Bruna Tomaselli and Kaká Magno score important points in the 4th round of the Stock Series
Despite the intense heat faced by the drivers during the weekend at the Velopark Circuit, the two women on the Stock Series grid - Bruna Tomaselli and Kaká Magno - achieved good results over the three races of the fourth round, scoring a good haul of points.
The Stock Series kicked off the second half of the 2023 season between September 14th - 17th, at the Velopark International Circuit, in Nova Santa Rita, southern Brazil. The first track activities were an extra training session on Thursday, followed by free practice on Friday and the two women on the grid - Kaká Magno and Bruna Tomaselli - had the opportunity to get back in behind the wheel of their respective cars after 3 months of inactivity after the third round held in June.
The Velopark track has a relatively short layout - 2,278m long, and during the sessions most of the drivers recorded laps under 1 minute. Despite the problems with the brakes that took her out of FP1, in the previous session - exclusively for rookies - Bruna Tomaselli recorded a 0:58.760 that put her in 4th position. Kaká Magno also had a very positive session and set a lap time of 1:01.082 during FP1.
In qualifying for the two races the whole field was incredibly close but it would be Zezinho Muggiati from W2 Racing ProGP to secure both pole positions; Garra Racing Team's Bruna Tomaselli qualified 10th in both sessions and Kaká Magno (RTR Sport Team) slotted in 12th.
Before the races, the two women of the championship spoke about the work done throughout the 2023 season.
For Kaká Magno - who is contesting her first season in the series - the main objective has been to gain experience aboard the machine, aiming to be in a good position to fight at the top next season: “It was a learning start and it was about getting to know the whole car. We are adapting to its handling."
"But I'm sure that 2024 will be much better", she continued. "I'm very excited and I want to make the most of it so that, in 2024, I can compete up front."
"My goal is to improve with each round and get as much experience as possible with the Stock Series car and get to where I want to be.” - she said.
Bruna Tomaselli - who is also making her debut in the series - sees the adaptation and transition work as positive, after competing in W Series in previous seasons:
“I evaluate it as a good first half", Bruna commented. "I adapted well to the car. Having always competed in formula, I think I managed to adapt well. We had good races, and at every round we were always learning and improving, and that continues to be our goal for this year.”
She continues: “I believe that the results were not better because we had some unforeseen events, problems with the car and some other things that happened, but I think that together with the team, we are doing a good job and we are on the way to get our first podium in the championship.”
The first race of the weekend started on Saturday afternoon, under strong heat at the racetrack. The action was neutralized shortly after the lights went out: at the first corners, Vinicius Papareli hit trouble and his #218 RTR car came to a halt off the track. The safety car was deployed and remained on the track for three laps, so that the vehicle could be removed by marshals.
When the green waved again, pole sitter Zezinho Muggiati held the lead, closely followed by Gabriel Robe and Felipe Barrichello. Bruna Tomaselli was in 8th and Kaká Magno in 10th, followed by Pietro Rimbano, who started from the pit lane. Still on the main straight, Tomaselli was overtaken by Magno and Hugo Cibien, briefly dropping to P10. Her recovery from the lost positions began when Arthur Gama entered the pit-lane to serve the drive-through penalty he had received, and continued on lap 5, when Tomaselli battled Magno once again.
In the following laps Muggiati managed to extend the gap to his competitors and secured victory unchallenged; Rimbano had already passed Kaká Magno and overtook Bruna Tomaselli with less than 10 minutes to go. After a tire puncture for Enzo Bedani's #98 car, Tomaselli crossed the finish line in P8, but she was promoted to 7th when Cibien received a 5 second penalty. At the end of lap 20, Kaká Magno spun at the entrance to the main straight, but she managed to quickly rejoin and completed the top 10 in race 1.
Just like the first contest, race 2 started with Zezinho Muggiati at the front of the field; Bruna Tomaselli lined up in 10th position and Kaká Magno in 12th. Several overtakes took place over the first laps, in a fight for third place as well as further down the field, with Vinicius Papareli passing Tomaselli - who dropped to P11, and Pietro Rimbano.
In the following laps, while Muggiati opened the gap to second place, 4 drivers were very closely battling for eighth: Hugo Cibien, Vinicius Papareli, Pietro Rimbano and Bruna Tomaselli. For two consecutive laps Cibien made a mistake at the braking point of turn 7 and was overtaken by Tomaselli, who reclaimed tenth. Then, when trying to pass Rimbano, Papareli collided with a tire barrier on the inside curb of turn 7, damaging the front of his car, in addition to hitting his opponent. The accident brought out the safety car and neutralized the disputes until lap 11.
Before the restart, the race direction had announced the disqualification of Vinicius Papareli for having caused the collision. With just over 5 minutes to go, Bruna Tomaselli was in 8th place and Kaká Magno in 10th. In the last laps, the main battle on track saw Felipe Papazissis and Tomaselli trading places for seventh - and Bruna got the better of it with a great pass on lap 13. Papazissis still tried to fight back, but Tomaselli kept 7th until she crossed the finish line. Zezinho Muggiati had no trouble securing his second victory of the round and Kaká Magno completed the top 10 with a solid race.
In the last race of the weekend at the Velopark Circuit, Bruna Tomaselli started at the front of the grid for the first time - in 2nd position, alongside Felipe Papazissis, who was in pole position, due to the result of the previous race. Kaká Magno would line up in P10, followed by Pietro Rimbano.
At the start, Tomaselli, who was on the outside of turn 1, lost out to her teammate Arthur Gama, dropping to P3. Further down the order, Rimbano overtook Magno and in the first lap he had already reached eighth. Shortly afterwards, Gabriel Robe suffered a failure in his car's suspension, causing the safety car to be deployed.
The race was restarted four laps later, with Papazissis still in first, Tomaselli in third and Magno in 10th. Unfortunately, Kaká received a 40-second penalty for activating the push-to-pass during the restart. The winner of races 1 and 2, Zezinho Muggiati had a good recovery and snatched third from Bruna. She still resisted Felipe Barrichello's pressure for some time, but eventually had to give up a position at the beginning of lap 11.
Muggiati and Bedani received a drive-through penalty for jumping the restart, so Tomaselli could grab fourth and Kaká Magno - who had already gained the position from Mathias de Valle, also continued her recovery drive moving up to 7th place. After a spin in turn 1 with just under 7 minutes to go, she managed to rejoin, however in 8th.
Felipe Papazissis led from start to finish and secured the victory in race 3, with Gama and Barrichello completing the podium. With visible damage to her car due to contact received, Bruna Tomaselli was caught by Rimbano on the penultimate lap and crossed the finish line in fifth - still equalling her best result of the season. Kaká Magno finished 8th and despite the time penalty she received, she secured a positive result and collected good points.
With two victories in the fourth round, Zezinho Muggiati returned to the top of the drivers' standings, now with 273 points. Bruna Tomaselli scored 44 points and gained two positions and is now 8th. Bruna is followed by Kaká Magno, who held 9th by collecting 39 points at Velopark Circuit.
The next round will take place in October, between the 26th and 29th, at the Velocittá Circuit, in Mogi-Mirim.