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Leticia Bufoni makes promising Porsche Cup Brazil debut

World-renowned professional skateboarder Leticia Bufoni made her car racing debut in Porsche Cup Brazil with a highly promising performance in Goiânia, where she showed big potential and good racecraft in tricky weather conditions.


Leticia Bufoni, Porsche Cup Brazil
Photo credits: Rafael Gagliano Fotografia

World-renowned professional skateboarder and a six-time X-Games gold medalist Leticia Bufoni made her car racing debut at the wheel of the Porsche 991 GT3 Cup car in the Sprint Trophy category of the Porsche Cup Brazil championship, as the 2024 season got underway at the Autódromo Internacional Ayrton Senna in Goiânia.


Bufoni's debut in car racing doesn't come completely out of the blue for the Brazilian-American athlete, as her interest for extreme sports has included motorsport for a while and she has previously driven off-road competition vehicles. This year, though, Bufoni will take her passion to the next level and has partnered with Mobil 1 in an all-female team that also features 2023 champion Antonella Bassani.


“I'm very happy with this partnership with Mobil for the Porsche Cup", Leticia said. "It's really cool to know that a brand of this size believes in my potential in motorsport. The brand has everything to do with me and I really like its purpose and values. They invest a lot in new talent and, especially, in the female audience. I think this partnership has already been a success”.


Bufoni, who described her new adventure in the Porsche Cup Brazil as a dream, is eager to learn and develop her racecraft while having fun in this new challenge for her already established sporting career, which is set to bring extra attention to the Brazilian one-make series. She will enter the Sprint Trophy class, a category aimed at training and developing new drivers, with the prospect of moving up to the Sprint Challenge category next season.


“I am very proud to have a team with two women on track this year", commented Regina Franzé, Marketing Director of the championship. "The Porsche Cup has always embraced initiatives that bring women even closer to the world of motorsport, such as the FIA ​​Girls On Track and other campaigns linked to the female audience, the Pink October actions, for example. We are pleased to have even more women in all roles this year.”


Leticia Bufoni, Porsche Cup Brazil
Photo credits: Luca Bassani

With 65 drivers confirmed across the classes, the 2024 season was off to an exciting start at Goiânia, with action-packed races in tricky mixed weather conditions. The new Trophy class had an extra practice session on Friday and saw Silvio Morestoni and Jose Moura Neto taking the top spot on the timing screens. Leticia Bufoni completed the first day at the wheel of the #13 Porsche in 14th place overall, with a best lap of 1:35.748 that also put her 10th in the Sport sub-class.


Her times improved significantly in qualifying, when she managed to clock a 1:32.483 which was good enough for eleventh overall and eighth in the Sport class. Pole position went to Silvio Morestoni, ahead of André Rosario and José Moura Neto.

Rain just before the first race of the season was an extra variable for the drivers - and a bigger challenge for the rookies, who had only tested on slick tyres over the weekend.


Leticia Bufoni started eleventh, as the safety car led the pack through the opening lap before pulling in the pitlane. The green flag waved and Silvio Morestoni had his mirrors full of Andre Rosario, who made a move stick early in the first lap. Araujo went around due to the tricky conditions - which didn't worry Bufoni, who gained two positions over the first lap, before eventually settling in tenth.


Netto and Ferrer were also caught out - and Bufoni climbed to eighth, making impressive progress in her first ever race. Running on par with the cars ahead, she consistently improved her personal best at each lap - clocking her first lap under the 1:42 mark on lap 4. In doing so, she tried to pull away from Cyntrynbaum and closed in on Gustavo Costa, now less than 1.5 second ahead.


One lap later, she had gained one further second and made a move stick for seventh overall - and second in the Sport class - on lap 6, just before the safety car was deployed for a spun car.


Racing resumed with five minutes to go and Bufoni was back on the hunt, with Neto Heil in her target for the class lead. Heil, though, had a brilliant restart and made up three places to slot into fourth overall, as former race leader Silvio Morestoni dropped down the order, amidst more spinning cars.


Leticia Bufoni, Porsche Cup Brazil
Photo credits: Porsche Cup Brasil

Bufoni seized the opportunity and snatched sixth overall following another off track moment for Morestoni. Bufoni's new personal best in 1:41.1 allowed her to close again on fifth-placed Fabricio Simoes, and they would trade positions on the penultimate lap. While steadily in the battle for fifth overall, Bufoni was hit and spun around by Netto in the final corner of the race - and would ultimately cross the finish line in 12th place overall.


“I was in second place in my class, I stayed there for more than half the race and I was already pointing to the last straight when I ended up suffering a contact and was spun", Bufoni commented after the race. "I was upset, I didn't think it was fair, but these are racing things and I have to get used to it."


Nevertheless, she still managed to cross the finish line fifth in the Sport class, which resulted in a podium for her top five.

"Still, happy with the result and with being on the podium today in Goiânia", Bufoni continued. "It was a great debut, I started in fourth and managed to move up to third at the beginning, in the middle of the race I managed to move up to second and tried to catch up to first, but he was too fast."


"The track was very slippery, so it took a lot of calm to avoid making a mistake", she explained, having driven a very mature race in extremely tricky conditions that usually reward the most experienced drivers. "Unfortunately this incident in the last corner cost me second place, but let's go to the next race and I can be even better.” - an overall satisfied Leticia summed up.


Despite the unfortunate end of the race, in fact, Leticia Bufoni had certainly shown big potential and good racecraft. Coming into the second round at Velocitta Circuit, which will be held on the first weekend of April, she will have the chance to make further progress and continue to impress.

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