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Brazilian Racing News: 2 European Titles Go to Brazilians, F-Palio Report and Standings

14 October 1997

Brazilians win 2 titles in Europe

Sunday, Luciano Burti became the first Brazilian to win the British F-Vauxhall championship. The driver from Sao Paulo had a 2 points lead over Andrew Kirkaldy, who retired after the first lap. Kirklady's withdrawal made Burti the champion when he retired after contact with his countryman Wagner Ebrahim.

"I had a great season, and I am very happy to win such a competitive championship," said Burti.

Burti will race for Paul Stewart Racing in F-3 in 1998. Paul Stewart Racing dominated this year with Burti and Justin Wilson. Andrew Kirkaldy and Wagner Ebrahim were the only drivers from another team to win F-3 races in the 1997 season.

Burti started racing late, and is now on the fastest up to F-1. As Jackie Stewart said: "Burti is my golden boy".

Marcelo Battistuzi, one of the best drivers of Brazil in the early 90s is now showing the same success in Europe that he displayed in Brazil in his karting days. Without a single sponsor (he is sponsored by 18 companies, each of which gave him US$ 5,000 for the whole season), he was European and German F-Opel champion.

A normal budget for the European F-Opel series alone is US$ 120,000, but Battistuzi raced in both series (he missed one race in the European championship and 4 races in the German championship).

"I would like to thank all my friends that believed in me and also my sponsors, because without them nothing would have been possible". Battistuzi will represent Brazil in the Nations Cup in Donington Park in October 18th and 19th.

"Battistuzi and Kanaan are the best brazilian drivers at the moment," declared the triple F-1 champion Nelso Piquet today in an interwiew.

Brazilian F-Palio championship (touring cars)

Paulo Gomes won the F-Palio A race in Guapora, South Brazil; he now leads the championship. Ingo Hoffman (former F-1 driver) started at the pole, but crashed against the pit wall, damaging his car. Ingo returned to the pits, fixed his car and returned to the track in the 26th position. Ingo drove an impressive race, crossing the finish line in second position. Ingo Hoffman, 10 times brazilian stock car champion, also competes in Brazilian F-Palio racing.

F-Palio is run with specially prepared Fiat Palios, and is one of the most competitive brazilian championships.

F-Palio Standings after 8 races

1. Paulo Gomes		64 points
2. Waldir Buneder	62 points
3. Beto Giorgi		58 points