Interview with Ferdinando Parisi, new President of the ACI Sport Karting Commission

Interview with Ferdinando Parisi, new President of the ACI Sport Karting Commission

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For the 2021-2024 Olympic four-year period, Ferdinando Parisi assumes the role of President. Listening and sharing will be the cornerstones of his mandate.

Rome, 19 January 2021. Ferdinando Parisi has been called to the top of the ACI Sport Karting Commission, in the role of President for the 2021-2024 Olympic four-year period, replacing Emanuele Pirro who has been entrusted with the role of Supervisor of the ACI Federal School Sport which was covered by Giancarlo Minardi.

Ferdinando Parisi, 68, from Salerno, has extensive and important experience in the organization and promotion of the CIVT, Superturismo and CIVM motor racing championships, and in communication, as well as many roles already held in ACI Sport and in promotional karting. Already in the past he was a karting and car driver, he also has acquired experience in the roles of Sports Commissioner, Technical Director of the Scuderia, Piloting Instructor, up to today’s Federal Instructor.

– Certainly not an easy task the one entrusted to you by the ACI President, or the Presidency of the ACI Sport Karting Commission, all the more so in such a complicated moment due to the current emergency due to the pandemic …

“I know well that Karting is a fundamental part in our motor sport, I know equally well that it is a complex discipline, in which there are not only many categories of vehicles, but also an incredible variety of types of practitioners. Karting is at the same time the gateway to motor racing – and for those who want to set out in professionalism the obligatory way, given that, as we know, there is no Formula 1 driver who has not started with a Kart – but it is also a discipline that lives of its own light, especially in the major categories which not surprisingly include national and international titles. This without neglecting, on the one hand, the myriad of pilots of all ages who compete every weekend, in the purest sporting spirit and also with not very recent means, and on the other hand the presence in our Nation of the elite of Manufacturers, of Pilots and the slopes. Such complexity poses many problems, but there is no doubt that at the same time it offers infinite opportunities.
It will be up to us, with the collaboration of all, to identify and develop these opportunities; for my part, I can assure you that I will address every issue with the same attention and determination, and that I will ensure a constant presence and dialogue with everyone.
In this way, I trust to repay the trust that President Sticchi Damiani and the ACI Sport Executive Committee have placed in me by entrusting me with this task which is certainly demanding but equally prestigious. On the other hand, we are not starting from scratch, the Commission and the previous President Emanuele Pirro, whom I have known and esteemed for over thirty years, have worked hard; New scenarios and new perspectives are now opening up, and we must be able to give convincing answers. Of course, the evolution of Covid will not be of secondary importance, which we trust will be better in a few months. For the moment we can count on the tried and tested Covid ACI Sport protocols which already in 2020 allowed the races to be held, albeit without an audience. ”

– Karting is constantly evolving and is no longer what it was in the past. Everything changes quickly and evolves: the vehicles, the protagonists, the tracks, the regulations, the safety. What is your plan for the next four years that will see you at the top of this discipline?

“First of all I would like to remind you that any idea of ​​change can only be within the framework of the more comprehensive strategies that the FIA ​​and ACI Sport intend to pursue in the short and long term. Of course, evolutions are continuous, and although this may pose problems, change must always be viewed positively and in any case used as an opportunity. The truth is that perhaps at this moment we should talk more than evolution, about a real transition. We cannot forget that our entire society, and the automotive industry itself, is projected towards eco-sustainable mobility, which is a path that no one can ignore. The FIA ​​is already decidedly projected to this new scenario, also in the Karting sector, and I believe that it is right, with the necessary time, to follow the same path also in our country.
Among other things, non-polluting races, even from an acoustic point of view, could also give access to competition theaters that are unimaginable today (I am thinking of the historic centers of our beautiful cities). I had the opportunity to study these scenarios for ACI not long ago and I found wide consensus, not only in the sports field. The same experience of Karting in the Piazza, which uses electric karts, made us feel firsthand how civil society appreciates our sport when it can see it up close and touch how much it is the bearer of both educational and spectacular values. Obviously, this does not mean the immediate abandonment of the thermal system, which instead can only be improved, both in terms of efficiency and management cost-effectiveness (a factor that, let us not forget, is the first ingredient for expanding the base of practitioners). Last, but certainly not least, the issue of safety, for which a lot has certainly been done, but which is and must be constantly evolving and improving. These are the basic themes, then in daily practice each topic will have to be debated, experimented and shared, in the common interest of a sport that has the potential to explode even numerically. ”

– Regulatory stability is a need often hoped for by the protagonists of motor sports, how can this desire be reconciled with the technical development that continues to press?

“This is a problem that does not only concern karting but all motorsport disciplines; inevitably, over the years, progress makes certain technical solutions and the resulting categories obsolete. It is important to foresee and announce in due time any changes, especially when they are radical and above all, once a path has been consciously undertaken, it is necessary to avoid second thoughts due to the emotionality of the moment. It is well known that regulations have historical cycles and it is necessary to govern these cycles absolutely avoiding having to take emergency measures for waiting too long before deciding. Of course, in transitions, the reality of the moment must always be taken into account and it will always be essential to listen to everyone to find a synthesis of the different needs. By character and training I am and will always be someone who listens to everyone, fortunately I also have sufficient experience to be able to recognize the truth. ”

– You have gained a great deal of experience in organizing and promoting major sporting events in the past, and recently you have been a protagonist in the ACI program “Kart in Piazza” together with thousands of very young people to whom you have introduced karting in operation especially road education. Now for her it is a question of facing the complexity of the whole competitive karting sector, in all its aspects. It is a new challenge, certainly fascinating but also demanding.

“My goal is to develop karting in all its aspects and to make it popular both in its maximum competitive expressions and as a training ground for our young people, fulfilling a social function of aggregation and training. By gym I mean a place where you can start our sport, especially at a young age, in safety and well followed by our instructors, no matter if just for fun or to pursue a career as a driver. In this regard, allow me to remind you of one thing I am particularly proud of, and that is that in my mandate as representative of the Sporting Technicians in the ACI Sports Council I have managed to introduce that rule that has now increased the number of Instructor technicians tenfold. I am also an instructor and I know the subject well as I have also compared myself with what is done in other sports, I therefore believe that these figures can and should be of great help. Not only because they guarantee a correct approach to sports, but because they can constitute a real connective tissue of our sport, present as they are throughout the country. ”

– Karting is the first step to a career in motor racing, and is the training activity par excellence. But karting also has a very large group of protagonists who continue to engage in karting races at all levels and at all ages. What should be the expectations for the development of the sector?

“This diversity of practitioners can be the strength or weakness of our discipline. As I hope I have also clarified in the previous arguments, I am convinced that there is space for all the souls of Karting, which are not in contradiction with each other, but which complement each other. To put it in a nutshell, I would like us to be able to offer a wide range of opportunities both to those who want to start sports, and to those who just want to have fun, and to those who want to choose top karting as the setting for their competitive activity. It is my belief that this is possible, if we succeed there will be great benefits for everyone, not excluding professional operators, who I hope will understand and share these strategies. In conclusion, the watchwords of my mandate will be listening and sharing, with the certainty that the President and the ACI Sport Sports Council will have particular attention to our discipline for its strategic role, starting sport in the first place, that it has for the entire sports car movement. ”

In the photo: Ferdinando Parisi, new President of the ACI Sport Karting Commission, in the middle between FIA President Jean Todt and ACI President Angelo Sticchi Damiani.

Press Release © ACI Sport S.p.A