Tony Kanaan may not have come out on top in this year's IndyCar Series, but there appears little to stop him on home soil as he teamed up with a host of famous motorsport names to clinch an eighth Granja Viana endurance karting crown in twelve years.
Sharing driving duties with F1 veteran Rubens Barrichello, erstwhile F1 pilot Luciano Burti, former IndyCar rival Felipe Giaffone and the lesser-known Renato Russian, Kanaan's team overcame 64 others to win the 500-mile race, held annually on the Giaffone-run venue in Sao Paulo.
The #72 kart started from the pole but had to battle hard with several other potential winners, featuring among their drivers IndyCar rivals Vitor Meira, Mario Moraes and Raphael Matos, while a second Kanaan-entered kart included co-drivers Cristiano da Matta and Antonio Pizzonia.
"Each time I win, I feel a different emotion," said Kanaan, who finished third in the 2008 IndyCar Series championship with Andretti Green Racing, "The team was very dedicated during the race and, in the end, this helped us to win the trophy. It was a really tough race, physically, especially in the beginning when I was driving for three straight hours in the sun. I am really old now, but I was able to get through it and this is my eighth victory, so I have a great history with this race that I can tell my son about."
Kanaan and Barrichello have each contested all twelve Granja Viana marathons and shared in those eight victories despite the event gaining popularity. The 2008 race ran for eleven hours, finishing well after dark, as is traditional, with Burti crossing the line and collecting the chequered flag - as well as some very excited team-mates!
Barrichello insisted that the event had been good training for next season, when he hopes to remain in Formula One, and set the race's fastest lap as the Kanaan team led almost from lights to flag, benefiting from the introduction of a mandatory 15-minute 'pit-stop' to overcome a minor tyre problems that could have derailed its effort.
Barrichello's F1 rival, Felipe Massa, completed the podium after helping to haul his team - comprising brother Dudu, GP2-turned GT racer Xandi Negrao, Felipe Lapenna, Felipes Apezzatto and Victor Guerin - from twelfth on the grid to third at the finish, but was left to lament engine problems that likely prevented a challenge for victory.
Kanaan will remain focused on his off-season karting exploits when he joins Barrichello and other major names from around the world in the Massa-organised International Challenge Of Go-Kart Champs in Florianopolis on 30 November.