angelo and Achille Parrilla, the only team for which Senna raced karts.
Not the endless list of equipment that modern drivers are used to, but, for the time, no small matter.

Nowadays, one of those karts, the WTR 101 model with the 1-803 serial number, is cherished like a jewel by Angelo Parrilla, who willingly lends it to the various historical re-enactments that are organised now and again or to journalists who, like us at TKART, ask to see it up close.

The allure of the historic kart on itself is exceptional; the fact that it was used by Senna makes it unique. Not to mention the stories that go with it, like the one that the kart ended up in Senna’s hands... by accident.

Perhaps someone will have already asked: “Weren’t DAP chassis red at the time?”.
Correct: they were red; in fact, this was not a works chassis. But... In the free prctice phase of the World Championship in Estoril, Achille Parrilla asked Ayrton to try the new water cooled engine that DAP had started producing.

Since all the “official” red chassis were in use for the competition, the engine was installed on a “left over” frame that Lanzetti had used in a race in Italy and that was still sitting in the team truck.
Senna did a few trial runs and when he pulled back in, his comment was: “The engine is no good, but the chassis flies!”. So he requested to have this as his official frame, equipped with the “standard” air cooled engine, and not just for the World event, but for all his kart races.

The engine Senna raced with was the DAP T70: an air cooled 100 cc motor, offering a little over 21 hp at a maximum of 16,800 rpm.
Continue reading the article by subscribing for only € 0.96 / week