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  • Writer's pictureRACERS

Leticia Bufoni tops personal best in Porsche Cup Brasil with P4 in Interlagos

Racing rookie Leticia Bufoni has been making strides in Porsche Cup Brazil: at the third round in Interlagos, she was in the top three for the first time in qualifying and went on to claim a remarkable fourth in the Sprint Trophy race.

Leticia Bufoni, Porsche Cup Brazil, Porsche 991 GT3 Cup, 2024 Interlagos
Photo credits: Porsche Cup Brazil

Racing rookie Leticia Bufoni has been making strides in Porsche Cup Brazil, where she is contesting the Sprint Trophy developmental category.

The Brazilian-American – globally recognized for her skateboarding career, which gained her six X Games gold medals – recently started her motor racing journey and, as part of an all female team sponsored by Mobil 1, Bufoni immediately impressed.

On her racing debut at Goiania, Bufoni was on course to collect her first podium when she was tagged on the final corner of the final lap from second in class. Nevertheless, her speed and natural talent behind the wheel was immediately noticeable and she went on to score a sixth place in the second round at Velocitta.

As the Porsche one-make series headed to the home of Brazilian motorsport at Interlagos, Leticia Bufoni aimed to return to the podium, while continuing the learning progress typical of a rookie driver. As part of the 50th anniversary of Mobil 1, Bufoni and teammate Antonella Bassani – who competes in the Challenge category – sported a special black and gold livery which ended up being a lucky charm for drivers, who both enjoyed widely positive weekends in the third round of the championship.

Bufoni's weekend started with a third place in the test session on Friday, which set the tone for the rest of the round. With a 1:45.050 best lap, Leticia was just two tenths away from second place – and although an issue in the second practice prevented her from improving, she entered qualifying on Saturday with high hopes.

And indeed, the driver of the #13 Porsche 991 GT3 Cup car delivered a sensational performance in qualifying, setting the third fastest time on her second flying run, stopping the clock on 1:44.618 – which represented a further improvement of almost half a second from her testing reference. Pole position went to championship leader SIlvio Morestoni, who was once again unchallenged and preceded Gabriel Liber in second.

Following her best qualifying to date, Leticia would therefore share the second row of the grid with Denis Ferrer for Sunday morning's race.

Morestoni led Liber, and Bufoni at the start of the third race of the new Sprint Trophy category; a few yellow flags displayed into turn 1 caught out some drivers, while the race had indeed gone green. Bufoni luckily held third place, but lost touch to Morestoni and Liber, now over two seconds ahead after the first lap.

Several cars spun after contacts, but everyone could rejoin in rather chaotic opening laps. While the top-two soon opened a gap, Bufoni's pace was good enough to keep Ferrer, Neto and Araujo at bay – until the recovering Jose Moura Neto found a way past on lap 3.

Leticia Bufoni, Porsche Cup Brazil, Porsche 991 GT3 Cup, 2024 Interlagos
Photo credits: Porsche Cup Brazil

A multiple-car contact at turn 4 saw Ferrer and Costa going around, but both could make their way back to the pits and no neutralization was deemed necessary.

Meanwhile, Bufoni's pace continued to improve and clocked her first laps in the 1:45 bracket, although she now had to defend from William Araujo. She showed once again great defensive driving, as the two swapped positions but the driver of the Mobil 1-sponsored Porsche always switched back and kept fourth, in a smart and skilled maneuver.

When Araujo spun and dropped to tenth place, Bufoni could finally focus on her pace, as she now enjoyed an 8 second margin to Fernando Arruda behind.

Behind them, a big group of cars which included Cardoso, Araujo, Marques, and Cyntrimbaum battled fiercely for seventh.

With two minutes to go, a mistake at turn one for the race leader Silvio Morestoni saw Gabriel Liber taking the top spot with just a couple of laps to go; he could initially retain second, thanks to the big gap he had built over Moura Neto – but the latter was now on the move.

In the closing stages, Leticia Bufoni started to struggle for pace and saw her gap to Arruda quickly shrinking. With one lap to go, Bufoni defended with determination and crossed the finish line in fourth place, thus collecting her career best result to date in Porsche Cup Brazil.

Gabriel Liber took victory, ahead of Moura Neto – who eventually found a way past championship leader Silvio Morestoni on the final lap.

Bufoni's fourth place overall was another significant step forward for the only female driver on the grid, who collected important points and got to stand on the podium for her top five.

"Very happy with the result, on Friday I was finding it almost impossible to improve my lap time at Interlagos and yesterday I achieved a very good qualifying, so it was a very special day and I can say that Interlagos is my favorite track so far", she summed up.



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