Rapax Team - History - Piquet Sports

Piquet Sports

Piquet Sports was founded in 2000 by Brazilian Nelson Piquet, a triple Formula One World Drivers' Champion, for his son Nelson Piquet Jr. with Filipe Vargas, the team manager, setting up the operation. The team's first competition was the South American Formula Three Championship where Piquet Jr. took second in his first race and won four races later in Cascavel. The young Brazilian finished 5th in the championship with 77 points, while Piquet Sports finished fourth in the team's championship, also scoring 77 points.

"One day Nelson said, 'The first time Nelsinho sits in a race car, it'll be run by you'"

Felipe Vargas

The team stuck with competing in the South American championship the following year, which they took a majority thirteen of a possible eighteen wins scoring a total of 296 points as Piquet Jr. and Piquet Sports took the Drivers' and Teams' titles respectively, with the Brazilian having a margin of over a hundred points from his nearest rival Danilo Dirani. The team's racing interest went across the Atlantic for 2003 as the team entered the British Formula Three Championship. The team performed well in their début season, with Piquet Jr. taking six wins over the year with a further five podiums brought his points tally to 231 points, putting him third in the final standings for the Drivers' Championship behind Alan van der Merwe and Jamie Green.

The team's racing involvement was split in 2004 with the team entering Piquet Jr. for a second season in the British championship while bringing their attention back to the South American championship, entering fellow Brazilian Alexandre Sarnes Negrão. Both Piquet and Negrão took their respective championship crowns, taking a total of sixteen wins between them.

The team graduated into the newly formed GP2 series, which replaced Formula 3000 as the feeder series of Formula One. The team entered their two champions Piquet Jr. and Negrão for their debut season in the category. British team HiTech Racing formed an association with the team's GP2 activities but this was terminated mid-way through 2005. The team finished sixth in their debut season with Piquet scoring a single win at Spa-Francorchamps.

2006 saw Piquet produce their most competitive season to date, with the Piquet Jr. taking four wins and challenging Lewis Hamilton to that year's title. The Brazilian, however, lost out by twelve points to the Brit and the team also lost out to Hamilton's ART Grand Prix team in the Teams' Championship.

Piquet Jr. left the squad at the end of 2006 to join Renault Formula One team as the team's test driver.

Read more about this topic:  Rapax Team, History

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