Trans Am racer Rafa Matos not giving up on IndyCar dreams

Trans Am racer Rafa Matos not giving up on IndyCar dreams


Rafa Matos is second to teammate Marc Miller in the TA2 class standings heading into the weekend doubleheader on Belle Isle in Detroit.

Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli practice kicked off at the 2019 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear at The Raceway at Belle Isle in Detroit on Friday morning. 

The big V8 muscle cars will roar around the 2.3-mile street circuit along the Detroit River as support to the NTT IndyCar Series doubleheader weekend in the Motor City. 

Former IndyCar driver Rafa Matos will be at the wheel of the No. 20 Chevy Camaro this weekend for two races on the island in the series. Matos, a past Indy Lights champion, currently sits second in TA2 points to Michigan racer Marc Miller.

Matos, the 2008 Indy Lights champion, started 38 IndyCar races between 2009 and 2011. He finished a career-best fourth at both Brazil and Watkins Glen for De Ferran-Luczo-Dragon Racing in 2010.

The 37-year-old Brazilian is enjoying his Trans Am experience, winning at Belle Isle last year. This weekend, he’ll carry Detroit-based Lear Company sponsorship on his car. 

“I’ve been lucky enough to be on the podium the last three years at Belle Isle,” said Matos, who started in three Indy 500s and once drove for Michael Andretti in IndyCar. “I love Belle Isle — it’s bumpy and tough on driver and car. It’s a great street course.” 

Matos still eyes a return to open-wheel racing. 

“I want to drive an IndyCar again,” said Matos. “I’m willing to put everything on the line to do it.”

As for catching Miller in points this weekend, Matos laughed. 

“I have the utmost respect for Marc Miller,” he said. “But he needs to slow down a little.” 

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