Punchy Italian kartist gets 15-year ban for trackside rampage... and other stories

An unexpectedly vehicular collection of chaos and confusion for your consideration

Welcome back for another compendium of tomfoolery from this week for those who enjoy a bit of light-hearted piffle. And let's face it, who doesn't?

Scrappy Italian kartist loses rag, loses licence

A petulant Italian kart racer has had a 15-year ban from all professional motorsport upheld by the FIA's International Court of Appeal, the final appeal tribunal for international motor racing.

Luca Corberi, 23, originally had the ban imposed by the FIA's International Tribunal following a bizarre rampage last October, during and after the 2020 FIA Karting World Championship Final at the Lonato circuit in Northern Italy.

Corberi was racing in the KZ class at the meeting, featuring 125cc racers capable of up 110mph (180kph). He was running around 15th position when he came together with fellow Italian Paolo Ippolito on lap 9, pitching Corberi heavily into the barriers and ending his race. This was especially unfortunate, since his father owns the Lonato venue where the meeting was being held.

He appears at this point to have succumbed to some kind of Hulk-like rage, ripped the front plastic fairing from his stricken kart and took it to the edge of the track. There he waited until Ippolito came round on his next lap, at which point he threw the fairing at him [see below].

Youtube Video

Corberi then stormed off across the diminutive circuit, despite the race still being underway, shrugging off marshalls and officials attempting to guide him away from the track, for his own safety and that of his competitors.

Finally, to top off his day, the video showed a figure who looked like Corberi appearing to attack Ippolito while the karts were lined up in the post-race parc fermé, leading to a brawl involving numerous participants.

The video was later distributed on social media, leading to condemnation from leading motorsport figures including former F1 world champion Jenson Button, himself a former kartist [see below]. Corberi apologised for his furious outburst and declared he would never race again, but later changed his mind and appealed against the ban.

Corberi's father Marco was later suspended by the Italian motorsport governing body, the ACI, in the aftermath of the punch-up. The Lonato circuit also had its licence revoked.

Despite supposedly being a non-contact sport, motor racing has had its fair share of scuffles. Probably the most famous occurred when reigning F1 world champion Nelson Piquet laid into Chilean back marker Eliseo Salazar, after he knocked Piquet out of the lead of the 1982 German Grand Prix while being lapped [see below].

Youtube Video

Mustang Silly

Remaining on four wheels for a moment, we now bring you a surprising vehicular development from India.

Replica cars have long been a niche in the motoring world, encompassing everything from kit-based AC Cobra copies to high-end “continuations” of famous sports and racing cars like the Ford GT40 and Jaguar D-Type.

But rarely does a car get a replica treatment which starts off as far from its intended destination as the latest creation from Dream Customs India, which attempts to recreate the brutal 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1, using as a base car... a 2009 Hyundai Accent?

Having myself been an owner of a Hyundai Accent – admittedly an earlier model – I can confidently say that it is an odd choice for a donor to remake the mighty V8-engined Detroit muscle car.

The Accent, while a perfectly adequate small family runabout, is very notably lacking in the power and heft which marked out the classic Ford.

The Dream Customs India promotional video for the baffling conversion [see below] is light on detail, but it certainly does not seem to include the installation of a V8 of between 302 and 428 cubic inches in capacity (5 to 7 litres), which is really the whole point of having a Mustang.

Youtube Video

Dream Customs India have not revealed how much this obviously painstaking but deeply peculiar lash-up will cost, but they are reportedly now taking orders and suggest each conversion will take up to four months.

So please form an orderly queue, everyone.

Gold toilet traffic officer surprisingly accused of corruption

Finally in this week's unexpectedly vehicle-based roundup, authorities in Russia have arrested a senior police officer whom they allege was the head of a massive bribery and corruption scandal.

“An allegedly corrupt police officer?” I hear you cry. “In Russia? Surely not!”

I know. It's hard to believe. But the officer allegedly in charge of the scheme may not have done himself any favours with his choice of interior decoration.

When authorities from Russia's Investigative Committee raided the home of the officer in question – Colonel Alexei Safonov from the city of Stavropol – they found he lived in a vast, elaborately decorated mansion, complete with fine china collections, a games room with billiard table, piles of cash and extravagant furniture more suited to the palace of Versailles than the home of a humble traffic officer [see below].

Youtube Video

Perhaps most impressively, Safonov's home also included a lavish bathroom featuring a tasteful gold-trimmed toilet and bidet set.

Safonov's gang of six accomplices are accused of issuing permits which allowed grain transporters to ignore regional laws and bypass police checkpoints in exchange for bribes, according to Sky News. ®

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