Liuzzi is ready to conquer Asia with Maranello Kart, as he will be busy developing the brand of the Italian firm in Asia together with the importer Zen Motorsport, and also as a driver on McLaren at the debut in the Asia GT Championship.
After 7 seasons in F1 and 94 GPs,Tonio Liuzzi will be back on karts. The occasion came from Maranello Kart and its Asian importer, Niko Yin of Zen Motorsport, as they developed an ambitious project of karting development in Asia involving the Italian champion Liuzzi, who will also be competing in the Asia GT Championship on McLaren this year after running the 2014 Japanese Super GT Championship with Honda.
Tonio Liuzzi has been back on karts in Lonato with Maranello Kart to test the chassis of the Italian firm ahead of its forthcoming commitment as coordinator and testimonial of Maranello's importer in Asia.
The latest great success of Tonio Liuzzi in karting dates back to 2001, when he won the Super A World Championship on CRG in the fifth and last round held in Kerpen, race that saw also Michael Schumacher on track in a memorable challenge under the rain. Liuzzi obtained one of its first victories in Lonato, at the first edition of the Winter Cup in 1996 with CRG. Lonato has been the track whereby Liuzzi got back behind the wheel of a kart, pushing hard the latest release of Maranello's challenger and being positively impressed by it.
“I am basically helping out with the development of karting in Asia – said Tonio Liuzzi in a break of his test with Maranello Kart – as I moved to Asia last year to race with Honda in 2014 Super GT, while this year I will be competing in GT Asia with McLaren. I will also be active in karting to try and develop it further in Asia as I believe there still is a lot to be done there. A lot of Chinese and Asian drivers started coming to Europe and this is the reason why I am trying to build a kind of karting supply chain in these countries together with Maranello Kart's importer Zen Motorsport. This is quite a wide project and we are only at the beginning. I will be working alongside my Chinese partners to launch this product in Asia and I will be their right arm to help them out in this project through Maranello China.”
“As a lot of my colleagues – continued Tonio Liuzzi – I am delighted return to the fold. After all, karting is our first passion. Getting back on a kart after such a long time is not easy though. I did not remember it was so physically hard. I am happy on this test as... behind the wheel of a kart I smile. I am really happy to have re-discovered such an emotion, even though I will certainly have to train more if I want to be back on track more often.”
Niko Yin, Maranello Kart's Asian importer with Zen Motorsport commented in this way: “Well, we are glad to have Tonio Liuzzi as a partner who has been a Formula 1 driver and has a lot of experience on karts. We are very focused on Chinese and Asian markets and we are happy on doing this with him.”
Great satisfaction has also been expressed at Maranello's by Luca Iannaccone: “Having a driver like Tonio Liuzzi testing our material is clearly a great satisfaction to us. Even more as Liuzzi will be involved in this new adventure in Asia, in collaboration with the importers that will take care of distributing our material on the whole Asian territory, staring from Rotax and Iame X30 versions, that are already two very strong categories in Asia. We will also develop the KZ model through a long term project that will have the objective increasing Maranello Kart's brand awareness in Asia.”
In the pictures:
1) From left, Luca Iannaccone, Tonio Liuzzi, Alessandro Levratti (Ph. Maranello Press);
2) Tonio Liuzzi and Michael Schumacher, Kerpen, 2001 (Ph. Paterlini);
3) From left, Niko Yin, Tonio Liuzzi, Luca Iannaccone (Ph. Maranello Press);
4) Tonio Liuzzi con Maranello Kart (Ph. Maranello Press).