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Four months after his accident during qualifying for the Hungarian GP, Felipe Massa took a superb victory in the second heat of the International Challenge of Kart Champions in Florianopolis.
In his racing comeback, the Ferrari driver finished second overall in the standings though he was unable to match seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher's pace in the aggregate results. The German won the first leg on Saturday and today crossed the finish line in second spot, while his close friend Massa collected a third place on Saturday.
Antonio Pizzonia started on pole thanks to the GP2 reversed grid format, but his lead did not last long. He was soon passed by Rubens Barrichello, while Massa and Schumacher - respectively 6th and 8th in the grid - enjoyed an aggressive race to catch up with the front runners. In the final stages, Massa passed IRL Vitor Meira and Schummy demoted his former Maranello team mate Barrichello. Meira was the ultimate victim of the German, who followed Massa very closely in the final laps to take the chequered flag just 0.087 after the winner.
Massa and his special guest celebrated the outcome. "I proved that I'm as competitive as before. It's been a complicated year after everything that happened to me. I lost a precious time in my career and, after my recovery period, there were people in doubt about my return. Would he be able to race again? - they thought. I'm delighted with today's race, mainly because I lost two positions after the start. At the end I had to defend myself from Schumacher, because he was a bit quicker. Anyway, it was a fantastic event."
Schumacher won the event for the first time in 2007 and seemed to be near to score another victory in today's leg. "I felt just like in the old days, with me and Felipe atop of the podium. I'm very happy and proud for him. It was a good day for everybody and a nice race", said the German.
Heat 2 results
1: Felipe Massa 26:01.9802: Michael Schumacher + 0s0873: Vítor Meira + 1.3014: Rubens Barrichello + 1.9155: Marcos Gomes + 10.0386: Tony Kanaan + 12;8837: Max Wilson + 15.1598: Christian Fittipaldi + 19.8129: Raphael Mattos + 19.96110: Bia Figueiredo + 20.331
1: Michael Schumacher 42 2: Felipe Massa 363: Vítor Meira 264: Vitantonio Liuzzi 255: Rubens Barrichello 236: Tony Kanaan 197: Lucas di Grassi 138: Marcos Gomes 119: Max Wilson 910: Antonio Pizzonia and Christian Fittipaldi 8
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