Thanks Nik. I am sure I knew these guys, but I’ve forgotten a lot by now. I think Nodtune did work with BRM which was Gandolfi at the time, but they were running Rotax if I remember correctly. We had Brambilla tuning Comer rotaries and Bernini tuning reeds. There was a weird period after all Comers rotary race motors were stolen at a European championship race in Garda. The reeds were crazy fast though and they were winning all the international ICA races with Panigada and Scarcia, both whom I ended up driving with later. I had a reed that I brought to us tracks for fun before anyone had even seen a direct drive kart here and we got 20000 rpm out of it and people just couldn’t believe how rediculously loud and fast it was.
I used Comer for a whole season in 1996 in the us but we tuned them in my garage. They were fast but I couldn’t beat Alex Barron on his factory Tony Kart with Marechal Vortex. I don’t feel too bad since he went on to win the Indy 500. I was able to race shifter karts though since it was the only thing with comparable speed in the us. We used to think shifter karts were for losers that didn’t know how to drive a real kart. I remember one day we were breaking in ICA engines in Parma and Manetti was testing a Formula C (rotary valve shifter for those that don’t remember). I followed him for 4 laps and then passed him on the inside hairpin with some voodoo braking maneuver we used to be able to do. He came off the track right away and I followed him just to see the expression. He was world champion anyways and I was in an unmarked topkart. He was so pissed he was with Bola, if you remember that was CRG famous mechanic, swearing and yelling.
Great times. Yea I’d love to drive again but there is never enough time. Got two little kids. I ran the skusa supernats kf2 race in Vegas 2009 but that was my last race. Was a pretty strong field we had tinnini, tiene, Montoya (who I actually beat somehow), my old competitor buddy rice (who also won the Indy 500) and Menezes. I was just an old fart by then.
Bottom line. I don’t think karting was what it used to be… but it’s still an awesome action sport! I’m jealous to all you folks that still pull it off.