NASCAR Brasil Sprint Race to debut in 2023

NASCAR is a very American sport, which is why it only makes sense to race in both Americas. On Wednesday, NASCAR announced a partnership with Brazil’s GT Sprint Race to reform the latter into the NASCAR Brasil Sprint Race.

“Brazil is a vibrant country, rich in motorsports culture and community, and the perfect location for our first series in South America,” said NASCAR International Vice President Chad Seigler. “NASCAR Brasil Sprint Race will allow us to showcase the exciting side-by-side racing that defines NASCAR while giving Brazilian race fans a series to which they feel connected. It is our hope and intention that this series also opens more pathways for the country’s best drivers, mechanics and engineers to advance to NASCAR’s national series in the United States, the worldwide pinnacle of stock car racing.”

GT Sprint Race was founded in 2012 by Thiago Marques, who has competed in the Stock Car Pro Series. His brother Tarso was due to race in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2022 with Team Stange Racing though starts never materialised, but the team has continued to compete in the GT Sprint Race with 2020 champion Ricardo Sperafico.

While the Stock Car Pro Series, formerly known as Stock Car Brasil, has existed in the country since 1979, it is closer to touring cars than stock cars. Like its North American counterparts, Brasil Sprint Race intends to race on ovals in the future though the 2023 calendar is expected to focus strictly on road courses due to a lack of ovals in the country.

Brasil Sprint Race is NASCAR’s fourth international championship after the Mexico Series, the Pinty’s Series in Canada, and the Whelen Euro Series. The other three divisions were also originally separate from NASCAR before their organisers partnered with the sanctioning body. NASCAR has envisioned a shared vehicle style between the four tiers that would allow for crossovers or even a global championship.

“NASCAR is an iconic American sport, and we are honoured to join forces to create NASCAR Brasil Sprint Race,” commented Brasil Sprint Race partner Carlos Col. “GT Sprint Race has delivered exciting racing to fans since 2012 and this partnership will help take it to the next level with the introduction of more NASCAR-style racing, including future races on oval tracks. This is an historic day for motorsports in Brazil, and one that will benefit race fans across the country.”

As the 2020s progress, NASCAR has grown more intrigued about hosting races overseas. While international exhibtions in Australia and Japan took place prior to the turn of the millennium, high costs and the long Cup schedule have made future attempts impractical. While Brasil Sprint Race is a separate series that will not have Cup stars competing regularly, it seems to be a step in the right direction for global expansion.