“We risked being beheaded”

«They stole our plates with the words “unique example”, they removed them from the crashed car – he says Giorgio Pirolo —. We know who did it, we have the license plate and there is a witness. I’ll call him to see if he wants to give them back to me. Otherwise I will have to report it. I took the little face with the logo home because I knew they would steal it.” He also had to deal with the thieves, the 43 year old designer Pirolo from Belluno who on Sunday (17 September 2023) he went off the road between Pedavena and Pian d’Avena while leading the way with his Frangivento supercar on the occasion of the 39th edition of the «Pedavena – Croce d’Aune». Pirolo, born in Castelfranco (Treviso) but raised in Belluno, has a doctor father and a teacher mother, his brother became a pharmacist in Germany, his sister a doctor like his father. Giorgio, on the other hand, has always wanted to draw cars, since he was a child. His parents supported him so he didAfter finishing school, he moved to Turin to study design. He then worked for Fiat, Iveco and Ferrari but seven years ago, with Paolo Mancini, from Turin, he set up the Frangivento company and created the car which in 1999 was only a drawing and which in 2016 is became reality. First two prototypes, then Asfané (“it can’t be done”, in Piedmontese, as a response to those who didn’t trust him, ed.), then the onebecame famous thanks to Loris Capirossi, three-time motorcycling world champion in the nineties. Asfané (the prototype that preceded Capirossi’s car, the Frangivento GT65) is now destroyed.

He was scared?
«A photographer told me that during the first heat he was stationed exactly behind the guardrail that we broke through. If he had stayed there he would have died, luckily that didn’t happen.”

And did she risk her life?
«At that moment we weren’t realizing it, neither I nor the co-pilot. I was more disappointed to know that I was destroying the car.”

How long from loss of control to crash?
«A few fractions of a second. When you get to a certain speed and there’s no steering reaction, that’s how it is. I remember an eye of dust, the white light, it seemed like we were in another dimension, but then we hit a Lancia Y.”

Whose was it?
«From a race commissioner. We did some damage to the front end, the headlight, the grille, the bumper and the hood. But it can be fixed, they put it on a moving tow truck, it didn’t leak any fluids.”

Does the insurance pay?
«Yes, we need to understand which one covers it, it is possible that the organization of the race will answer».

But first you had broken through the guardrail.
«If it hadn’t impacted the anti-intrusion bar it would have decapitated us. Instead he slid over our heads, until he rested on the roof. Years ago it happened to a pilot on that route, Luigi Amadio (it was 10 September 2000, ed)”.

Who was his co-pilot instead?
«A fan of Frangivento, a 21-year-old girl from Lake Como, we met her in Monza. She was in Pedavena to follow the event and to lend us a hand.”

The damage estimate?
«We are carrying out an appraisal, more than 200 thousand euros, less than a million. The entire bodywork needs to be redone, the analysis of the mechanical parts, the chassis and the set-up is missing. We’ll figure it out in the workshop.”

How fast were you going?
«I never look at the odometer because it distracts me from driving but it’s a fast stretch, you arrive from a sort of straight line. The car rose slightly, we would have been over 100 per hour, maybe 120, I don’t know. We lost the balance, the car didn’t react also because it was off the ground. There are some small depressions before the curve.”

Has the desire to run decreased?
«I reflect on the safety of those who watch the races. But I can’t help but run, I have to test the models I design.”

How does Capirossi use Frangivento?
«It was delivered to him in Monte Carlo recently, he uses it there as his everyday car. He’s a collector, she’s not the only one he owns. In Monte Carlo it’s not that strange to have a car like that.”

How do you see the future of the electric car?
«Nebulous. Works for home-office cars. The entrepreneur who has the Tesla as a status symbol for business trips still uses the petrol one.”

And how is your political journey going?
«For a few votes I didn’t get into the council, I had received 44 preferences, I think (he had run in support of the mayor of Belluno, Oscar de Pellegrin, in 2022, ed). I also chose Fratelli d’Italia for Meloni, I think they are doing well at the moment with Made in Italy, they are keeping the door open for young companies. However, as the mandate progresses, I could take over from someone here in Belluno. Five years earlier I had supported Massaro in a civic election.”

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