Team Brazil's pairing of Raphael Matos and Tuka Rocha showed they will have no problems in the hot and humid conditions in Sentul this weekend, with a one-two finish in the Bali Beach Race.

The event - a light-hearted warm-up before the serious business of racing gets underway - brought together drivers from the series' Canadian, Lebanese, Italian, Brazilian and Indonesian outfits. It was held in the Nusa Dua area of Bali, where several drivers had chosen to spend their time warm-weather training in-between the Malaysian and Indonesian meetings.

The challenge comprised a swim, two separate runs and a kayak race and was disputed between eight drivers. Matos got off to a flying start and maintained a healthy lead throughout, with team-mate Rocha more than ably backing his compatriot up in second place.

"Winning the Bali Beach Race was a personal accomplishment for me," Champ Car Atlantic ace Matos enthused. "I have been training very hard for racing, especially over the last six months, so it was a fun event to compete in and win.

"It was also good to get together and hang out with some of the other A1 drivers away from the track, especially after such a hectic few weeks with the Beijing and Malaysia races. Malaysia was a really problematic weekend for us so it was good to relax a bit."

Looking ahead to the task at hand, the 25-year-old said he hoped to make another step forward in Indonesia as the Emerson Fittipaldi-managed squad seeks to add to the five points it has already scored this season.

"I don't have any experience of the Sentul circuit," he admitted, "but we have been watching some tapes from last year and talking to the engineers and I think we should have a fairly good baseline. We need a good car straight out of the box and then I think we can have a much better weekend and develop the car quicker."

For Rocha, meanwhile, it will be a return to the track where earlier in the year he fulfilled reserve driver duties for Christian Fittipaldi, Emerson's nephew, and he is looking forward to his third outing of the season after handing the car over to Matos for the previous two rounds.

"I had a very relaxing time in Bali between Malaysia and coming here to Sentul," the Euroseries 3000 star said. "It was really good to have that time to train in the heat. We had a great time with some of the other drivers doing the beach race - Rafa and I said before the race that we would put in a team performance and we got the one-two, so we are obviously the fittest drivers!

"Now we're getting back to serious work for this weekend and I am so happy to be back in the car. It will be the first time I have driven since Brno, and I am determined to do my best for the team. I didn't run here last year, but attended the race and have been watching back the tapes and track-walking with the engineers. I think we need to take this weekend one step at a time. If we can finish in the top ten that will be a good start for us and I know that we have the potential."



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