It happened, it happens and it will happen: some F1 drivers, at some point, somehow want to return to the class they started in: karting. And since they cannot do it physically in competitions (even if a certain Michael Schumacher did do it …), they do it as “entrepreneurs”. The most inclined to take the step are usually those drivers who have a strong emotional bond with karting, often welded by significant results in this class; therefore, it is difficult to imagine a “Gaston Mazzacane Kart” or a “Taki Inoue Kart”. However, let us remind you of the karts of Trulli, Zanardi, Kubica, Alonso and Leclerc (just to name a few …): people who, regardless of the results in F1, left an indelible mark on karting. Well, on 29 September 2021 it was the turn of the young (he is 21 years old), but great (if you judge him from the point of view of driving and courage) Lando Norris and his LN Racing Kart. We at TKART were the only media present. Here’s how it went.
The event was in Prevalle, in the province of Brescia, on a calm early autumn morning like many others. Mild temperatures and sunny skies were the setting for what we can define a real karting town that OTK Kart Group has built over the years to give a home to various brands (Tony Kart, Kosmic, Exprit …) and to the various production divisions (racing kart, rental kart, engine division…) involved. As calm and serene the outside climate was, the atmosphere inside the company was in turmoil: Lando Norris was arriving for the launch of his brand new LN Racing Kart, designed and produced by the OTK Kart Group. It is a first, after more than 12 months of working in secret. Tension is inevitable.
In addition to the McLaren F1 driver, there was also his management (Mark Berryman and Fraser Sheader), his athletic trainer, personal videographer and a videographer of the production of the Netflix series, “Drive to Survive”. Waiting for him was the OTK Kart Group boss, Roberto Robazzi, the staff of the communication department of the Italian company headed by Erica Robazzi, Ricky Flynn, owner and founder of Ricky Flynn Motorsport (a team for which Lando ran the most prestigious races) and … and then us at TKART who, when it comes to sneaking into this type of exclusive occasion, always try (and often succeed)!
Finally, at 11.30, Lando really arrived: he got out of a black van, smiled, talked, listened to the briefing that the video workers gave him. He also found time to say hello: “We haven’t seen each other for a while.” Indeed, several years have passed (and centimetres, since he was struggling to reach one and a half metres in height …) since the last post-race chat, when he raced (and won) in the KFJ and KF classes in 2013-2014. We had met the shy child Lando, immersed in a world of people bigger than him, but despite this, thanks to his speed and determination, he was always able to gain everyone’s respect. We found him light-hearted, but incredibly mature, turned into one of the greatest talents in F1, king of social networks and able to earn compliments for his driving from a certain Lewis Hamilton. Yet there is one aspect that has not changed: that measured and normal attitude, that of an anti-star, a guy who is totally dedicated to the profession of driving. Despite the autographs, the TV, and the “followers”.
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