A former KZ driver, Sandro Lorandi created the BabyRace team to support his sons Alessio and Leonardo in their debut in kart racing. With the good results, the team quickly grew to become one of the most successful at international level. Alessio won the first CIK-FIA KF-Junior World Championship in 2013 in Bahrain. Despite the transition of his two sons to single-seater racing, Sandro Lorandi continues to satisfy his passion for motor sport by training young drivers for high-level competition at the BabyRace Driver Academy. At the beginning of June 2020, he takes stock of the upcoming resumption of competition as the COVID-19 situation improves day by day.
Sandro, how has it gone for your team?
Like everyone else, we stopped all sporting activity at the end of February, a complete three-month disruption. Fortunately, karting is not my main professional activity and I was able to face this turmoil with less difficulty than others. I tried to support the BabyRace Driver Academy collaborators who found themselves without work as much as possible so that they wouldn’t find themselves in financial difficulty.
What is the current situation?
After the storm we experienced in Italy, the situation is returning to normal. We were able to resume our activity at the beginning of June by starting to train young Italian drivers. Europeans will soon be able to move around normally and we expect to welcome other nationalities shortly. However, it remains complicated for some countries. I think that Russians and Asians, like our Indonesian driver, still face difficulties in travelling to Europe. Air transport has not yet resumed normally and not all borders have reopened to date. We will have to wait for traffic between every country to be as smooth as before.
How do you envisage the return of competition?
We need and we are very much looking forward to restarting racing. The latest news is that the international races will be able to start again in July in Italy and we will be present at the major races scheduled in our country. Our drivers and their families are very motivated.
In terms of health, the new habits we have adopted to limit the risks of infection in our daily lives will also apply to competition. These are actions that have become familiar now and will be applied in the tent and in the paddock. We have to trust everyone’s sense of responsibility: drivers, technicians, mechanics, etc. These are new constraints that are not limited to karting.
Motor sport as a whole must be reasonable with regard to the health rules to be respected, but we should not fall into excessive precautions that would be detrimental to everyone. Our work must be able to be carried out calmly with an intelligent approach to current problems.
What is your opinion about the future of karting?
I don’t believe that we should revolutionise everything under the pretext that not everyone can reach the highest level of competition. The appeal of karting is currently very wide. There are different ways of practicing this sport depending on one’s objectives and means. The top of karting will remain expensive, because competition is fierce when you aim for the top. I am in a good position to know how much it costs to run a team and I don’t see how these costs could be significantly reduced. I know it’s not easy for everyone, but I think that families can also choose a leaner programme according to their resources and still get their child to race.
FIA Karting Interview / Photo © KSP