If François Goldstein ruled the 70s and Mike Wilson the 80s, Danilo Rossi was one of the most talented and charismatic drivers of the 90s.
During this period, the Italian won five CIK-FIA world titles in Formula A, Formula C (125cc gearbox), and three times in Formula Super A. His sense of attack was matched only by his respect for his opponents.
A great karting enthusiast, Danilo Rossi then moved to the other side of the barrier. Team manager at CRG for a few years, he then decided to create his own brand, DR Racing Kart, with which he has won many international races.
WHAT ARE YOUR BEST MEMORIES AS A DRIVER?
My five CIK-FIA World Championships were all great moments. I have a slight preference for the first one, in Formula A at Jesolo in 1990. All the drivers who race at the international level all dream of becoming a World Champion one day. Achieving this goal is an incredible feeling. I also have a very good memory of the championship in 1997 at Salbris. Shortly before that, I had the opportunity to race in single-seaters, with some success, including a victory in Formula 3. But due to lack of budget, I could not continue. I was offered a return to karting. It was not easy and I worked hard to get back to my level. For this reason, this victory made an impression on me.
AND AS A PROFESSIONAL?
The DR Racing Kart team won two major CIK-FIA events in KZ2: the 2013 European Championship with Emil Antonsen and the 2014 International Super Cup with Ryan Van der Burgt. In 2012 at Sarno, we also had two drivers on the podium of the World Cup. We must not forget that DR Racing Kart is not one of the biggest karting factories and that such titles are still extremely difficult to win. That’s why a top five in a CIK-FIA World Championship in Junior or OK also gives me immense satisfaction.
BEFORE CREATING DR, YOU HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO STAY AT CRG. DO YOU REGRET THIS DECISION?
Absolutely not. I am proud of what I accomplished with CRG, with whom I have always had an excellent relationship. But the way DR is managed satisfies me. I am lucky to have been able to involve some of my family members, it is a pleasure to work with them every day. Our relationships are excellent. Of course, running a company like DR means you need to take on heavy responsibilities, but it’s a great challenge.
DR RACING KART IS INVOLVED IN VARIOUS CATEGORIES, LIKE KZ2 FOR EXAMPLE, BUT A LITTLE LESS IN OK OR THE OK-JUNIOR. WHY?
When creating DR, we got very deeply involved in 100cc, then in KF. Subsequently, we enjoyed a strong reputation in KZ2. Recently, I reached an agreement with the Modena Engines factory to renew their development and marketing. It took us a long time. But currently, we are preparing for the homologation of a new Modena Engines engine in OK-Junior and OK, in order to be ready for the CIK-FIA homologation coming this winter. So expect to see us back in these categories again. I have a lot of distributors waiting for this type of powerful engine and which is now highly developed. I also bear in mind that its purchase price is comparable to those of the main brand challenges.
DR IS THEREFORE COUNTING ON AN EXPANSION OF OK AND OK-JUNIOR CATEGORIES AROUND THE WORLD…
We hope for that, of course. ASNs must play their part in the success of these categories. If they impose them in their country and promote them, it will be much easier for OK and OK-Junior in the future. It would also be desirable for the federations applying for an FIA Karting event to introduce international categories into their own races.
DR BENEFITS FROM THE EXPERTISE OF THE CRG FACTORY FOR THE PRODUCTION OF THE CHASSIS. SHOULD WE INFER THAT THE CHASSIS ARE SIMILAR?
The CRG and the DR are different chassis. We have our own research and development departments, which constantly reflect on the best technical solutions. We define the directions we want to take internally and CRG is only responsible for production.
YOU HAD THE IDEA OF RELAUNCHING A NEW EXHIBITION DEDICATED TO KARTING IN ITALY, WHICH WILL TAKE PLACE IN DECEMBER AT THE CIRCUIT OF ADRIA. WHAT ARE YOUR REASONS?
I think we must all act to promote karting as much as we can. For my part, I wanted our sport to once again entrance the public and leisure drivers who dream of racing, while allowing exchanges between professionals in the discipline. It will also be a way for businesses and smaller factories to become more widely known. Italy is one of the most dynamic countries in terms of karting, so it seems normal to me that it should have such an annual event. I talked about it with the Adria circuit which agreed to host this exhibition. I hope that it will be successful.