The inaugural NASCAR Brasil Sprint Race season begins this Sunday

For the first time in more than a decade, a new NASCAR series will take the green flag.

The NASCAR Brazil Sprint Race, the Sanctioning Authority’s fourth international series, begins its inaugural season on Sunday, March 19, at the Autódromo Internacional Ayrton Senna in Goiânia, Brazil. Practice and qualifying will take place on Saturday, March 18th.

The series, which is a partnership between NASCAR and the GT Sprint Race Series, will host eight events at five tracks in Brazil over the course of the 2023 season.

“The growth of the fan base and the growth of the NASCAR brand is something we focus on every day, whether it’s in the United States domestically or outside the United States,” said Chad Segler, NASCAR’s chief international officer. “For us and our team, we’re ready to expand the way we can take the excitement that happens every week here in the United States and showcase that style of racing outside of the United States.”

NASCAR has already demonstrated the desire of both race fans and competitors to host NASCAR-like competitions in markets outside of the United States, thanks to the success of the NASCAR Pinty’s Series, the NASCAR Mexico Series and the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series.

“What we’ve seen with the existing international series in Mexico, Canada and Europe is that there’s a strong passion for NASCAR-style racing,” said Segler. “As we start looking at new markets, we always want to identify new markets outside of the United States that not only share this passion, they embrace it.”

A logo of the NASCAR Brasil Sprint Race

Even before the announcement of NASCAR’s impending arrival in Brazil, the country already had a strong motorsport culture.

For that reason, Segler sees the addition of the NASCAR Brasil Sprint Race to the sanctioning agency’s series roster as a major win for the future of not only NASCAR, but those of Brazil who hope to one day compete in one of NASCAR’s three national divisions to be able to .

“If you look at the country of Brazil, motorsport is by far one of the most popular sports in the country,” said Segler. “We already have a strong television audience in the region. The race itself and with our promoter, what we’ve seen with him over the last few years suits who we are. It’s side by side, fender to fender, competitive racing.

“A strong focus will be on driver and talent development. In addition to the NASCAR-style racing that people are used to, it’s about providing a route for drivers who may decide to come to the United States.”

Many of the drivers participating in the NASCAR Brasil Sprint Race have extensive racing experience in Brazil and abroad.

Some examples are Guga Lima and brothers Leo and Rafa Reis.

Lima, 26, raced in single-seaters in Europe during his teenage years and later raced in the Toyota Racing Series New Zealand Championship. The former McLaren Driver Academy participant has been racing stock cars in Brazil since 2015.

Brothers Leo and Rafa Reis will compete as teammates during the inaugural season of the NASCAR Brasil Sprint Race. Both began their careers in karting before moving up to the HB20 Cup in Brazil, where 21-year-old Rafa Reis won two championships and 19-year-old Leo Reis one.

Fans interested in following the action from the season’s opening race can do so live on the NASCAR Brasil Sprint Race YouTube page.

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