Karting legend Remo Luciani will be inducted into the Motorsport Australia Hall of Fame during a special ceremony on the Thursday of the Australian Grand Prix.
Luciani will be one of four inductees for 2023, the others being Joan Richmond (pioneer female race & rally competitor), Victor Bray (one of the best-known drag racers of the modern era) and John Goss OAM (only driver to have won Bathurst and the Australian Grand Prix).
Remo has been racing karts for over four decades, has won seven national titles and 71 state titles. Further, at 62 years of age, he continues to be competitive in state championship competition.
It is an incredible record, but Remo says it’s not the main reason he is being inducted.
“They told me it’s more the contribution to motorsport in Australia, especially with offering a pathway for the development of younger drivers to bring the likes of the Jamie Whincup’s and the Daniel Ricciardo’s through motorsport via karting. Giving the juniors the opportunity to follow their dreams.
“Also, they saw the videos of me with the track upgrades (at Horsham), on my hands and knees concreting kerbing and heavily involved and contributing to the club and the community.”
The fact that he’ll be able to attend the ceremony at all is a small miracle in itself.
On March 14, two days after the 2023 Victorian Championship at Albury Wodonga, Remo suffered a stroke.
“I got up out of bed, lost balance and fell over” he told KartSportNews. “I just thought I’d got up a bit too quickly and got a bit dizzy.”
He felt a weird ‘ringband’ headache and soon after couldn’t feel his mouth – so drove to hospital, whereupon he realised he was in proper trouble.
“I went to run across the road and my legs wouldn’t work; all I could do was shuffle like an old man.”
Scans soon confirmed a stroke, a bleed at the back of the brain affecting his motor skills, balance, speech and vision.
“I am one of the lucky ones” Remo explained. “The doctors said it looks like my brain has re-wired itself. I have recovered really quickly and don’t have any side effects.
“But for 30 days I’m off work, I can’t have alcohol and I’m not allowed to drive.”
Other than time, his recovery includes walking 5km a day, at a pace fast enough to elevate his heart rate into the 100-110bpm range.
Having said that, it was not uncommon for Remo to do a 10km walk anyway and he’s regularly behind the wheel at a kart track. For example, prior to the Victorian Championships he’d done several practice/training days covering 230 laps per day.
He might not be a gym junkie, but the guy is race fit!
This year’s Hall of Fame inductees will bring the total number of Australian motorsport high achievers who have been recognised for their contribution over 120 years of racing to just 88.
The ceremony takes place on the Albert Park track on Thursday, March 30.
Remo will need to be driven to Melbourne.
But he’ll be there.