The Team Manager of the Birel ART Racing Team since the beginning of the 2019 season, Luca Filini had the honour of leading the triumphant march of the famous Italian brand during the FIA Karting World Championship – KZ in Lonato (ITA) in September. A highly anticipated result for Birel ART’s 60th anniversary.
Luca, can you quickly retrace your karting journey?
I’ve never been a Driver. I have been passionate about the technology since I was a child, following my uncle Armando Filini. As soon as I finished school, I started to help the Drivers in his team. I was lucky enough to be able to start my job in 2005, during Maranello’s time. I then took part in the ART Grand Prix adventure, which saw Drivers like Charles Leclerc and Ben Hanley racing for us. I then decided to continue with the new entity Birel ART, alongside Nicolas Todt and Ronni Sala. I have assisted several Drivers such as Ulysse De Pauw and Christian Lundgaard. When Davide Fore and Birel ART decided to end their collaboration, I was chosen as Team Manager in his place. It was a fantastic challenge to take up at the age of 33!
“Birel ART has finally been rewarded for his efforts to return to the front.”
Can you explain how Birel ART has built its progressive return to the forefront?
In recent years, Birel ART has profoundly modified the design and manufacturing process of its chassis. This meant a lot of work for the R&D and production departments. The aim was to offer customers a high-performance product at all levels, in all categories, with all types of tyres. Today, the feedback we receive from our distributors around the world shows that we have chosen the right direction. The Birel ART Racing Team followed the same rigorous approach to obtain increasingly convincing results, leading to the title we finally won in Lonato. We should remember that last year in Genk, Marijn Kremers already started from the front row in the Final, but that he had been the victim of a collision from the first lap. A few months ago, a similar incident happened to Alessandro Irlando, when the European Championship was close. Our competitiveness was no longer in question, we just had to be able to complete the project without incident.
“Winning a World Champion title in the year of Birel ART’s 60th birthday is very moving.”
Let’s go back to the 2019 FIA Karting World Championship – KZ. How did it go?
This time, we reached our goal. Racing in Lonato, the circuit closest to our factory, allowed us to prepare for the event very well, but we were not alone in this case as the South Garda Karting track is the busiest in the world. Marijn Kremers drove a perfect race, from the Qualifying sessions and in the races. He fully deserves this title and we are proud to have worked with him for a long time. All our Drivers were very effective with TM Racing engines. Riccardo Longhi was incredibly fast and this 2nd place in KZ is very rewarding for a driver who was still racing in KZ2 a few months ago. Alessandro Irlando was also completely on the pace. It’s a shame he had a technical problem from the beginning.
Winning a FIA Karting World Champion title in the year of Birel ART’s 60th birthday is great, the emotion was intense. It is the reward for hard work from everyone. In the world of karting, winning in Lonato is always something special. Of course, we will continue to work to stay on this victorious trajectory.
Info FIA Karting / Photo © KSP