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Star of the Week #25 – Noah Milell

Before we turn our heads to the next Olerex Estonian Championship race held at Lange this weekend, we are absolutely honoured to welcome our this weeks guest who this time is happened to be more special than anyone can possibly imagine.

Our this weeks star is the most titled karting persona in this section so far. As an interesting fact he is also the first non-Estonian guest and he is Swedish. And to put it all nicely together he is also our 25th Star of the Week! It shouldn’t be hard to guess that our guest today is of course the newly-crowned KZ World Champion Noah Milell!

Noah Milell on the podium at Kristianstad.

Yes, there are plenty of things one should lesson when World Champion talks. Triumph at his home World Championship event at Kristianstad gave him fantastic opportunity to put this highest possible title in the bag and by doing this in his home soil it would be the best possible way to celebrate his fantastic career in karting. Needless to mention competition he fought against in his way to the laurels and in environment where only thousandths of a seconds accounts. Forget about hundredths and let alone tenths. Years in sport have teach him a lot and we should all learn from it whatever we do or whatever we try to achieve as a sportsman.

But how Noah’s career started? How he manage to stay focused for so long to achieve something that puts him level with so many great champions? For these questions and many more Noah Milell is here today to kindly answer all of these.

Have a nice read!

  1. Noah Milell – Champion of the World – how does it sound? What does this highest title in the world of karting mean to you? Especially winning in at home.

It is the best feeling I have ever felt in my entire life. It has been my goal and dream ever since I was young and started in karting so to achieve a result and title like this is something special. And to win it at home in front of my family, friends and all supporters couldn’t be any better. 

  1. Please tell us how much work and dedication has gone to achieve this incredible result? 

I have raced in international competitions since 2013, so 9 years of international races and my 5 last years for a factory team. I had some WSK podiums and many pole positions in CIK races but could not put everything together to achieve a result like this. It took many many races and mistakes to win this World Championship title.

  1. By our knowledge you started karting in 2009. How did you end up in this sport? What is your story? 

Basically it has been in my family, my uncle Johnny who won the World Championship in 1996 for Tony Kart Racing Team, my father has raced so it has been there since I grew up. Until 2012 my priority was soccer but at one point I had to choose what to focus on and thankfully it was karting.

  1. #31 is the new #1 of the world – clearly it is a special number now but is there any background story for #31?

Yes, when I started to race in 2009 I actually wanted #21 but there was another driver who had that number so it became #31. Ever since I have always picked #31 when I could. 

  1. Who are the key people for the success you have endured this far, especially for this win? 

I would say my family for all the time and money they spent on my career, my uncle Johnny who always been there and coach me in all races and my grandfather Peter. One private sponsor who helped me in my young career until I got a free seat in Tony Kart Racing Team and of course the team itself who always believed in me to achieve a great result. 

  1. Clearly the whole field of KZ consists of highly talented drivers so how does one become World Champion? In your opinion, what really makes the difference in this sport which is measured in thousandths of seconds?

For a class like KZ with so many talented and experienced drivers, you really need to have the whole package at the right time. Both material and driving need to be 100% to achieve something. You cannot have a bad day or not be focused 100% because at that point you will be last in KZ. That is why we see so many different winners in KZ.  

  1. What kind of preparations (mentally and physically) for how long did you do before the most important race of the year? How much and which kind of training are you doing to be in a perfect shape for the KZ? 

So the most of the time I spent on tracks and in a kart before the World Championship, we had a 2 days test 2 weeks before the race and that was the last driving preparations we made before. I also think it’s important to have some distance from karting and to think about something else than only karting. When I have time to train I always do some running and boxing. So to focus 100% in 5 days of driving you need to put in the work of training. In my opinion it helps me a lot to focus for many days and to not get tired after heats and laps on a raceweek.  

  1. Minimum weight is 170kg for KZ so the driver cannot be that heavy. Is there a special menu/diet for you in order to be in perfect balance in KZ?

I have always been quite small, so I am not gaining weight so easy, so the amount of food I eat before a world does not affect me so much. It is more important that you eat the right things, so you feel fresh and in shape. On a race week I often eat small portions and more often to not feel tired. 

  1. How much time and energy do you focus on the setup of the kart? Is it just your feedback from driving or do you use data analysis also? Which is more precise in your opinion?

In my opinion its about 90% driving and 10% material, you will find more speed by adapting your driving (style) than you can find in any setup or engine in this category. Then to know if engine 1 or 2 is better, longer or shorter sprocket that is where the data analyse is perfect. We have a data analyser in the team who is very good at understanding from a data perspective and in combination with how the driver feels about the chassis/engine we can find the most of it. For my driving we adjust the chassis’ setup from my feedback of driving and for the engine, sprocket and carburettor we analyse a lot from the data. 

KZ World Championship podium ceremony at Kristianstad.
  1. There were 3 official Tony Kart factory drivers (you, Lorenzo Camplese and Simo Puhakka) who all finished in top 5. BUT! You beat them all and by more than 5 seconds! How did you manage that with the same material (chassis/engine)? Did you with your team (mechanic, engineer etc) develop something new and different for the title fight? If not a secret – when looking at the data could you tell us where did the difference come from on track?

Yes, the whole team has worked really hard to achieve this result and we tried out some new things before the race and it really paid off.  We all have the same material and we help each other to find a good setup but sometimes every setup cannot suit everyone because all drivers have their way of driving. So, the last percent of the setup is individual, some drivers want more grip in the back and some more in the front. Every session I was really fast in sector 2 and 3 against my teammates, they were faster in sector 1 of the track. 

  1. Could please share us what is the story (history) between you and the most prestigious team in karting – Tony Kart Racing Team? You have been racing for them for over 4 years so the chemistry must be great.

Since 2018 when I started with Tony Kart Racing Team it has been a big pleasure to work with them and especially how much I have learned from a such professional team in every aspect that karting includes. How they work and develop drivers and the material. And over some years with the same people it feels like a big family on and off track, and that is really important for me. 

  1. Now you have won the highest title in karting – are you looking for a next challenge in motorsport, for example car racing/single seaters? What are your goals in motorsport? 

Yes, I would really want to try out my potential in other racing categories also, but I depends which category and series. My goal is to race for a living, doing what I really want as a job. 

  1. 13. If you could choose from whatever era in the world of motorsports, which racing car (kart, formula etc) you would race and on which track, why?

FSA class from 1996 at the old Lonato would be special, that is where my uncle won the World Championship. I also heard that they had some good grip and RPM in that era of karting.

Noah Milell after achieving the crown of thhe title of them all – he’s now World Champion.
  1. Drivers usually have lots of ups and downs in their career but clearly you have held your head up, kept on working and the result of last weekend speaks for itself in that matter. With your enormous experience, could you please give advice for young drivers how to overcome difficult moments/results in this sport and how to improve as a driver? 

Every driver has their ups and downs, especially in karting. In karting you can actually make a good race but finishing outside top 3 and no one notice that driving or performance. It is important to race as much as possible in young age, train in all different type of weather and grip conditions. In that way the driver learns to adapt and manage different type of conditions early. Testing out new things on track, such as braking later or wider/tighter entry, so you are not going around for 15 laps without trying out something new or different to improve yourself. Once you are fast and can adapt to the kart and material, the result will come. 

  1. Usually karting is started as a family sport (kid as a driver and father as a mechanic etc). What are the 3 most important tips for families who are beginners in karting but want to succeed?
  1. Do not worry too much about the material in young age, it is a waste of money you can use for a good driver coach instead;
  2. Be loyal to your team as long as possible, every team priorities a trustful and loyal driver.
  3. If you have the financial part to race international you should start as early as possible, the younger the better.