Thiago Camilo completed his recovery from a horrific crash at Curitiba two weeks ago to win the ‘Million Reais Race’ Brazilian V8 Stock Car event for the third time in his career.
After losing last year’s race to ex-F1 star Rubens Barrichello by just 0.186s at the finish line, Camilo’s celebration this Sunday in Goiania was more than just about the money.
Despite spending a night in hospital and undergoing intensive physiotherapy sessions on his left ankle after the huge crash (video, below), he bounced back by winning the very next round from 12th on the grid.
"It means much more than one million,” said Camilo, who has been wearing a protective boot on his ankle since the crash. “It was a special race for me. As a team we never stopped believing, and I want to thank God, my family, the doctors and my team.
“I could have been seriously hurt in that accident, and to step out of a completely destroyed car with just one swollen foot was a miracle.”
With a great start, jumping from 12th to fourth position in Turn 1, Camilo had a better pace then Daniel Serra, who was leading the race, and got ahead in the pitstop cycle.
"I knew I had a great car and in the pitstop I could jump ahead of Serra,” added Camilo.
Serra finished second. As only the winner takes all the money, the runner-up was sanguine.
"Of course I wanted this million – who wouldn’t possibly want to earn one million reais in just 45 minutes?” he said. "However, it was a great result for the championship. I jumped to second place in the standings and the gap to the leader is smaller now.”