Bruno Senna will make his debut in the Brazilian Stock Car Championship at Interlagos on Dec. 15. The ex-Williams, Lotus and HRT Formula 1 driver has secured a guest drive in the Stock Cars season finale, which offers a prize of $365,000 to the winner.
Senna will drive a Peugeot 408-bodied machine entered under the GT Team Raizen banner alongside teammates Valdeno Brito and Popo Bueno.
This is the second-year in succession a big-name Brazilian has made a one-off appearance in this race after Rubens Barrichello did so last year, before committing full-time to the category in 2013.
“This is going to be a landmark in my career as it will represent my first race in a domestic championship,” said Senna. “It is going to be a tough challenge given the level of the drivers and the competitiveness of the series.”
Senna has raced for Aston Martin in the World Endurance Championship this season and is confident he will be able to adapt to the V8-powered silhouette machine he is driving at Interlagos.
“I’ve been racing in GTE so a car with a roof is not totally unknown for me,” he said. “I already know the track, which is good news, but of course I will look for the guys who also raced in Formula 1 to get some tips and ideas.”
This will be the first time a Senna has raced in a domestic car racing category in Brazil. Ayrton Senna, Bruno’s uncle, started car racing in the UK, while Bruno’s debut was in Formula BMW GB in 2004.
BIG NAMES IN BRAZIL
Bruno Senna will take on some well-known names from European single-seater racing when he races at Interlagos. Here are seven drivers familiar to motorsport fans in Europe who he will race against.
After leaving F1 at the end of 2011, Barrichello raced in IndyCar last year before signing a full-time deal to race a Chevrolet Sonic in Stock Cars this year. He currently lies 11th in the championship with a best finish of 11th at the Salvador circuit in May.
The former Jaguar and Prost F1 racer and Ferrari test driver has competed in Brazilian Stock Cars since 2005, winning two races and claiming three pole positions. He finished a career-best fifth in the ’05 and ’09 championships.
Best known for his IndyCar appearances with the Luczo Dragon Racing and AFS Racing teams from 2009-11, Matos is in his first full season in Stock Cars driving a Chevrolet Sonic. He stands 12th in the championship.
This ex-Red Bull junior Formula 3000 racer’s European opportunities dried up after winning Spanish Formula 3 in 2003, so he switched to Brazilian Stock Cars. He has started over 100 races, winning 10 of them as well as the 2008 title and goes into the season finale as one four drivers in the hunt for the crown along with Thiago Camilo, Daniel Serra and Caca Bueno.
Sperafico won two F3000 races in 2003 and went on to race in Champ Car before switching to Stock Cars in 2007, where brother and fellow ex-F3000 racer Rodrigo was already competing. He is currently 21st in the standings.
The former BAR, Jordan and Toyota F1 racer has raced in Brazilian Stock Cars since 2007. During that time, he has claimed one pole position, at Curitiba in 2009, and taken a best finish of second. He is currently 10th in the championship.
The former Williams test driver and F3000 podium finisher’s single-seater opportunities dried up after dabbling in Champ Car, but after switching to Stock Cars in 2009 he won the title a year later. Currently sixth in the standings.