Brazilian V8 Stock Cars: Learning a new track. On the wet

Longer than Interlagos, tricky and with few run-off areas. Drivers expect a challenging round in Minas Gerais, as Argentina?s Nestor Girolami sets the pace on Friday

The drivers had an extra challenge this Friday during the first day of activities for the 11th round of Brazilian V8 Stock Cars, which is being held at the city of Curvelo, Minas Gerais. The ‘Circuito dos Cristais’ racetrack comprehends a 4.420-km circuit - longer than Interlagos, for example -, and is new for everyone in the field. Besides having to learn a new, 18-corner track, the competitors had to do it in the wet.

After the shakedown and the extra session, cars could hit the tarmac on a dry surface. Laptimes dropped, and Eisenbahn’s racer Nestor Girolami set the fastest lap with a 1min52s593. "The team gave me a good car, easy to handle, and this is important when you are learning a new track", said the Argentinian, who was only 0s073 quicker than Marcos Gomes.

The scenario is no different to what Girolami has been used to this season. The twice-Super TC2000 champion in his native Argentina had to learn almost every track from the Stock Car calendar - the only exceptions were Interlagos and Goiânia, where he had raced on last year.

"During the whole year I’ve been using the first free practices to get used to the circuits, so it is no different for me now - I think this is the first time I go to the car having no disadvantage regarding the other competitors", he said, praising the features of the track. "I liked it. It is very technical and demanding".

Qualifying takes place this Saturday. On Sunday, Race 1 begins at 1 pm (local time), and Race 2 at 2:10 pm.

Free Practice 1:
1-) 63 Nestor Girolami (Eisenbahn Racing Team) - 1min52s593
2-) 80 Marcos Gomes (Cimed Racing) - 1min52s666
3-) 65 Max Wilson Eurofarma RC) - 1min52s780
4-) 88 Felipe Fraga (Cimed Racing) - 1min52s831
5-) 10 Ricardo Zonta (Shell Racing) - 1min52s877
6-) 111 Rubens Barrichello (Full Time Sports) - 1min52s950
7-) 77 Valdeno Brito (TMG Racing) - 1min53s110
8-) 83 Gabriel Casagrande (Axalta C2 Team) - 1min53s180
9-) 12 Lucas Foresti (Full Time Pro-GP) - 1min53s194
10-) 90 Ricardo Mauricio (Eurofarma-RC) - 1min153s245
11-) 4 Julio Campos (Axalta C2 Team) - 1min53s266
12-) 46 Vitor Genz (Eisenbahn Racing Team) - 1min53s315
13-) 10 Átila Abreu (Shell Racing) - 1min53s316
14-) 18 Allam Khodair (Full Time Sports) - 1min53s438
15-) 110 Felipe Lapenna (Hot Car Competições) - 1min53s452
16-) 73 Sergio Jimenez (Cavaleiro Sports) - 1min53.465
17-) 70 Diego Nunes (União Química Racing) - 1min53s666
18-) 28 Galid Osman (Ipiranga-RCM) - 1min53s767
19-) 0 Cacá Bueno (Red Bull Racing) - 1min53s773
20-) 8 Rafael Suzuki (Vogel Motorsport) - 1min53s842
21-) 25 Tuka Rocha (RZ Motorsport) - 1min53s934
22-) 5 Denis Navarro (Vogel Motorsport) - 1min54s163
23-) 99 Xandynho Negrão (Cavaleiro Sports) - 1min54s182
24-) 117 Guilherme Salas (RZ Motorsport) - 1min54s270
25-) 3 Bia Figueiredo (União Química Racing) - 1min54s436
26-) 26 Raphael Abbate (Hot Car Competições) - 1min54s955
27-) 21 Thiago Camilo (Ipiranga-RCM) - sem tempo