DAM Italcorse

The Italcorse Company was founded in September 1996 by Achille Parrilla, director of the Italsistem company.

Italcorse was founded with the aim of becoming the owner of the sporting relations with the CIK/FIA for the Italsistem Company, and not to be a chassis manufacturer.

Shortly after its constitution, it became clear that it was necessary to add a third team operating on the race tracks to the already proven Birel/Italsistem and Swiss Hutless/Italsistem teams, in order to increase the decision-making percentage of a team, towards the CIK/FIA.

The resulting increase in decision-making power was necessary in order to submit requests for changes to the regulations, with regard to track safety and especially driver safety, in the event of urgent medical intervention on the race track.

A skyrocketing passion

Their childhood dream is a reality, Mirko and Samuele Mizzoni have always been at the wheel of DAM Italcorse.

With diametrically opposed personalities: Mirko a great driver, a champion, still active on international tracks, extrovert talkative, with an instinct for growth and technological innovation; Samuele, the man of refined technique, for the tailored preparation of chassis, especially engines, a man of few words, but with careful attention to detail.

They know how to lead a young, determined and winning team.

All homemade

From Italsistem to Italcorse

It is no surprise that Italsistem/Italcorse were two of the most important sponsors in the setting up of Dr. Costa’s mobile clinic, which proved to be of fundamental importance in avoiding possible serious consequences to accidents that at the time might not have seemed so serious. The obvious was that pilots should be given first aid by professionals and not by paramedics who can do little when the opposite should be the case. The results of the mobile clinic have been extraordinary and the greatest satisfaction for Italcorse is to have contributed to the above becoming a reality.

After this interlude, the need was to make this company important in the field, and to achieve this, important races had to be won. So it was decided to enter the 1997 World Cup on the Suzuka track in Japan out of the blue and, to get a good look, to field two local drivers. The best-named Japanese drivers were all already settled and the only two free were of advanced age. One was Sano, aged 32 and the other was Lee, aged 36. Discreet pilots with no international reputation. What an incredible result to find them in 1st and 3rd place in the final classification, ahead of all the Italian, European and other drivers, who until then had dominated the international scene. From that moment on, Italcorse became one of the great chassis manufacturers. Such immediate success should not be thought of as a stroke of luck, as the person in charge of the chassis projects was Achille Parilla.

Together with his brother Angelo in 1970 he had founded DAP, to produce kart engines, and with an immense effort and a series of incredible risks and fortunes he had managed to survive as a company in the first two years to the attempted overpowering by the companies that dominated the kart sector in an unorthodox way at that time.

After a few years, in 1974, DAP decided to produce its own chassis in order to increase a turnover that was always on the verge of survival. The first approaches were of ups and downs. More downs than ups actually. The product was similar to the competition, and dealers were already positioned. So for a few years the chassis turnover suffered a lot, but in 1978 DAP took on a British rider, Terry Fullerton, a great rider a few years earlier, but who had fallen somewhat out of favour with the arrival of young talent. One of these, the unknown Mike Wilson, had amazed the world with an incredible performance at the 1977 Champions Cup on the Jesolo track driving a ZIP/DAP. He was using unknown tyres (which later turned out to be Bridgestone, but at the time of the race with no trademark, only the word ZIP). These tyres were extraordinary, and the driver won all the heats except one in which he had a serious accident with a lapped driver, which eventually cost him the overall victory.

In addition, during the semi-final, the tyres let out the plies, as they had already been used before participating in this event. All the competition rejoiced at this trouble, as everyone was sure that this cheeky little unknown kid had only achieved this performance because of the tyres. So for the final, Achille Parilla asked for a set of ‘Four Stars’ tyres (used by the majority) from the manufacturer on site. The tyres had different diameters, and needed an unknown set-up, unknown final ratios and pressures too. Achilles decided to take the risk of the decisions himself, and the impertinent young man set off for a safe gallows. But, unbelievable but true, the young man continued to be more and more impertinent, and played with his opponents for part of the race, to win in solitude and in jubilation of the crowd that decreed his class from that day on and for long years.

The competition within a few months secured the services of the young boy by leveraging his father (an Englishman with few financial resources). So the following year came Terry Fullerton, whose cause was pleaded by the English team manager, who did not want to see the great driver who had already been World Champion in 1973 forgotten in this way. Terry Fullerton had a ZIP chassis and for the first time had a relationship with Achille Parilla. It was a meeting between strangers for the most important race of the early season (only the World Championship was more important). The meeting between the two began on tiptoe, ending with the apotheosis of an exaggerated victory, against a competition that had an impertinent English boy and a new star in the karting firmament called Stefano Modena, aged 16, and considered the ‘Golden Boy’ of the new Italian karting.

The worldwide resonance of this success was the ultimate springboard for DAP. From abroad someone was aiming at participating in the 1978 World Championship on the Le Mans track in France, and no one could imagine that among those interested was another foreign boy of Brazilian origin, a certain Ayrton Da Silva, introduced to DAP by an honest trainer from São Paulo, whose parents had entrusted the fate of their second son for a European trip full of uncertainties and concerns.

Needless to dwell on a story that is now known throughout the world for its countless testimonies. DAP thus had two First Stars of the karting firmament, despite having had to give up its First Phenomenon.

All this background to get to the important point for the chassis activity of DAP and Achille Parilla. In agreement with Terry Fullerton, Achille decided to build a new chassis model, somewhat original, and to use it for the year 1979 with Terry Fullerton, and obviously with Ayrton Da Silva, who at that time was only coming to Europe for the two most important competitions (Champions Cup and World Championship) as he was attending school in Sao Paulo.

Without going into the background, at the 1979 Champions Cup in Jesolo, the incredible challenge for victory took place between Terry Fullerton and Ayrton Da Silva, which ended on the last lap of the final with the victory of the Englishman over the Brazilian. The competition, strengthened by the impertinent Englishman and the Italian Golden Boy was relegated to a sidereal distance. This new DAP chassis had already attracted the attention of all those in the industry.

For the 1979 World Championship at Estoril in Portugal, Achille Parilla decided to build a new chassis, very different from the Jesolo model, and to use it with Ayrton Da Silva. This chassis was called WTR. The world championship was traumatising for both DAP drivers. Terry Fullerton, the obvious protagonist, had several engine problems, even though he dominated his heats, until he had to stop due to breakdowns, and Ayrton had mechanical problems of various kinds.


One consideration in this regard is that it can be difficult for the same technician to deal with motor and chassis progress in equal measure and with the same positive results.
Ayrton Da Silva dominated the final with an exaggerated supremacy, winning with a straight Formula 1 lead, but an accident occurred to him in one heat, when although he was convinced he was letting Terry Fullerton win, he did not let go of his bumper until the moment when the Englishman’s engine locked up, which cost him a terrifying flight and the penalties that denied him the World title that was his exclusively.

The World Championship was won by another semi-official DAP driver from the Netherlands and Ayrton Da Silva came second after having dominated with flying colours. However, another star appeared in the Kart firmament on the level of the Englishman and the Brazilian, a certain Harm Schurman, who had come in behind the Brazilian in the Estoril final and was racing a Dino/Iame. Another planetary phenomenon. So to honour the protagonists of the history of Karting in the 1970s/Eighties we like to list their names without giving importance to the ranking, but as it comes to us: Mike Wilson, Terry Fullerton, Ayrton Da Silva, Harm Schurman, Stefano Modena.

In the year 1980, DAP also welcomed Harm Shurman, who raced on a Dino chassis, a very innovative chassis that Achille Parilla was inspired by for the future. At the 1980 Champions Cup, Ayrton had a serious physical problem, due to an accident in free practice on Friday (he was rescued by Terry Fullerton who stopped his kart by giving Ayrton forced breathing, possibly saving his life. An example forever for young drivers).

Harm Schurman, who stopped Ayrton, won six out of seven finals because in one he broke the exhaust manifold and finished fifth. He would probably have won even with Ayrton present, because he was like a predestined driver that weekend.

At the 1980 World Championship at Nivelles in Belgium, Terry Fullerton and Ayrton Da Silva had serious problems due to the lack of free practice, as the means of transport had been stopped at the Mont Blanc customs post. The former did not enter the top 34 and had to contest the Friday heats, while the Brazilian stopped at the 26th time, but qualified for Saturday. Harm Schurman did not qualify in the top 34, using a Dyno engine in addition to the Dyno chassis. It was an international scandal, as three of the best drivers in the world were in full crisis and two of these were the reference for the world, as well as being DAP drivers.

The best time in practice was set by Austrian Iame factory rider Tony Zoserl, and the second fastest time was set by Golden Boy Stefano Modena on a PCR/PCR. Zoserl’s best time of sec.42.58 against Ayrton’s time of 43.40. A scandal.

Ayrton da Silva ran on official Dunlop tyres, Terry Fullerton on standard Bridgestone tyres. Zoserl on official Bridgestone tyres, as well as Stefano Modena and Harm Schurman. There were five official Bridgestone drivers, including Peter De Bruyn, who went on to win the world championship. Terry Fullerton, as well as Harm Schurman barely qualified for Saturday.

On Saturday the most shocking thing that sporting minds can imagine happened. Ayrton Da Silva started in box number 17, and was given up for ruled out of any possible recovery. At the start of the heats, within four laps he was in the lead, overtaking 16 drivers, and driving the public crazy, who cheered the yellow helmet and rose at every pass, on the finishing straight, while the speakers were replaced at every heat for lack of voice. Ayrton’s lap times were 00.42.7 on used tyres. When Achille Parilla asked him the reason for this unhoped-for improvement, the answer was that in practice the driver passed on the white side of the track so as not to make the engine suffer, while in the race that same trajectory allowed him to pass everyone, as according to him the other drivers were on the rubberized side of the track and therefore braked!

Harm Schurman in the meantime had asked Achille Parilla for a DAP engine to race on Saturday, and received the last of the available engines, even in terms of performance, starting from square 32, he climbed up to 2nd position before breaking the engine due to problems with the spark plug being too hot. His average time was 00.42.2.

On Saturday evening, a Bridgestone delegation came to Achille Parilla to offer driver Terry Fullerton a set of official tyres. It was the only way to stem the Ayrton cyclone on Dunlop. On Sunday morning, Terry Fullerton had to run in a DAP engine rebuilt by his father (a very good tuner), and he also had to test the tyres. A daunting task. So, running in conspicuously, Terry Fullerton stopped the stopwatch at 00.41.80. This sounds like science fiction, but it must be dismissed as reality.

In the first final Terry won by continuing the run-in with 00.18.00 over Ayrton, who was running on his own. In the second final, when the championship was over, with a 00.18.00 margin over Ayrton, Terry broke his engine for reasons still undefined, while Ayrton won. In the third final, Ayrton broke his engine but continued to the end, finishing third. Terry Fullerton was involved in a mass accident at the start, and was forced to cross a field with the kart in hand to restart. He finished fourth behind Ayrton by five metres. If he had overtaken him he would have won the world championship. His time was 00:41.9 against the competition’s best time of 00.43.1.

So many regrets for DAP and its drivers. But the history of competitions has taught us that bad luck can come against the protagonists, but their name was nevertheless consigned to world history.

Now back to the chassis. Achille Parilla, seeing the performance of the Dyno chassis, which also fitted special tyres but had used a DAP engine that ran half as fast as the good ones, decided that for the next homologation he would be inspired by that model, but with new ideas, so as not to create a copy.

In the meantime, the Golden Boy of world karting, Stefano Modena, had taken charge of DAP. Ayrton Da Silva was already becoming a star in single-seaters as well, and it was impossible to selfishly attempt to halt his career. Terry Fullerton had meanwhile been flattered by the competition.
In the meantime, the dark years of the Formula K class (cc.135) were beginning, the only way for the competition to curb the DAP dominance, and the 100cc world championship was being dismissed as European 100cc.

Achille Parilla presented an innovative chassis, called Greyhound, with which Stefano Modena and the young Frenchman Diaz dominated the European Championship. Many were perplexed as to the true potential of this new product, until after a short time, a competitor driver, Gianni Morbidelli, wanted to try it out, taking sec.1 off the time he had set with his previous chassis, as well as no.3 gear teeth, and the biggest publicity was given by his preparer, the famous Jorg Muller, who had finally got rid of a nightmare.
It was a commercial boom, almost as big as the previous presence of the phenomena we have mentioned. For DAP it was a dream finally and completely realised. The models to follow after the Greyhound 86 were obviously the ’87 and ’88.

The phenomenon driver who followed Stefano Modena, who was also launched on the wings of success in single-seaters, was Vincenzo Sospiri, who won what was still to come, and Alex Zanardi, another phenomenon, who brought DAP an incredible series of victories. These drivers soon moved on to single-seaters, and DAP should be remembered for helping them to become important in the world.

In 1988 Achille Parilla parted from his brother, perhaps for a period of reflection, and by then certain that he could no longer repeat the incredible exploits of the previous years, he completely changed his life by moving to Romagna, and becoming involved in Boating and Music (at 15 he was a piano teacher). But his way of thanking the company that had bestowed so much satisfaction on him was to study for DAP for its ’89 counterpart, the Greyhound ’89, which turned out to be the most innovative project and the definitive progenitor of the frames of the 2000s.

The project was actually born to give something new to his son Daniele who, in the meantime, was appearing in International Karting with good premises. The innovation consisted in moving the driver’s weights forward by 8 cm compared to the Greyhounds already produced, in order to load the front end a little by unloading the degrees of camber and caster, and lightening the rear end, so as to favour the differential effect thanks to an easier reduction of the loads on the rear end.
To achieve all this, given the difficulties of moving the driver forward, Achilles thought it would be easier to move the chassis backwards, and the solution was of unhoped-for ease.

The Greyhound ’89 was a performance monster, and DAP invaded the European as well as Asian markets with an incredible number of chassis sold. Meanwhile, Daniele Parrilla was growing in performance, followed by Achille. Considering the phenomena that had preceded Daniele, Achille sought the utmost impartiality of judgement. Daniele won the 1991 European Intercontinental A Championship (first Italian driver after Stefano Modena), but on a Mari chassis.

Mari srl was a new company founded by Achille after the final break in relations with DAP. The Mari chassis was like the Greyhound ’89 chassis, but with a very innovative camber/caster system, operating on a pivot pin rotating on a fixed point of the chassis tubes (copying this idea, All Kart won the Super A World Championship with Jarno Trulli at Le Mans).

In 1992 Daniele won the European Formula A Championship with an evolution of the Mari ’91. In 1993 Achille homologates a new Mari one-corner and two-corner model, and Daniele participates in the European and World Super A Championships as an official Italsistem (born in 1991) Mari driver, with mixed results.
Performances are always excellent, but bad luck seems to follow as in the days of Ayrton Da Silva, who in the meantime has become the great Ayrton Senna Da Silva. A European Formula Super A and three Super A World Championships that were just begging to be won, with fastest laps and thrilling comebacks that will also go down in history even though the driver did not continue in single-seater racing.

As much as Achilles was an impartial professional, his son’s involvement somewhat compromised his lucidity in the moments of final decisions. And it is only right and human that this should be so. From 1994 to 1996, Achille Parilla dedicated himself to studying new models in collaboration with Swiss Hutless Switzerland and Birel kart of Lissone, both companies equipped with Italsistem engines. Meanwhile, Mari, sold by Achille Parilla to Delta, won the European Formula A Championship with driver Antonio Garcia, with an innovative model designed by Achille Parilla. The Swiss Hutless won the Formula Super A World Championship and the Formula Super A European Championship with driver Massimiliano Orsini (another great) and the Formula A European Championship with driver Julien Poncelet, with new models designed by Achille Parilla and built to his design at Lyss in Switzerland.

And so we arrived in 1997, the year of the debut of the Italcorse chassis. Due to serious problems in 1998, and the consequent loss of two precious collaborators and partners in the Italsistem/Italcorse companies, Achille Parilla found himself having to manage the companies alone in the production and commercial sectors, having to sacrifice the time necessary to not lose concentration in the sporting field. Perhaps this was a bit too much for one person.

Despite these problems, there was no shortage of performance in the international field, with a European FA Championship won by Antonio Garcia, and a World Championship lost at Ugento in 1998 when driver Giuseppe Palmieri was in first position with four laps to go and stopped due to a mechanical failure, after having dominated all the heats on Saturday, with Massimiliano Orsini in second position, also the victim of a mechanical problem that relegated him to third place overall.

In 1999 Giuseppe Palmieri won the European Super A Championship. In 2000 Julien Poncelet won the World Cup at Suzuka in FA. Still talking about Italcorse, the last great Super A driver, Cesare Ballistreri, at the 2000 World Championship in Marienbourg, starting from the second row with Giuseppe Palmieri on his side, had a collision with the same, thwarting a sure podium in 1st or 2nd position.
Palmieri, starting from last, with the first one coming 4 seconds behind, and subject to a blue flag, persisted in his fantastic comeback and came within 6 seconds of the first one, with a recovery that seemed to come out of the wings of past time. Giuseppe Palmieri himself had become European champion in the Formula Super A category.

In 2003 a serious car accident compromised Achille Parilla’s business, and for the next three years no new model was designed. Achille Parilla’s thinking is that no success can be achieved unless there is a communion of ideas and mutual enthusiasm for the product to be innovated, and what better opportunity than to involve new people who bring a breath of optimism and positivity.

Historical cycles bear witness to the ups and downs in life, but if two guys in 1970 managed to realise their dreams, and those times were certainly prohibitive, why should this new generation be denied this opportunity? For this purpose, and for all the goals achieved by the greats who came before us, the Mizzoni brothers’ D.A.M. was born. They took over the brand in 2011 and since then, with their new homologues and new models, they have achieved national success in all classes, even reaching in the intercontinental field the victory at the Las Vegas Supernational.

Today, committed to continuous research and development of improvements and raw materials, the company wants to project itself in the world field as a construction and image leader by planning the study of a new impact structure for competitions and envisaging a second structure dedicated to formula cars so as to be able to assist the young talents who play in the company and accompany them up to the motor racing field.