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DATE News (chronologically)
11/27/07
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Rocketsports to test Brazilian
Rocketsports Racing will be testing Brazilian Alexandre “Xandi” Negrão this week at the Mercedes-Benz of Sugar Land Road Course in Houston, Texas as part of a driver evaluation. The team will take this opportunity to check out future race talent, while exploring their possibilities for the 2008 Champ Car World Series season. 

It has only been a few weeks since the 2007 Champ Car season finale in Mexico City, but Rocketsports Racing will not let the #8 Rocketsports Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone sit motionless in the East Lansing, Michigan-based race shop for long. The team has rolled the car back into the race hauler and transported it to the Lone Star State for a two-day test on November 28 and 29. Negrão will meet the team in Houston on Tuesday for introductions and a seat fitting, before taking the challenge behind the 750-hp Champ Car on the 2.38-mile permanent road course at MSR Houston on Wednesday and Thursday. 

Negrão, raced in the 2005 and 2006 GP2 Series seasons for HiTech/Piquet Sports team. The 22-year-old driver started his career in karting in 1998, where he continued to race until 2003. He joined the Piquet team in the South-American Formula Three series for the 2003 season, finishing third in the standings. He continued running with the team in 2004 and was crowned the South American F-3 champion after a dominating season performance highlighted by seven pole-positions and 10 wins – six of them in a row. That same year, Xandi got a taste of the British Formula Three series by competing in one race at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit. He was also crowned the Brazilian Endurance Champion with his father, Xandy, and uncle Guto, in an Audi DTM TTR, earning four victories in five races for Team Medley Genéricos. In 2005, Negrão made his debut in the GP2 Series, where he has been competing for the past three years with the Piquet team. The highlight of his 2007 season in the GP2 Series with Minardi Team Piquet was finishing second in the Grand Prix of Turkey at Istanbul Park.   

“This is a wonderful opportunity for me,” said Negrão. “I would like to thank Paul Gentilozzi and the Rocketsports Racing team for inviting me to come out and test their Champ Car. I look forward to getting behind the wheel and seeing what I can do. My passion is driving fast cars, and this gives me a great chance to try out a new race car. This will definitely enhance my overall experience as a driver and possibly open up opportunities for the future.” 

MSR Houston is a “Driver’s” track, where the racer can test the limits of their machinery and skills, but also learn to control their vehicle and expand both of these limits. It will be the perfect opportunity for Negrão to demonstrate his abilities while getting acclimated to a new race car this week during his test with Rocketsports.

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