Raphael Matos joins Brazilian Stock Car V8 series in 2013
Multi-category open wheel champion Raphael Matos will be a busy man in 2013, as the IndyCar veteran announced that he has been signed by the Hot-Car squad to contest the full 2013 Brazilian Stock Car V8 Series in his native Brazil.
|Raphael Matos - another open wheel driver forced to drive stock cars to make a living|
Matos has raced a select schedule of Brazilian Stock Car events as a guest driver over the past two years, but the 2013 season will mark his first-ever full-season effort in the highly competitive championship, which will also feature fellow former IndyCar pilot Rubens Barrichello.
Led by former champion Amadeu Rodrigues, Hot-Car is a competitive team and will see Matos help to carry the Chevrolet banner as he campaigns the No. 2 Sonic machine with sponsorship from Bardahl, a traditional fuel additives producer.
“The team is awesome and has all the tools to deliver,” said Matos. “Amadeu is a quite respected team owner and I know that we can fight for podiums as soon as the flag drops. The chance of making 2012 last two races (with Bassani Racing) was perfect to show me the high level of the series and that I can be competitive. This year was good, but I was missing the chance of making a whole championship, and the deal came in perfect time.”
In addition to his Brazilian-based campaign, Matos will be racking up the frequent flyer miles as he also looks forward to a busy schedule of racing in North America, starting with the Rolex 24 At Daytona January 26-27. Matos will join Scudaria Corsa, teaming with co-drivers Chico Longo, Xandinho Negrao, and Daniel Serra (son of former F-1 driver Chico Serra) in the NO. 64 Ferrari 458 for the GRAND-AM season opener. Matos is continuing to finalize his North American schedule, which will see him likely contest the longer endurance events.
The season-opener will see Matos look to once again win the Rolex 24 At Daytona, having scored a GT Class victory in 2008 in a Mazda RX-8.
"Fortunately I have the doors open at Ferrari of North America, after having driven for them at Daytona and Sebring, and I still hope to have one more Rolex Daytona Cosmograph at my wrist.”
“Raffa,” as he is also known, also has the support of Ativas, Symantec and IMM Impermeabilizers. He brings to the series and to the team his experience of 11 years racing in the USA virtually everything, from formulas to LMP 2 prototypes, which made him respected by squads like Andretti Autosport, Dragon, Speedsource, Performance Tech and Risi Competizione.
Despite showing strength in the final two rounds of the 2012 season, Matos will have some new tracks to learn and some to be re-acquainted with, not having run on several since he left Brazil in 2001. But with everyone in the Brazilian Stock Car field having to adapt to an all-new Pirelli tire, his learning curve could be smoothed as he takes on the new challenge along with his competitors.
"Everybody needs to adapt, and it helps us,” said Matos, who has also proven victorious in Daytona Prototype competition. The 31-year Belo Horizonte's born driver will have a full 2013 ahead, and he is looking forward to making the most of every opportunity.
Stock Car V8
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