ETCC: Felipe Massa debut

Rising Brazilian star Felipe Massa is ready for his debut in the FIA European Super Touring Championship. The 20-year old reigning European and Italian Formula Renault champion, who has just clinched the 2001 Euro F3000 Series crown, joins regular...

Rising Brazilian star Felipe Massa is ready for his debut in the FIA European Super Touring Championship. The 20-year old reigning European and Italian Formula Renault champion, who has just clinched the 2001 Euro F3000 Series crown, joins regular Nordauto drivers Fabrizio Giovanardi, Nicola Larini and Romana Bernardoni, driving an Alfa Romeo 156 in Jarama. Massa has also just returned from his first Formula One test at Mugello, where he set fast times in a Sauber-Petronas.

"I'm jumping back and forth between Formula 3000, Formula One and Super Touring. This is by far the most intense and exciting end of season of my racing career and although I'm still young, I have been in this business for eleven years. But now I feel I am at a turning point: I have won the Euro F3000 Series, I have been called to test in Formula One and Alfa Romeo is giving me this great opportunity of racing a factory car in the FIA European Touring Car Championship. This is the result of all the work and sacrifices I have made since I started racing. Whatever happens in the future I know I will remember this period and I know that all the experiences I'm having in so many different cars will be very important for my growth as a professional racing driver."

"The most important thing for me now is too keep cool and take it easy. Switching from Formula 3000 to Formula One and then taking the wheel of a Super Touring Alfa Romeo might be really confusing, because all these cars are so different to drive. But I am absolutely convinced that a good driver must be able to drive on the limit in many different kinds of car as possible. And so far everything is going well for me: I was quick in the Sauber at Mugello and also in the Alfa 156 at Varano."

"I like the Touring Car environment very much, and I am very grateful to Nordauto for giving me the opportunity to show what I can do in such a difficult championship as the FIA European Super Touring. I really want to do a good job for them ; they called me to help Giovanardi and Larini to secure the European title for Alfa Romeo and I will do my best to accomplish this task. It's a great honor for me to wear the Alfa Romeo brand on my racing overalls. I am sure it will be a big boost for my image and it is also a way to be linked to the Fiat Group that is represented by Ferrari in Formula One."

"After the good times I set in my first Formula One test at Mugello, everybody is calling me the new Senna. I feel really flattered, but I want to keep my feet on the ground. Ayrton Senna was one of the greatest racing drivers of all times and I have done only one brief test in Formula One. That is definitely not enough to judge me by. I think that there was only one Senna, just like is only one Nelson Piquet and there is only one Michael Schumacher. My only goal is to do my best and to be identified as Felipe Massa. If I could achieve half the success that Senna claimed in his fabulous career, then I should be the happiest man in the world. But for now, I remain totally focused on driving the Super Touring Alfa Romeo in the final rounds of the European Championship."

-etcc-

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Series General
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Fabrizio Giovanardi , Felipe Massa , Ayrton Senna , Nelson Piquet , Nicola Larini
Teams Sauber