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Fernando’s story is one of a child highly gifted behind the wheel, who, from the beginning, could count on his father's support and enthusiasm, and that of all the family. As a boy, José Luis Alonso, an explosives expert, dreamt of go-kart racing, and tried to instil this enthusiasm into his daughter, Lorena, who he tried to start off in competitions at the age of 8 with a kart he had made himself. The experiment was a failure, since speed was not her thing, and Fernando “inherited” the racing kart, although he was only three years old.

Some of the pedals had to be adapted so that the youngster could drive. From that moment, he showed some skill and his father started to see his hopes fulfilled.

“At the beginning it was just a game, but when he was five or six years old, it was clear that he was outshining other children of his age,” comments José Luis, who was Fernando’s mechanic until he was twelve years old. Fernando “played” with the kart until 1988, gaining his first victory in Pola de Laviana, in June 1988, where he competed in a junior race for the first time, and winning the title that year, having won all 8 races.

Fernando was not only a prodigy behind the wheel, but he also got good marks at his school, Santo Ángel de la Guarda, which meant that his mother raised no objections to father and son going from circuit to circuit every weekend.

“We had to build the circuits with bales of straw so that the kids could race. We went round all the village fiestas that held a race. We had to help build the circuit, and see to the kids, but it was really satisfying to watch them race,” comments José Luis, and of course, although he does not say it, to watch Fernando win.

 

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