Posted on February 28 2018
Francesco D’Avola began his high-speed career at the early age of 8 when he stepped into his first kart, and hasn’t looked back. Over the past 20 years he has gained a wealth of racing knowledge and experience as he has competed on every major track in the US and Europe. From his early years as a Skip Barber student, Francesco has assembled an impressive resume of victories in a short time, winning multiple championships as well as being a Top 5 driver in the Superkarts USA Pro circuit over a period of seven years.
From 1995 till mid 2002, Francesco competed in karts, touring with series such as Superkarts USA Pro tour and WKA Enduro Championship. Several victories and National Titles brought on the attention of the open wheel world. In 1997, Francesco had his start with open wheel cars in the Skip Barber Dodge program. Francesco took to open wheel cars easily but, competed with Skip Barber for only two years before taking an opportunity to race for a European manufacturer.
Becoming a factory driver for Formula Arcobaleno (now called Gloria), Francesco learned the value of vehicle dynamics. He happily accepted the rare opportunity to learn from the engineers and build his very own racecar from the ground up. The stealth looking all black car built by Francesco’s hands went on to compete against him in the Italian series that year. Through his experience with the factory, Francesco then entered the business world of racing and became the North American Distributor for Arcobaleno. Traveling to and from Europe, Francesco became quickly acquainted with tracks in Italy, Belgium, France and Holland.
Fighting constant political battles with the sanctioning bodies in the U.S., Francesco eventually resigned his position as North American Distributor and continued to focus on racing and completing his education. Francesco’s passion for racing is equal to his passion for education; he holds a Bachelors of Science and Masters degree in Education from Northern Illinois University, and has extensive experience in the classroom as well as on the track.
After teaching Special Education in the High School setting for six years, Francesco found his way back to the racing world in 2005. Through another remarkable opportunity, Francesco became a member of the Autobahn Country Club with his father. This led to countless hours at the track and the eventual partnership in the club’s official Driving School, called Team Stradale. Francesco and Team Stradale have now joined arms with Autobahn to bring a series of driving programs to both the membership and the public. Francesco is now available for personal driver coaching and racing school instruction daily at the Autobahn.
Francesco has since become the Midwestern distributor for Radical Sportscars covering Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan and Iowa. Radical has quickly become the choice racecar for Autobahn members wanting faster, more competitive cars. Since its inception, the Radical Midwest division of Team Stradale has become the fastest growing dealership in the country.