At only 16 years old, Mark Kastelic is going to make a significant step in his racing career. After years in karting, he will sit behind the wheel of a Mercedes AMG GT4 car from the LEMA Racing team and is preparing for his debut in the ESET Cup and GT4 Italy.
How excited are you about transitioning from karting to racing the Mercedes AMG GT4 on major circuits?
I am very thankful for this opportunity because it is a worthy dream for most karting drivers. I am especially happy that we made the choice for the Mercedes GT4, because I have been connected to Mercedes Benz since the beginning of my karting career.
You will be racing in two series: GT4 Italy and the ESET Cup. Why did you choose these particular series?
We chose these two series so that I can get the most experience, as they cover a lot of test days, allowing me to get used to the car. These series also suit me because of the proximity of the race tracks and also because of the easier competition than in the ADAC and European championship.
What has been the biggest challenge in transitioning from karting to driving the Mercedes AMG GT4?
The biggest challenge was the braking and driving through the fast corners, especially the braking, because it’s hard to find the brake point in a car that weighs 1500 kg. The settings on the steering wheel were also a big challenge for me at the beginning, like ABS and traction control, which you have to change non-stop depending on the condition on the track.
How do the driving techniques and skills you developed in karting translate to handling a GT4 car on larger circuits?
The knowledge and experience I bring from karting are absolutely necessary to handle such a car. Don’t forget I am only 16 years old, so I practically don’t have any experience with a racing car.
What inspired you to make the move to GT4 racing?
I always wanted to drive a racing car at an early age, so it’s a dream come true for me. My long-term goals are to become a well-respected racing driver in many categories.
What are your specific goals for the 2024 season?
I want to achieve as many good results in those two series; towards the end of the season, I have a goal to test and drive a Lamborghini GT3.
How do you plan to approach your first races in the GT4 category?
I will spend most of the time in the simulator, which is very similar to the car. I want to approach the start of my season with no pressure because we know the first races are just the learning process to get along with the car and the team.
How long do you plan to commit to motorsport? What achievements have you attained, and which one are you most proud of?
I would like to race in the GT series as long as possible, and I would like to be connected with racing in one way or another for the rest of my life because racing has been a big part of my life since childhood. I have achieved some good results in karting: 1x WSK Euro Series 2nd place mini, Lonato, Italy; 1x WSK Euro Series 2nd place OKJ Adria, Italy; 1x Rgmmc 3rd place, Zuera, Spain; 5x Iame Italian Championship 1st place, and many more podiums in mini karts