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Underdogs beat F1 stars in Granja Viana

NEWS STORY
03/12/2006

You've probably never heard anything about them, but fifteen-year old Otávio Bonder and his team mates Antonio Ventre, José Eduardo Ventre, Bruno Pacetti and Lucas Rodrigues won the Granja Viana 500 Mile (10th edition) on Sunday at Katrodromo International Granja Viana in Cotia, near São Paulo, defeating Formula 1 and Indy Racing League stars Felipe Massa, Rubens Barrichello, Tony Kanaan, Dan Wheldon, Nelson Piquet Jr., Ricardo Zonta, Luciano Burti and many other national hot-shots.

The winning squad took the chequered flag with two laps of advantage over Barrichello's teammates, after more than 10 hours of a close battling for the leadership in the country's most outstanding karting race.

Pole-sitter Massa failed to cross the finish line. He lost the first position right after the Le Mans-style start and was running second at the beginning of the second hour, when was unable to avoid a shunt against a kart that had just spun in front of him. A broken axle meant around 30 laps for repairs. Massa still rejoined the race and was taken over by his pals João Paulo Bertuccelli, Ruben Carrapatoso and Rafael Derani, until the last one parked the kart in the garages for the last time with a third engine broken. "There was nothing I could do. When I realized, the guy just a few meters ahead", the Ferrari ace explained. "It was a shame, because our pace was quite good and we were capable of finishing in the top three positions."

With 10 laps remaining, Burti's team was second and trying to close the gap to the leaders, when suddenly the kart stopped. "I don't know what the problem was, but everything was perfect until that moment. I know we were not the fastest guys out there, even tough we displayed a steady pace. I liked very much to race against all of these young guys", the former Jaguar and Prost Grand Prix driver explained.

According to Barrichello, the second place was above his highest expectations. "We've got to celebrate, because our kart was not as quick as the ones driven by the drivers that arrived in front of us and even some that we happen to get passed. We faced problems with a poor engine all the time", he pointed out. His long-term friend and also six times champion of the race Tony Kanaan agreed in all aspects of his words. "Only the people who doesn't know the Brazilian karting arena can be caught by surprise with the results. These guys are professionals and know perfectly how to get the job done."

The Top 10:

1: Otávio Bonder, Antonio Francesco Ventre, José Eduardo Ventre, Bruno Pacetti and Lucas Rodrigues, 644 laps in 10hrs 36:26.782

2: Rubens Barrichello, Tony Kanaan, Felipe Giaffone and Dan Wheldon + 2 laps

3: Luciano Burti, Gabriel Dias, Felipe Guimarães and Dennis Dirani + 5 laps

4: Marcos Juncal, João Roque, Vinicius Juncal, Luiz Roque, Felipe Souza and Osvaldo Badula + 7 laps

5: José Rodrigues, Eduardo Rodrigues, Alberto Rodrigues, Raphael Xavier, Danilo Dirani, Daniel Landi, Caio Travaglini and Daniela Rodrigues + 8 laps

6: Hugo Sola, Daniel Aller, Saul Leite, Felipe Leite and Henrique Carla + 8 laps

7: Glauco Alex, João Petro, Leonardo Nienkotter and Alexandre Ruiz Filho + 9 laps

8: Felipe Leonardo, Lucas Souza and Renan Guerra + 12 laps

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