EMERSON FITTIPALDI AND MAX PAPIS START GO-KART TEAM FOR YOUNG RACERS
A new high profile Kart Racing team has been launched, based in Miami, Florida. This unique approach to young racing car driver development blends a tradition of proven racing success at the highest levels of motor racing with brilliant young talent. The team is endorsed by former two times Formula 1 World Champion, two times Indy 500 winner, and Indy Car series champion Emerson Fittipaldi. The team is coached and advised by well known professional driver Max Papis (former Formula 1 driver, three time Champ Car winner, two times Daytona 24 Hour winner, and currently driving For GM Racing in the Corvette Racing Team and NASCAR), and also supported by Oswaldo Negri (Grand American Rolex Sports Car Driver, 2nd at Daytona 24 Hour in 2006, "Grand American Rolex Daytona Prototype Rising Star" in 2004, Brazilian and South American F-3 Champion). The team features three young drivers who are destined to move on to highly successful professional racing careers:
- Pietro Fittipaldi, the 10 year old grandson of Emerson has been racing successfully in a number of regional karting series, including Rotax Minimax, EasyKart 60, and Cadet -- he is currently positioned third or better in all of these championship series. This engaging, charismatic young man has been consistently improving during his first years of racing. He has shown the will and determination to succeed, and has been consistently driving at the front and winning races. His younger brother, Enzo Fittipaldi, aged 5 years old, has also joined the team as the team mascot and youngest driver!
Gabriel Chaves, a 13 year old Colombian driving phenom who has already won numerous local, regional, and national titles including the 2006 Florida Winter Tour, 2005 EasyKart National and Homestead championships, the 2006 Rotax Florida and Eastern Regional champion, and the 2006 cadet Stars of Karting championship. He also finished fourth in the EasyKart World Championship in Parma, Italy in 2005.
- Dion von Moltke, the talented 16 year old American driver, who has also won several championships in his brief driving career, including the 2005 WKA Florida State Championship in EasyKart 100, the 2005 Homestead Championship, and has had numerous wins and podium finishes on the national and international senior circuits, including ICA (Florida Winter Tour), 125L EasyKart Championship Series, Pan American EasyKart Championships, and Spec Racer (Stars of Karting).
This new team is based out of a state-of-the-art warehouse in Opa Locka, Florida. Fittipaldi Racing Team backing includes Bringer Corporation, Cheetah Technologies, MG Tires, Alfano, Corsa Racing, Moura Batteries, and KartMini. A number of additional sponsors have shown significant interest in this dynamic team and additional announcements are expected shortly.
"I am pleased and very excited to be part of the development of this new generation of drivers, and to help them develop into future champions", said Emerson Fittipaldi. "Being a successful racer takes much more than being fast on the race track. Pietro, Gabriel, and Dion have that special ingredient that can make future stars".
"I have watched them race, have been on the track with each of them, and am confident that we have a great combination of young drivers, who all share passion for motor sport. They have been working hard physically and mentally to form a strong karting team with a great future for the drivers and all the sponsors involved in this project", says Max Papis, team coach, advisor, and driver mentor. "We will have Pietro concentrate on the junior series Rotax Minimax and Cadet, Gabriel on Rotax Junior and JICA, and Dion on the big leagues: Rotax Senior and Spec Racer or ICA. My personal goal is to see each of them grow as young men and racers, with good values in life. We will create a sponsoring platform with a dedicated group of companies to help continue their career in auto racing. Initially Dion and Gabriel will be the first 2 candidates and we are looking forward to see them to pave the road for Pietro and Enzo in the future.
"As a Distributor of KartMini in America I chose Fittipaldi Racing to help us in the development of KartMini karts in the American marketplace. I am very confident that this is the best team -- we have top drivers with huge potential, excellent technical expertise, and support from committed parents and other team principals. We will provide full support from our factory for Team Fittipaldi Racing" says Oswaldo Negri, professional race car driver.
The team has the renowned Daniel Villa performing as chief engineer and technical advisor for karting operations. Daniel is a former Karting national champion and professional driver from Colombia, and is widely viewed as "the best in the business" when it comes to tuning chassis and race engines.
"I have personally invited this exciting new team to the EasyKart world championships in Italy in November 2006", says Pablo Montoya, father of professional NASCAR driver Juan Pablo Montoya. "They have drivers that can compete at the highest levels of kart racing globally and I am truly honored to be associated with this team -- they have been an excellent supporter of the EasyKart Championship Series."