Sao Paulo, Brazil (24 March 2014) – Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian driver Ozz Negri made a much-relished return to racing in Brazil this weekend as he was invited to race in the high-profile season opening event of the hugely popular Brazilian Stock Car series at Interlagos. The weekend marked his first time racing on the Formula 1-grade track after some 23 years.
It was a quick turnaround for Negri after finishing in the top-10 just the weekend before in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
Racing as an invited co-driver as part of a star-studded field, Negri joined 2008 Champion Ricardo Mauricio and the Euroforma RC squad in the No. 90 Eurofarma car to tackle the 2.677-mile track.
The historic circuit also holds special meaning for Negri as it is in his hometown of Sao Paulo and provided two very important firsts for him: his first time in a race car and his very first race win (both in Formula Ford). The Eurofarma car started the event 22nd after what Negri termed a bit of an “ill car" in qualifying, but fought forward through some challenging conditions during the race. Unfortunately, contact from another car cost the effort critical track position, but Negri was able to bring the car home 15th at the finish in the 33-car field.
While he had been hoping for a podium return at the fabled and fast facility, Negri still counted the race and the weekend as a success.
“I had an amazing time here in Brazil," said Negri after the race. “So many fans and family came out to see me, it was overwhelming. Stock Car racing in Brazil is extremely competitive and there are so many super high level drivers, I was happily surprised. I wish we could have brought home a better result, especially for the many fans that came out to Interlagos to support me, specifically my family members. But Ricardo Mauricio, Max Wilson and Dean Canto were amazing teammates and I felt at home just like if I was at (Mike) Shank's. In the end, that is racing and it was still a great time here in Brazil."
Negri now looks forward to a short one-week break in racing before heading to Long Beach, California to re-join the Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian team to contest the Tequila Patron SportsCar Showcase on April 12th in the TUDOR United Sports Car Championship.
“I’m really happy to have had this experience and to race again at Interlagos," said Negri. “It was a great weekend and I cannot wait for Long Beach."