One of the main series of Brazilian motorsport started the 2023 season at Interlagos Circuit with two women on the grid - Bruna Tomaselli and Kaká Magno.
Last weekend, the traditional Interlagos Circuit was the stage for the opening round of the 2023 season of the Stock Series - the entry category for the biggest series in Brazilian motorsport, the Stock Car Pro. This year's grid is made up of 12 drivers and two women will be present in the 6 rounds scheduled on the calendar. The first to be confirmed was Bruna Tomaselli, a driver with a lot of experience in single-seater racing and who has been in the W Series for the last two years. She returns to her home country to make her debut in a touring car competition and joins the Garra Racing Team.
Also on the grid is Kaká Magno, who was announced by the RTR Sport Team. The 35-year-old driver based in Italy has almost 15 years of experience in the sport, working her way up from kart and in categories such as South American F-4, Mercedes-Benz Challenge, Formula Inter. She also represented Brazil at the FIA Motorsport Games, in Paul Ricard - France, in 2022.
Activities at the circuit started on Thursday, April 20th, with an Extra Practice session, so that the drivers had the opportunity to get a little more accostumed with their cars. Pietro Rimbano had the best lap - 1:45.185, Bruna Tomaselli was in 4th, with a time of 1:46.770 and Kaká Magno in 12th, with a time of 1:56.891.
In the morning of the following day, the drivers returned to the track for two more training sessions, the first of which was dedicated only to rookies - which count up to 8 of the 12 drivers on the grid. Tomaselli set a time of 1:48.355 and Magno a 1:54.939, placing P7 and P8 respectively. In Free Practice 2 both recorded better lap times, where a 1:46.190 put Bruna Tomaselli in the top 5, and Kaká Magno in 11th with a time of 1:53.842.
Saturday, April 22, had a very intense schedule for the drivers who started their activities with the FP3. Both Tomaselli and Magno maintained an evolution in performance, setting their fastest laps across the four sessions - 1:45.506 and 1:50.288 respectively.
In the following session, the qualifications for races 1 and 2 were held - for race 3 the inverted grid system is adopted, considering the result of Race 2. Zezinho Muggiati, from W2 Racing, won pole position for the first two races of the season. Bruna Tomaselli took P6 for race one and P7 for the next one. Kaká Magno qualified P11 for both races.
The first race of the 2023 Stock Series season was dominated by Zezinho Mugiatti, who was in pole position and remained at the top of the grid until he crossed the finish line, securing his first victory of the weekend. The main battles happened at the beginning of the actions, where Bruna Tomaselli - who started in P7, had gained another position in the first corners.
The battle for 6th place proved intense between Tomaselli, Mathias Vale and Pipe Bartz, until Vale retired with technical issues. Tomaselli resisted the pressure, holding P6 until the end. Kaká Magno who started in P11 had lost control of her car #25 at the entrance of the "S of Senna" on lap 5, but she returned to the track to complete the race in 10th place.
"Long and positive day today at Interlagos. We finished the first race in P6. I'm happy to have debuted in the touring cars! We keep on improving and we're going for two more races tomorrow!" - said Tomaselli about the first race.
Just like in his debut race, Zezinho Mugiatti was in pole position, but this time he had to fight Pietro Rimbano for the lead. A little further back, Arthur Gama and Gabriel Robe traded third place and Bruna Tomaselli - who had started in 7th place - had already recovered one more position. In a duel against Enzo Bedani, Tomaselli's #97 car was damaged after receiving a heavy blow. She was eventually forced to retire from the race early. Pipe Bartz suffered a puncture and also had to retire.
As in race 1, Kaká Magno had started in 11th place and was already 9th on the leaderboard, when Enzo Bedani #98 touched Hugo Cibien's car #92, causing it to spin on the track. With little more than 1 minute left for the end, Magno had reached Cibien and the two had another fight on the Interlagos track, but Cibien ended up with 7th place. Bedani was given a 20-second penalty by the stewards, due to the incident with Hugo Cibien, securing 8th position for Kaká Magno - who thus became pole-sitter for race 3. Mugiatti had retaken the lead from Rimbano on lap 4, where he never left to guarantee another victory.
Kaká Magno had been the protagonist of a remarkable second race and, in the third race of the season, took pole position for the first time. After the work done by the mechanics, Bruna Tomaselli - who had abandoned race 2 - was able to rejoin the track, but had to start from the pit-lane. In the first actions, the leadership had two changes in the first sector of the circuit, where Hugo Cibien, who had taken the lead from Magno, had been surpassed by the winner of the other two races - Zezinho Mugiatti.
Still on the first lap, an incident involved Vinícius Paparelli, Arthur Gama and Mathias De Vale, but the three were able to continue. Shortly afterwards, the safety car had to be deployed, so that car #19 of Felipe Papazissis was removed from the gravel trap, after the driver lost control under braking at turn 4.
After 5 laps, the safety car was back in the pits and the whole field bunched up once again represented a good chance for Kaká Magno and Bruna Tomaselli - who was making a recovery race - to fight for better positions.
After drive-through penalties for Pipe Bartz - for starting out of position, and De Valle - for causing the incident on the first lap, Tomaselli was already up to 7th place and Magno in 9th.
At the beginning of lap 8, Bruna Tomaselli made a good overtake on Hugo Cibien - who had to make a pit-stop to change a punctured left front tire. Thus, Kaká Magno jumped up to 8th place. With a few minutes left on the clock, Vinícius Paparelli, who was in 6th place, received a 20-second penalty for using the overtaking button at the restart.
On the last lap, Tomaselli made another beautiful pass stick, clinching 6th position from Paparelli. And again, Zezinho Mugiatti saw the checkered flag in first place, with Bruna Tomaselli in 6th and Kaká Magno in 7th place.
After completing the race weekend, Kaká Magno and Bruna Tomaselli spoke about the first round of the Stock Series season:
"It was amazing to be on the grid and experience all this this weekend at Interlagos! In the extra practice on Thursday we had some problems with the engine and we ended up changing it, we managed to do some laps and get to know the machine a little. On Friday with 2 practices already we managed to evolve from one training session to another, on Saturday we had a training session in the morning and again we improved with each lap, unfortunately we made a mistake in the classification and lost the lap time." - said Kaká Magno.
"Race 1 was not as good as we had hoped, but we managed to improve as well", she concluded. "Races 2 and 3 were proof of the great evolution of every weekend of dedication and perseverance by my team and me."
"We started on pole position for the first time and managed to reach our goal. I would like to thank my team for delivering an impeccable car for the weekend and we managed to evolve together lap by lap!"
Bruna Tomaselli also shared her thoughts after Sunday's races:"It was an intense day. In race 2, I had to retire after being hit. We started from the pits in race 3 and managed to have a good pace and crossed the finish line in 6th place."
"I leave Interlagos confident for the season and happy with the touring car debut."
"Now, the focus is Tarumã!" - said the driver, who will start her preparation for the second round, which will take place at Tarumã Circuit, in the city of Viamão, from May 20th and 21st.
With the results obtained in the first round, the Stock Series drivers standings has Zezinho Muggiati as leader, with 84 points. Káká Magno is in 6th place with 38 points and Bruna Tomaselli, who scored 31 points, appears in 9th. Among the 8 rookies, Magno is in 4th and Tomaselli the 6th. The leader is Arthur Gama, with 78 points.