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Raphael Matos (born August 28, 1981) is a Brazilian professional racing driver. He was the 2008 Firestone Indy Lights Series champion and the 2007 Champ Car Atlantic Series champion. He lives in Miami.

Raphael Matos
Raphael Matos Indy 2011.JPG
Raphael Matos at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the first day of qualifying for the 2011 500
NationalityBrazilian
Born (1981-08-28) August 28, 1981 (age 37)
Belo Horizonte
IndyCar Series career
Debut season2009
Current teamAFS Racing
Car no.17
Former teamsde Ferran Dragon Racing
Starts34
Wins0
Poles0
Best finish13th in 2009
Previous series
2008
2006-2007

2004-2005
2002-2003
Firestone Indy Lights
Champ Car Atlantic Series
A1 Grand Prix
Star Mazda Series
Skip Barber Formula Dodge Series
Championship titles
2008
2007
2005
2003
Firestone Indy Lights Series
Champ Car Atlantic Series
Star Mazda Series
Skip Barber Formula Dodge
Awards
2009IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year

Contents

Career highlightsEdit

Early careerEdit

Born in Belo Horizonte, Matos came to the United States in 2002 after karting in Brazil and began competing in Skip Barber Formula Dodge, winning the championship in 2003.. In 2004, he moved up to the Star Mazda Series and in 2005 he won the Star Mazda championship. In 2006 he moved up the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Series where he drove for the Sierra Sierra team and captured one victory on his way to 4th place in the points standings.

 
Matos celebrating an Atlantics victory in Houston in 2007

He also competed in 4 Indy Pro Series races for Guthrie Racing and swept the two races held in March at St. Petersburg, Florida. During the fall he was named a driver for A1 Team Brazil in the A1 Grand Prix series and made his debut at the series' race in Beijing in the 2006-2007 season. He raced a Lola B07/40-Mazda in the 2007 12 Hours of Sebring and the 2007 Petit Le Mans.[1]

 
Matos driving in the 2008 Firestone Freedom 100

Atlantics championship and Indy LightsEdit

Matos continued with the Sierra Sierra team in Atlantics in 2007 and clinched the championship with several races remaining in the season, securing for himself the 2 Million US Dollar "scholarship" for a ride in Champ Car for the 2008 season.

However, Matos decided to pass on the scholarship and sign with Andretti Green Racing to drive in the Indy Racing League's Firestone Indy Lights Series in 2008, where he won the series championship.[2]

Prior to the 2008 Indy Lights season, he drove a Mazda RX-8 for the SpeedSource team in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, taking first in the GT class and a 9th place overall finish, sharing the car with Nick Ham, David Haskell and Sylvain Tremblay. After the season, he drove for Michael Shank Racing on the winning team in the DP class (with Ian James and John Pew) at the SunRichGourmet.com 1000 at Miller Motorsports Park.

IndyCar SeriesEdit

 
Matos driving in the 2009 Indianapolis 500

Matos competed in the full 2009 IndyCar Series season for Luczo-Dragon Racing.[3] He qualified third in his second race, the Long Beach Grand Prix and finished eight. He was the fastest rookie qualifier in his first Indy 500 and ran in the lead pack, but had a crash with Vitor Meira in which Meira was injured. Matos finished 22nd. Matos captured seasonal Rookie of the Year honors by a wide margin over former F1 driver Robert Doornbos. Matos' best finish was 6th at the Milwaukee Mile. He was running at the finish of each of the last ten races of the season, consistency that led to 13th in the championship despite few top ten finishes. Raphael qualified 12th in both the 2009 and 2010 Indy 500 and he also crashed in both races in roughly the same location at the exit of turn 1. He failed to qualify the AFS entry for the 2011 Indianapolis 500.

Post-Indy careerEdit

Matos returned to his native Brazil, racing in the Stock Car Brasil series; at the end of the 2015 season, he received a two-year suspension for failing a drug test.[4] He has since raced in the Trans-Am Series in the United States.

Motorsports career resultsEdit

American Le Mans SeriesEdit

A1 Grand PrixEdit

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

American open–wheel racingEdit

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Atlantic ChampionshipEdit

Indy LightsEdit

IndyCar SeriesEdit

Years Teams Races Poles Wins Podiums
(Non-win)
Top 10s
(Non-podium)
Indianapolis 500
Wins
Championships
3 2 38 0 0 0 13 0 0

Indianapolis 500Edit

Year Chassis Engine Start Finish Team
2009 Dallara Honda 12 22 Luczo Dragon Racing
2010 Dallara Honda 12 29 de Ferran Dragon Racing
2011 Dallara Honda DNQ AFS Racing

Stock Car BrasilEdit

† Ineligible for championship points.

  • Season still in progress

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ NEW LOLA, MAZDA-DERIVED ENGINE FOR B-K IN 2007[permanent dead link], American Le Mans Series, retrieved December 20, 2008
  2. ^ Andretti Green, AFS To Field Two-Car Indy Pro Team - Matos Added to Driver Lineup Archived 2011-07-16 at the Wayback Machine, PaddockTalk, January 18, 2008
  3. ^ DiZinno, Tony. Matos, Luczo Dragon latest to confirm 2009 plans Archived 2008-10-09 at the Wayback Machine, Motorsport.com, October 7, 2008
  4. ^ "Former IndyCar driver Matos gets two-year ban for doping". Motorsport.com. December 17, 2015. Archived from the original on 2017-06-08. Retrieved 2017-06-08.

External linksEdit