WRR Driver Profile: Marcelo Rocha Peixoto

By Tom Martin

February 08, 2017

Winding Road Team TFB has signed a new driver to its 2017 Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup Team. Marcelo Peixoto is a Brazilian driver with a long history of success in Brazilian Touring Car racing:

 

  • 2006 Regional Touring Car Championship (1 Pole and 1 Win)
  • 2007 Regional Touring Car Championship (Vice-Champion)
  • 2009 Regional Touring Car Championship (Vice-Champion)
  • 2014 Regional Touring Car Championship (Third Place)
  • 2015 Regional Touring Car and National Touring Car Championship (Copa Petrobras de Marcas)
  • 2016 National Touring Car Championship (1 pole)
  • 2016 Regional Touring Car Championship (6 wins 6 poles)

 

Marcelo recently did a test with Winding Road Team TFB at Texas World Speedway. With some guidance from Winding Road Team TFB director of driver development Mark Drennan, Marcelo got his MX-5 Cup car up to a competitive pace by the early afternoon. Mark said “for someone at a new track in a new car, Marcelo’s lap times improved impressively and were competitive with those of experienced MX-5 Cup drivers. I really appreciated the seriousness with which Marcelo approached each task and his thirst for more seat time to make sure he got the most he could out of the car.”

 

 

A week after the test, Marcelo decided to join Winding Road Team TFB for the 2017 season. He will be bringing his Brazilian coach, Danilo Estrela with him for the season. Danilo previously had come to the U.S. and won a Skip Barber scholarship, followed by a successful USF2000 season with Belardi Racing and has extensive experience with the Mazda pro racing organization.

 

 

Marcelo was drawn to MX-5 Cup by the intensity of the competition. He said “I’m accustomed to a different kind of car from the Brazilian Touring Car series:

 

  • Ford Focus bodywork
  • Tube frame
  • Front wheel drive
  • 2.3l Berta engine
  • 260hp
  • Sadev sequential gearbox
  • AP brakes
  • 18' Pirelli slicks

 

The nice thing about MX-5 Cup is that the car is challenging to drive and the field is so deep that you know you will be tested in each race, which is what I love.” He noted that “In a series like this, you need excellent support, and I was strongly attracted by Winding Road Team TFB and their focus on driver development. I also like the idea that they treat the team like a family.”

 

Marcelo’s debut with the team will be in March for practice at Barber Motorsports Park.