The need for speed

SETON Catholic College in Samson could be harbouring Perth’s next Daniel Ricciardo, with one of its students racing his way into the 2020 Formula 1000 season at Barbagello Raceway.

Formula 1000 is WA’s fastest racing category, with the cars more closely akin to a grand prix racer than your nan’s Corolla and their 1000cc motorbike engines pushing them to speeds above 250km/h.

After winning a championship in a Ka3 senior go-kart in 2018 at Ricciardo’s old stomping ground the Tiger Kart Club, 17-year-old Gianni Lutzu said he was keen to get into something with real power.

“What it feels like being in a race car is something you truly can’t describe unless you feel it for yourself,” Lutzu told the Herald.

“The technique and finesse required to handle any race car, and especially the F1000…at such speed, is what inspired me to start racing in the first place.”

Last July Lutzu took part in Arise Racing’s driver search program at Barbagello, getting some tips from Bathurst 1000 winner Nick Percat who was also on the judging team.

After three elimination rounds the 30 hopefuls had been whittled down to five, including Lutzu.

Recently Arise announced its final results with Lutzu coming second, which earned him a 75 per cent subsidised seat for the 2020 Formula 1000 season which runs March-November.

The young racer said he was thrilled.

“The opportunity Arise has given me for this season makes the dream of being a professional race car driver even more visible at the end of the tunnel, and I’m very excited to see where it takes me,” Lutzu said.

“My long-term dream for the sport is to really follow where the road takes me.”

Anyone wanting to follow his journey (and the family’s pretty keen for sponsors as it’s not the world’s cheapest sport) can contact


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