American drivers form United Racing for Brazilian Endurance race Brazil's Siemens Granja 500 has become one of the most traditional endurance races in motor sports, and one of the coolest season-end gatherings for some of the top drivers in the...
American drivers form United Racing for Brazilian Endurance race
Brazil's Siemens Granja 500 has become one of the most traditional endurance races in motor sports, and one of the coolest season-end gatherings for some of the top drivers in the world. Now in its' 9th edition, this 500 miles, close to 12 hours race attracts names like Montoya, Barrichello, Fittipaldi, Castroneves, Wheldon, Massa and many more. They are joined by the best of the national Brazilian kart and car racing scene.
This year, some American drivers got their resources together and formed a team to race in this temple of motor sports: Patrick Long (Porsche factory driver, ALMS GT2 05 Champion, 24 hours of Le Mans and 12 hours of Sebring GT2 winner), Matt Jaskol (ASA Speed Truck Series 05 Champion, Stars of Karting Champion and Granja 500 podium in 04), Phil Giebler (F3000 points scorer, Stars of Karting regular, IPS race winner), Tim Maddux (Pro karting racer, Bondurant Racing School instructor) and Peter Starks enlisted the help of Jaskol's manager, Brazilian native Fernando Avallone of Ava Sports to manage the team and, in the space of a few weeks, United Racing was a reality with the support of overamerica, Oakley, Douglas Wheel and Ava Sports.
Tuesday 15th was the shake down at the Granja for the Americans, who were delighted to be part of this event. Long: "Now that our team has been built and our great sponsors have stood up to fund this effort; it's all about enjoyment. Don't get me wrong, we're going to Granja to stand on the Podium at the end of the 500 miles, but this is all about fun and adventure! It's great to be teamed with friends of mine who I grew up racing with. This reunion is long overdue! The level of competition here is something to take very serious. I know from my karting days how strong the Brazilian National scene is. Add a handful of Formula One and Indy Car Drivers who have won at every level and this is a melting pot of champions!! I can't wait... "
Jaskol:" At the end of the race last year, I was really tired from the whole effort, but when I climbed the podium and looked around me I saw Christian Fittipaldi, Wheldon, Barrichello, and all the others in the same state I was, super worn out but so happy to be standing there after all -- I knew I was hooked, and I had to come back with an All American team. I kept bothering Fernando, then Pat, and we finally got it together. I am very glad we made it here and now the real fun begins, there is this full week of testing before we start the race at midnight next Saturday, and from today's shake down I can say we are in the right direction. We are here to fight at the front."
There are 75 karts taking part in the race, as this is the limit imposed by the CIK/FIA to the track which is slightly shorter than a mile. Registration, last September, sold out in a matter of hours, and the event is televised through a major TV network in Brazil.