Massa and Di Grassi defeat Barrichello’s team at Granja 500
Ferrari star Felipe Massa and Renault third driver Lucas di Grassi won the 2010 edition of the Granja Viana 500 Mile race on Saturday in Cotia near São Paulo. The Formula 1 duo was joined in the outstanding Brazilian endurance race by Stock Car Light frontrunner Julio Campos, who lined up along with Massa on his maiden victory in the event back in 1997. After almost 11 hours of action, Massa crossed the star-finish line waving his arms as he was rocking his first son Felipinho, born last Monday in São Paulo. Former BAR and Toyota driver Ricardo Zonta led the Techspeed squad to second spot, beating Rubens Barrichello’s superteam by less than 10 seconds.
In fact, Massa and his mates cruised to a deserved and easy victory from lights to flag. Polesitter Bruno Junqueira lost some time in the Le Mans-style start and was passed by Massa before the first turn. Massa dropped to third in the early stages, but soon was able to regain the first position. Until the end of the race, with the equipment showing no signs at all of problems, the winners only conceded his place during the mandatory 15-minute pit stop.
"I think we got what we deserved, as we took the lead right from the start. We could manage to set up a strong team, which pace all over the race was quite similar. I have to thank our team manager Renato Marlia, who gave us a perfect kart, and my mates Di Grassi and Campos. They did very well, saving the equipment and not putting a wheel wrong during the entire race", commented Massa.
The 2008 Formula 1 runner up offered the victory to Felipinho. "I did not plan to do anything for him with much advance, because these things usually don’t work as you imagine. Towards the end of the race, however, I started thinking on how to show my love for him. This victory is totally dedicated to my little son", explained.
Massa has been experiencing a personal fantastic end of the season, after the serious injuries suffered during the Hungarian GP qualifying on July. "I spent a huge amount of time in front of my TV set, just watching Formula 1 and dreaming about the moment to comeback. This has been a nice recovery, with my victory in the second heat of the International Challenge of Go-Kart Champions last week in Florianopolis and now with this result at Granja Viana, an ever-challenging long and tough competition."
Granja Viana 500 Mile Top 10 finishers
1 - Felipe Massa, Lucas di Grassi e J£lio Campos, 644 laps in 10h58min17s642
2 - Leonardo Nienkotter, Ricardo Zonta, André Nicastro, Francesco Ventre, Eduardo Dieter and Guilherme Silva, 642
3 - Rubens Barrichello, Tony Kanaan, Felipe Giaffone, Renato Russo and Osvaldo Negri, 642
4 - Nelsinho Stanisci, Jefferson Muccio, Sebe Malucelli, Alan Siedell, Allan Syrthes, Victor Calman and Arthur Guilherme, 640
5 - Onassis de Souza, Denis Dirani, Sérgio Jimenez and André Matinha, 639
6 - Vinicius de Souza, André Matinha and Fábio Orsolon, 639
7 - Luiz Cordeiro Filho, Yan Cunha and Igor Veras, 639
8 - Rodrigo Stephani, Yuri Alves, Fernando Carvalho and Joel Mendes Jr., 638
9 - Marcelo Monteiro, Marcelo Oliveira, Henrique Lambert and Jelson Teixeira, 637
10 - Felipes Apezzatto, Felipe Lapenna, Galid Osman, Victor Guerin and Dudu Massa, 636