Serra and Bueno 1 Guilber Hidaka/Red Bull Content Pool

Ahead of the end of season play-off races in the Brazilian Stock Car Championship, we catch up with both drivers for Team Red Bull in the first of a two-part interview.

Cacá Bueno is looking to make history with a fourth title win while Daniel Serra is also in the hunt for the top prize. The first of four crucial play-off races takes place this weekend in Santa Cruz do Sul. We hear how Cacá and Daniel are preparing to take the fast lane to victory…

Is the approach different for these play-off races compared with the regular season races?
Cacá Bueno: There’s no big difference. The hard work needs to be there all season long to put you in a good position for these final four races. There’s only been one year where the driver who finished the regular season in first place didn’t go on to win the championship. I’m in fourth place right now and that’s not a good position. I will have to drive aggressively in these play-off races but I know I’m not the only driver thinking that way.

Daniel Serra: We had a total of eight races to finish in the top ten and qualify for these four play-off races. Only three of these four races will count because all the drivers get to discard their worst result. It’s going to be tough to get back the 18 points championship leader Thiago Camilo has over me. The best thing to do now is to forget about the points and just try to do my best in each race. 

null Bruno Terena/Red Bull Content Pool

During the regular season you can afford to race tactically to ensure you stay inside the top 10. Can you afford to be tactical about the play-off races or is it as simple as aiming to win all four races?
CB: My mentality is always the same from the start of the season right up until the end; I want to win every single race. When it comes to the play-offs so much depends on the first race. If you get a good result and jump ahead in the leaderboard then you can afford to be more tactical about the other three races.

DS: It’s not a good idea to race with a calculator on the steering wheel. The aim is always to get maximum points. You have to be aggressive but also be aware of what the drivers around you are doing. For example, in the regular season you can be in second place but you know the driver in front will not make the play-offs so you can afford to hold your position.

Will you be using this break between the regular season and the play-off races to make any adjustments to the car?
CB: Throughout the regular season the car was performing well and allowed us to stay in touch. I start these play-off races 11 points off the leader so we will be doing whatever we can to give the car some extra edge. It won’t be easy because, as I said, the car is in very good shape. I have won two races already this season and also started from pole position twice. In fact, I’ve been on the first row of the grid in every race. The team is always well prepared and we are always talking about what slight improvements can be made. This communication has been the key to the good results we have achieved in the last couple of years.

DS: I spoke with the team last weekend and we agreed that we must continue with the set-up we have used in the previous two races. In São Paulo we were very strong and we repeated that performance in Salvador. It’s always about getting the car to be as competitive as possible.

Stock Car Brazil play-off schedule
Sept 18 – Autódromo Internacional de Santa Cruz do Sul
Oct 2 – Autódromo Internacional Ayrton Senna
Oct 16 – Autódromo Internacional Nelson Piquet
Nov 6 – Velopark, Nova Santa Rita

Check back in to this weekend for the second part of our interview with Daniel and Cacá

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