Ferrari pilot Rubens Barrichello proved that he could not go for too long without getting back behind the wheel of a racing car when he turned out at Sao Paulo's Interlagos circuit to try his hand behind the wheel of one of the native Brazilian V8 stock cars belonging to team owner Andr? Giaffone.

The 31-year old has already told SporTV programme Bem Amigos! that he would consider competing in the category when the time comes to close his F1 career and, while that point would appear to still be some way off, Giaffone's offer of a run at Interlagos proved to tempting for Barrichello to resist.

Being his first experience with a V8 stocker, Barrichello was not too concerned with lap-times and ran with tyres that had already covered 20 laps of the long snaking circuit. In addition, the seven-time grand prix winner was not entirely comfortable in the enclosed cockpit, and admitted that he would have been quicker had he felt more at home.

Barrichello's best lap on an overcast day was clocked at 1min 44.5secs, some way adrift of the best lap set at the last round held at Interlagos, in July, when Giuliano Losacco ran 1min 39.6secs.

"It was strange to drive a closed-cockpit car - and to be sitting so far back in the cockpit," Barrichello explained to Sao Paulo newspaper O Estado de S.Paulo, "I would longer to get accustomed to the car and its reactions, which are obviously much slower than those of an F1 car.

"However, whoever thinks that would be easier because the car is slower is mistaken. The stock car requires another kind of technique altogether!"

Barrichello will go from one extreme to the other this weekend, when the real reason for his extended stay in Sao Paulo - the annual 500-mile Granja Viana kart race - places him in one of the lightest race machines available. The Brazilian driver will be looking to again top the results when he teams up with Ferrari test driver Felipe Massa, IRL frontrunner Tony Kanaan and Marco Andretti, the son of Michael Andretti who recently triumphed in a regional Skip Barber regional championship.

 

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