Ayrton Senna’s final go-kart sells for $65,000 in auction


One lucky motorsport enthusiast has got his or her hands on a piece of racing history after winning the auction for the final go-kart in the illustrious career of racing legend Ayrton Senna.

Senna is widely regarded as one of the greatest drivers in the history of motor racing, winning three F1 world championship and enjoying an incredible career that was tragically cut short at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix when a crash left him with fatal injuries.

Earlier this week, auction house Bonhams put up a very unique lot: the last ever go-kart Senna used in his junior career. The Brazilian raced in the DAP kart at the 1981 world championship race in Parma, Italy, which would prove to be his last as his focus switched to single seaters and the British Formula Ford series.

“The kart was new and prepared to Senna’s preferences before the Parma race, and immediately after was purchased by the present owner from de Angelo Parilla (of DAP) on 20th September 1981,” the listing read. “Harm Schuurmann, competing with Senna at the time in the same team and a longtime friend of the current owner, was present at the deal.

“The kart was purchased without the engine. However, an identical engine as used by Senna has been installed. Presented in ‘as new’ condition, having been used for a maximum of two hours since, it represents a wonderful opportunity to acquire a piece of the Ayrton Senna legend.”

The kart was expected to sell for somewhere between £18,000 and £21,000 ($27,000-$32,000), but eventually went for double that figure, with a final winning bid of £42,969 – or $65,514.

Senna would go on to make his F1 debut in 1984 for Toleman before going on to win the world championship with McLaren in 1988, 1990 and 1991.

NEOM McLaren Formula E announces Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast for 2023 season

McLaren Formula E Hughes
McLaren Racing

Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.

The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.

“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.

“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.

“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”

The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.

Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.

Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.

McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.