Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo made a trip home to Australia and got back to his karting roots for the first time in six years.

The Toro Rosso sign-up got behind the wheel of a KZ2 Gearbox kart, supplied by the Patrizicourse Team, owned by his close friend and occasional V8 Supercars driver Michael Patrizi.

Patrizi – who used to be Ricciardo’s lead mechanic in his younger days – invited the 21-year-old to sample his team’s kart, completing an hour-long session at Perth’s Wundowie Kart Club circuit.

Ricciardo and Patrizi The last time Ricciardo raced in a kart was at the Australian Clubman Light championship in 2005, which he looked set to win until he was eliminated in a late-race collision.

And despite his lack of familiarity with the KZ2, Patrizi reported that Ricciardo quickly got to grips with the machine.

“We were having our first test day for the year with our Gearbox KZ2 team and invited Daniel along for some laps,” he said.

“As you would expect, he acquainted himself very well. It was great for Dan to get some miles under his belt before F1 testing starts. He certainly got into the rhythm very quickly and he was right on the money.

“To have Dan do some laps was great, but to see the smile on all the kids faces at the track, when no one knew a F1 driver was going to be there, was also very good.”

Ricciardo will head back to Europe ahead of the first of four pre-season tests in Toro Rosso’s STR7 challenger, which he will co-drive with F1 debutante Jean-Éric Vergne.

[Image via SpeedCafe]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.