January 11-13 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, more than 250 competitors from around the world came together for one of the biggest karting events of the year, the SuperKarts! USA (SKUSA) Winter Series.
Racing at the Speedway’s adjacent karting track, AMR Homestead-Miami Motorplex, the action packed weekend featured drivers with ties to some of motorsports most legendary racers. Among the elite field of competitors were Emmo Fittipaldi, Sebastian Montoya and Oliver Wheldon, whose fathers – Emerson Fittipaldi, Juan Pablo Montoya and the late Dan Wheldon – combined to win five Indianapolis 500s.
Also participating in the SKUSA Winter Series were a number of local drivers, including 13-year-old Santi Trisini. At the beckoning of his mother, Trisini didn’t get behind the wheel of a go-kart until he was nine, a relatively late age for a driver to start racing karts. Even now that Santi has a few years of experience, Victoria Trisini still gets nervous to watch her son compete.
“He’s really a daredevil. He likes to be in the pack and bump the cars next to him,” said Victoria Trisini. “I can barely watch sometimes it makes me so nervous.”
For all of his mother’s worries, Santi remains calm and focused on the track. He knows she doesn’t like when he gets in the middle of the pack, but that doesn’t stop him from driving hard once he’s there. Much like his favorite Formula One driver, Max Verstappen, Santi fights for every position no matter what place he’s in.
“I like being in the pack during the race because the adrenaline of passing is one of my favorite parts of racing,” said Santi. “I like how Verstappen competes for a position even if he’s in the back of the field, so I always try to do the same.”
Trisini didn’t have to worry about fighting for position in the back of the 44-driver field during the SKUSA Winter Series. He scored a third-place finish in Saturday’s final and came in seventh on Sunday. It was a good weekend for the Miami kid at his home track, and perhaps just as successful for his mom, who managed to watch him on the track long enough to see Santi reach the podium.