Formula 1's most experienced driver Rubens Barrichello has brought forward his Brazilian V8 Stock Car debut to this weekend at Curitiba.
The F1 turned IndyCar racer announced earlier this month his plan to contest the big-money, non-championship race at Interlagos on December 9 on condition of$113,000 being donated to the children's charity he founded with his friend Tony Kanaan. However, he will now also take in this weekend's race plus the following event at Brasilia to acclimatize to Full Time Sports' Peugeot 408 machine.
The 40-year-old Brazilian had his first test in the car at Curitiba on Monday, beginning with a series of four-lap stints in the morning and then undertaking a 40-minute race simulation during the afternoon. His best lap of around 1m21.5s would have put him 25th on the grid for the Curitiba V8 race earlier in the season.
"In the first laps, I thought of asking the guys to take off the doors, but I got used to it gradually," Barrichello said. "I still miss seeing the wheels move, but that's a touring car, not a single-seater, and I must learn to drive it"
He is due to test again at the same track on Thursday, benefiting from the three hours of pre-race running that V8 rookies are allowed.
Barrichello will carry No. 17 on his car in deference to V8 Stock Cars' most successful driver, Ingo Hoffmann, who was one of his childhood heroes.