“I, Clay Regazzoni and help to sick children” – Corriere.it

from Carlo d’Elia

Born in Lodi Vecchio, ordained a priest in 1969, Luigi Avanti pastoral collaborator at the oratory of Lodi. Passionate about engines (with overalls and helmet), he has toured the track and opened a museum dedicated to Regazzoni. In many years of commitment with the club he has met Ivan Capelli, Alex Zanardi, Michele Alboreto and Jarno Trulli

Driving his Alfa 147 he drove around the Monza racetrack. Luigi Avanti, 76, has always been an eclectic priest with a passion for the roar of engines and Formula 1. Those who know him are used to seeing him from time to time wearing a full-face helmet and pilot suit. A passion that his parishioners have learned to appreciate in over 50 years of priesthood in the villages of the Lodi countryside. Don Luigi Avanti chose the priestly life, which he carries out with total dedication, but in his free time he has always cultivated a love for racing cars. Born in Lodi Vecchio, Don Luigi, ordained a priest in 1969, spent almost 30 years in the parish of Cadilana, a hamlet of Corte Palasio. Today pastoral collaborator at the oratory of San Bernardo in Lodi.

Passion for engines

For me motors are a hobby, it being understood that my first mission remains that of a priest – explains Don Avanti -. Indeed, thanks to the passion for Formula 1 and rally, over the years, I have managed to bring many faithful closer. The Lodi parish priest added a social mission to his love for engines, with the birth of the club founded together with Clay Regazzoni, the Swiss driver (who drove Ferrari in the 70s), who since 1994 has been raising funds to be allocated to hospitals to help paraplegic patients. Regazzoni, who ended up in a wheelchair after an accident on the track in 1980, dedicated the rest of his life (until his death in 2006) to raising funds for people like him who were forced to live in a wheelchair. A precious activity, which in 28 years has made it possible to raise over one million euros. Clay Regazzoni was a great – recalls the priest -, a character of enormous humanity and I gladly put myself at the service of the cause, that of the fight against paraplegia. Among modern pilots there are no longer such charismatic figures. And even Formula 1 is no longer the same.

Formula 1 drivers

Don Luigi knows everything about the secrets of the paddock, so much so that he is nicknamed the priest of the riders. In many years of commitment with the club he has met Ivan Capelli, Alex Zanardi, Michele Alboreto, Jarno Trulli, Gian Carlo Minardi. A series of knowledge that the don has collected in a museum that bears the name of Regazzoni in Cadilana. In the hall on the first floor of the church of which Don Avanti was parish priest until October 2021, inside it houses the reproduction of a Formula 1, the 1993 Minardi. Then, models of racing cars, trophies, original racing suits offered by champions , but also a series of racing helmets, including those of Regazzoni, Niki Lauda and Ivan Capelli. The museum is also an opportunity to collect donations – explains Don Luigi -. a museum dedicated to the history of Formula 1 and racing. Soon I will move him to the oratory of San Bernardo in Lodi, where I am in service today. The next appointment for the Regazzoni club is Sunday 24 April in Lodi, in the oratory of San Bernardo, where it will be held the 26th edition of the sports car exhibition. We continue with our commitment to raise funds to be used for scientific research in favor of paraplegics. A mission for us.

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April 11, 2022 (change April 11, 2022 | 06:52)

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