Gregor Martin (Steel Ring Trinec team) being interviewed after the race - Photo Credit: Ennio Brigatti

The 5th edition of the 24 Hours Karting of Italy, the Endurance race organized by CRG which took place at the Castelletto di Branduzzo circuit (7 Laghi Kart) ended just over a week ago and together with some of the protagonists of the event (Team Manager and drivers), we wanted to draw up a balance that aims at presenting this wonderful international Rental Kart meeting from a subjective point of view.

There is no doubt about the race format which is always highly appreciated by the teams and which, as usual, provided for the assignment of the CRG Centurion karts equipped with a Honda 390cc engine by drawing lots, together with the choice of the organization to leave the same vehicle under the management of each team for the whole duration of the competition.

The format itself and the organizational aspects are emphasized by Mario Beretta, Manager of the food company of the same name who lined up 9 teams of customers, employees, suppliers and partners in the competition:

“CRG’s organization was excellent as usual and all our guests had a lot of fun. Endurance karting is a winning, engaging, exciting form of aggregation that our company has been experiencing for years through our B&Co. event in which we invite employees, suppliers and customers for a team endurance race. In the last two years due to Covid we have not been able to organize our corporate event and so we decided to recover this forced stop by taking part in this event, certainly demanding compared to what we were used to, but certainly fascinating. Seeing all our teams at the finish line and the enthusiasm of all of them who did not hold back, sleeping very little and challenging themselves before the opponents in this so demanding marathon, gave us the confirmation that these activities have a great team building strength and even if next year we will get back to our usual format with a single day event of 4 or 6 hours, some teams have already asked us to repeat this experience, so I really believe that we will attend it again”.

For sporting merits, the second “voice” we would like to hear is the one of Giampaolo Quaquarelli of the Pomposa Dream Team, winner of the 2022 edition:

“It was an extraordinary result for us to win our first 24 Hours after the second place scored in 2020. We have always attended and always been competitive in this beautiful event; with this success we somehow close a circle. We have done a great team work as required by this type of races: after a stop in assistance in the initial stages, we started a long comeback by setting the right strategy regarding driver changes, with the right driving stints without making mistakes and with a steady race pace. I have to say that our kart was perfect throughout the race and each driver managed it in the best way possible in his own stints. A big applause goes to all the CRG staff who has done an excellent job in preparing the go-karts, as well as on the organizational side with punctual, efficient services and an excellent race management”.

Without leaving the podium, a significant comment also comes from Martin Gregor of the Steel Ring Trinec team, winner of the SILVER category:

“We also have CRG Centurion karts on our Steel Ring track in the Czech Republic and we know well how reliable, but also fun and challenging to drive in Endurance competitions they are. I need to say that even the Castelletto track, which seemed particularly demanding for karts, confirmed how the Centurion – Honda karts are perfect for this type of racing and the fact that they have allowed so many teams to reach the finish line without any problem confirms the study & research program that CRG has done on this product. Our kart was perfect from the first free practice lap to the chequered flag and this aspect is incredible. The organization was also perfect and made the drivers experience a weekend of great international events as usual”.

Massimiliano Bettinelli who has been coordinating 3 teams in the race, including the Squillari Racing team which scored P2 in the SILVER category, also brings attention to the organization:

“The organization and services that CRG is able to offer to the teams are of a higher level and in line with the approach that such an important company in the world karting has towards this type of racing. Everything was perfect, both as regards the supply of the karts to the teams and the management on the track with the assistance to the teams by the CRG technicians and the organization of the event with the video checks on the track, the checks on the drivers’ weights, relations with the teams and all the services such as the hotel rooms and the big screen in front of the pits. Speaking of services, a special mention deserves the live streaming that offers great visibility to this type of races and the drivers on the track. We look forward to the next edition”.

The Blue Flag team drivers, a crew made up of the Marshalls of the Monza racetrack led by Emidio Virgili, will certainly be there next year:

“We took part in this race for the first time and we are already looking forward to the next edition: it was fantastic. We are a group of enthusiasts and to live our passion we do service in Monza and this event has given us the opportunity to be protagonists on the track for the first time. Some of us go to Rental tracks, but the dimension we have found here is the one of a mega event and being part of it was wonderful. I absolutely recommend to all enthusiasts to attend a race of this level at least once, because the costs are really low in proportion to the standard of the services and the professionalism of the karts that you can drive on the track”.

The words of Flavio Ceci, Team Manager of the Thunderbolt team (PRO category), who reached the finish line P11 in the general classification and who thus commented on CRG’s choice to keep the race program unchanged, are also very interesting:

“The 24 Hours of Italy by CRG is not an important race, but it is” THE RACE “by definition for us: there is nothing that can be compared to it. Its format still has the charm of the Endurance races of the past, in which the ability of the drivers to “feel” their kart and to know how to drive it in a different way also makes a difference, adapting to all the factors that vary with the hours go by. You need to change your driving style and maybe even the strategy initially planned. In short, the charm of a true Endurance is given by all these variable components and every time the driver gets back on the kart he finds different conditions and must be able to adapt to them. From this point of view, managing your kart in the best possible way is a central point of the approach that the team must have and which in other events is completely lost with the kart change. It takes great preparation, determination and passion to face a race of this type and the DNA of our Thunderbolt Team is made from all of this”.

Stefano Perseghin, Team Manager of the DMS Motorsport crew (PRO category) who managed to conquer the 2nd step of the overall podium in the race, said he was satisfied with their participation, not only as regards the result obtained, but also relatively to the format and the new track:

“Our 4th consecutive participation is a sign that the format and organization proposed by CRG is definitely appreciated by our team. One of the positive factors that we certainly appreciated was the possibility of racing on a new track, as well as the fact of having go-karts well prepared and able to have very leveled performances, as well as quick and helpful mechanics. The mega screen with the rankings was also very useful for following the race and for all of this we want to congratulate CRG for the wonderful event!”.

It is important to remember that the karts supplied by CRG for each edition of this international level endurance meeting are CRG Centurion, equipped with a 4T 390cc engine. Throughout the 24-hour period, CRG also manages technical assistance to all registered teams, including the refueling procedure.

“As far as the technical aspect is concerned” – continues Flavio Ceci of the Thunderbolt team – we have the opportunity to race with CRG Centurion which in our opinion is a much higher level kart as regards the Rental world, also because we notice that every year improvements and developments are made to improve performance, driveability and reliability. CRG and its organizational staff are a guarantee of competence and professionalism where every aspect is taken care of down to the smallest detail and each team is followed carefully from the moment of the registration until the after-race…”.

For the staff, who has been working at full capacity for the success of this important endurance event for months, it is always a source of great pride to receive such positive feedback at the end of the event. Once again, CRG’s organizational machinery has therefore made the difference, as Denis Furlan, Team Manager and driver of the BAC PKI team, P3 overall at the finish line and with a respectable record obtained in the previous editions of the 24 Hours Karting of Italy, is also keen to underline:

“This was our fifth participation out of 5 editions and we have had yet another confirmation that CRG and all its staff can do great: organized, clear, competent, fiscal where needed, focused, prepared. Every year more and more details are taken care of and this makes the difference. Apart from sporting results, it is always a pleasure to participate in CRG events. Coming to our placings, the first year we finished fifth (first Italian team), the second seventh, the third we won, the fourth year we got second; for this edition we also had a girl (Erica Zago) in our squad and it was her first participation in an event of this magnitude, so getting another podium among the “PRO” teams had an even more special flavor”.

A good signal was given by Denis, who once again underlines how in endurance karting, as well as in the top categories of Motorsport, women can compete on equal footing with men.

This edition, as well as seeing a woman getting on the PRO podium with merit for the first time, also saw a team entirely made up of underage drivers living this fascinating experience. This team is called B&Co. Young and Nicolò Murgia tells us about their experience:

“It was an unforgettable experience: driving at night or early in the morning is really strange, but beautiful. Everything was very exciting and very different from the sprint races I am used to. We built a good relationship with the other guys, even if I didn’t know them before the race and we experienced this event not only on the track in our driving stints, but also following the ones of our teammates and supporting them from outside. The Kart is a lot of fun to drive and ours was perfect throughout the race without ever giving us the slightest problem and I must say that all the choreography of the event and the atmosphere on the track was also very nice. Definitely an experience to be repeated”.

This roundup of comments is a photograph that tells very well the atmosphere and charm of the 24 Hours Karting of Italy and for those who could not be among the protagonists of the 2022 edition, we will soon give all the information on the 2023 one.