Coletta to Represent Mazda Road to Indy - Brasil at Shootout
 September 3, 2016| 
  • Feeder Series
14-year-old Marcel Coletta from São Paulo won the chance to attend the Mazda Road to Indy $200K Scholarship Shootout at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca after fighting his brother Murilo at the final race

SAO PAULO, Brazil – Marcel Coletta was the first to sign up for the inaugural Mazda Road to Indy - Brasil. The “paulista” proved to be just as fast on the race track as he emerged as the overall winner on Saturday, August 27 at the Ayrton Senna karting track in Interlagos. Coletta, 14, will now represent Brazil at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in December in the Mazda Road to Indy $200K Scholarship Shootout, which will offer a $200,000 prize to contest the 2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda – the first step on the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires which offers opportunities for drivers to progress from karting all the way to the Verizon IndyCar Series.

Coletta, whose previous accomplishments include a Brazilian championship, winner of the Copa do Brasil and six times winner of Super Kart Brasil, had to fight hard to overcome his 16-year-old brother, Murilo, to win his chance to go to the USA. Vinícius Papparelli, who won last year’s SCCA Formula Lites series in the U.S., finished third overall.

“As soon as I saw the news about this opportunity, I ran to get an entry,” said Coletta, one of the youngest drivers to take part. “I knew it was a great prize and that I would need a great deal of focus and training. I am very happy to have won it.”

Coletta said he enjoyed being able to compete against older and more experienced drivers. He also mentioned that it felt good and bad to fight his own brother at the race.

Coletta now plans to travel to the U.S. to test a USF2000 car and spend some time on a simulator to learn the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca track and make sure he is properly prepared for the December shootout.

“It was an excellent event and we had a very high level competition all round,” said event organizer and former racer Paulo Carcasci, who was proud to have attracted drivers from five different Brazilian states to the inaugural event. “The racing was very clean, and we had 11 of the very best current karting drivers here today. I hope to repeat or even improve for 2017. I had seen Marcel driving before and was not surprised he won. I am sure Brazil will be very well represented at the MRTI Shootout.”

The event began on Saturday morning with two free practice sessions, followed by qualifying, heats and the final. The drivers were divided by odd and even numbers to determine starting positions for the heat races, which were won by Murilo Coletta and Papparelli.

The two heat winners progressed to the final with 29 points apiece. Predictably, the competition heated up even more during the final race as the Coletta brothers battled for top honors. Marcel eventually emerged on top by 55 points to the 51 of his brother Murilo, with Papparelli third on 47.
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