'Disgraceful' Pro Kart Racer Retires After Assaulting Competitor On and Off Track

Sports of all levels can make emotions run high, and tempers can easily boil over even when nothing’s at stake. They have at many a little league game, and they did at this weekend’s FIA Karting KZ World Championship in Lonato, Italy, where a racer and his father physically assaulted a competitor for ending their race early.

Early in Sunday’s race, 23-year-old Luca Corberi and Paolo Ippolito were fighting for position, with Corberi attempting to squeeze Ippolito into a wall according to Planet F1. The two made contact and Corberi was thrown into the barriers where his kart got lodged, ending his race. Seemingly while trying to free his kart, Corberi dislodged its front bumper, which he ignored green-flag track conditions to throw at Ippolito from the trackside the following lap.

Following the race, Corberi rushed Ippolito as he tended to his kart in the pits, slamming him into a corner and wailing on him with his fists. Just as onlookers pulled Corberi off, Corberi’s father rushed in, body-checking Ippolito into the wall a second time before being restrained himself.

The brutish display immediately attracted the ire of the FIA and Italy’s karting sanctioning body the ACI, which confirmed they would investigate Corberi. A second signal boost came from Formula 1 champion turned pundit Jenson Button, who called for a “life ban for both of these idiots please.”

But after the red mist cleared, Corberi may have enacted such a ban himself. The Italian karter is reported by Gazzetto Motori to have posted a since-deleted apology to Facebook, wherein he disclosed reporting to the stewards and asking his karting license be rescinded. As the stewards lacked the authority to take such action, however, Corberi reportedly announced his retirement from racing.

“I’d like to apologize to the motorsport community for what I’ve done,” reads a transcript of the post published by Planet F1. “There are no excuses to explain why I’ve done such a disgraceful act, this has been something I’ve never done in my 15 years of career [sic], and I really hope it won’t be seen by anybody else in the future.”

“I’ve decided to not take part in any other motorsport competition for the rest of my life, that’s not a self-justice, it’s simply the right thing to do,” Corberi reportedly continued. “My family has been in karting since 1985, we’ve seen it grow, we’ve seen the best and the worst part of it. This episode will be remembered as one of the worst in our sport and that’s something I’ll never forget.

“I’m not asking for any indulgence, because I don’t deserve it. I will totally agree with the punishments required. I’m writing today to say sorry even if it’s not enough, because, after all the bad things that happened during this event, the worst has been done by me, a guy who loves this sport and after the worst day of his life will still remember his good racing memories.”

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