Interview: Filippo Zaggia, IAME Engine Tuner

from FIA Karting

The Italian brand IAME had another excellent season in 2020: FIA Karting European Champion in OK and OK-Junior, as well as achieving encouraging performances in KZ and KZ2.

Dedicated exclusively to karting engines, the IAME factory was created in 1968, although the first Parilla engine appeared at the end of the 50s, more than 60 years ago…

The engine tuner Filippo Zaggia (55 years old) is today part of this great family.

THE IAME FACTORY SELLS ENGINES ALL OVER THE WORLD, BUT HOW IS IT ORGANISED FOR FIA KARTING COMPETITIONS?

We send a support truck to each race to support the teams that use our engines. We have several engine tuners depending on the category. Alberto Pagnoncelli takes care of OK-Junior, Bruno Bugini OK and myself the 125cc gearbox, in KZ and KZ2, with Gianluigi Barbera, who is also developing our new 60cc Mini engine recently homologated by the CIK-FIA.

IAME HAS WON MANY FIA KARTING COMPETITIONS IN RECENT SEASONS. WHAT IS ITS SECRET?

There isn’t really any secret, but a lot of work to try to beat our opponents. At the factory, development is incessant, we spend a lot of time on the test bench. Carburetion is also an essential element in today’s engines, it has a singular influence on performance.

I think that the changes we have made to all our engines homologated in 2019 have been very beneficial. The hoped-for gain in performance was there, we have worked in the right direction. Then it’s up to the driver and his team to make the difference.



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At this level, we are trying to achieve the best possible collaboration with our partner teams. There has to be osmosis between everyone.

WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL BACKGROUND?

I studied mechanics at school and I came to karting via motorbike racing. At the beginning of the 90s, I started working for the Aprilia factory, on engine development. The brand’s first World Championship title came in 1992. A few years later, some friends offered me the chance to join their technical team: Stefano Griggio, a former ICC driver who is currently team manager at Maranello, and Marco Calore. Together with the latter, we created F&M Racing. I was young and I wanted to do something new, to discover new things.

ARE YOU A SPECIALIST IN BOTH GEARBOX AND DIRECT DRIVE ENGINES?

Today, I specialise in KZ and KZ2, but I think the OK is a nice category. It’s better than the old KF.

I remember that at the end of the 90s, Giancarlo Tinini from the CRG factory asked us, with Marco Calore, to develop his 100cc engines. Our collaboration led to a double victory in the Formula Super A World Championship in 1997 with Danilo Rossi and Alessandro Manetti.

A few seasons later, I moved away from the karting world and it was the engineer Jan Witteveen whom I knew at Aprilia, who called me back to work on the 125cc Maxter gearbox engine. When this great adventure came to an end, I joined the IAME factory in 2013 to work in KZ and KZ2 again.

Since then, we won the European Championship in 2014 and finished runner-up in the World Championship in 2018, both times with Rick Dreezen in KZ. More recently, Danilo Albanese finished 5th in the International Super Cup in KZ2 at Lonato. He also achieved pole position at the European Championship in Adria. This is encouraging for the future of this engine.

PHRASE

“Carburetion is an essential element on today’s engines”



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