MADONNA DI CAMPIGLIO, ITALY, JAN 16: Ducati Marlboro’s Casey Stoner showed the car boys how it’s done by winning the rider vs. driver go-kart race in sub-freezing temperatures on the frozen rink in Madonna di Campiglio, Italy.
The race was the climax of Wroom 2009, the combined Ducati and Ferrari team launch high in the Italian Dolomites and it attracted a star-studded field.
Stoner and teammate Nicky Hayden braved the 18 degree weather to face off against Ferrari’s World Championship runner-up Felipe Massa, his brother Eduardo Massa, Ferrari test driver Luca Badoer, and Ducati test rider Vitto Guareschi. Ferrari’s Kimi Raikonen bowed out with a fever.
There were two layouts on the same track, with the pace car bringing the riders into line to change the track configuration three times. The race began on an oval with a chicane midway down the back straight. A quarter of the way in, the pace car came out to line up the karts up and third and fourth turns were eliminated in favor of a tighter set that then funneled onto the front straight. That segment ran mid-race, then again at the end.
Prior to the race, Stoner said this was the second time he’d driven a go-kart and first time on the ice. But you wouldn’t know it by his fearlessness. Despite a spin of his own, Stoner was able to make his way to the front and just beat Massa to the line.
Luca Badoer was clearly the fastest driver on the track, the Italian building up a huge lead, then doing doughnuts down the front straight. But he was only able to finish third behind Stoner and Massa.
Massa, whose brother crashed and broke the steering arms on his kart early on, wasn’t able to get past Stoner and had to settle for second. Hayden was a frigid fourth.