Former grand prix driver Nelson Piquet Jr. will contest the Blancpain Sprint Series with BMW Team Brazil this year.
The 28-year-old, son of three-time Formula 1 world champion Nelson Piquet Sr, will drive one of the Brazilian team’s pair of BMW Z4s in a minimum of six of the seven rounds alongside an undisclosed teammate.
“Nelson was going to race with us at the Baku round [of BSS predecessor the FIA GT Series] last year, but couldn’t do it after they changed the date,” explained team boss Antonio Hermann. “We invited him for the full season this year and he is happy to join the category, because he thinks it is going to be very good this year.”
Piquet Jr added: “In 1983, my father won his second title in F1 with a BMW engine. More than 30 years on, I’m proud for the opportunity to be part of the success story between Piquet and BMW family.”
It is expected that Piquet Jr will miss the Brands Hatch round on May 17-18 because it clashes with a round of the U.S.-based Red Bull Global Rallycross series, which he is contesting with the Mitsubishi Xteam racing squad.
Piquet is testing the BMW for the first time at Nogaro today along with team regular Caca Bueno, and will continue his familiarisation at the official test of the Blancpain Sprint and Endurance Series at Paul Ricard tomorrow and Wednesday. Bueno is the only other confirmed driver ahead of the official announcement of the team’s program at the start of April.
The team will this year be based at premises near the Estoril circuit in Portugal, rather than running out of the SUNRED team’s workshops in Barcelona. BMW Team Brazil has no plans to contest any Endurance Series rounds this season.
Piquet Jr. won the Mil Milhas 1000-mile race at Interlagos in a team put together by Hermann in 2006. He shared the Cirtek-run Aston Martin DBR9 with father Nelson Piquet Sr., Helio Castroneves and Christophe Bouchut.