Where are they now #4: Xandi Negrao
April 12, 2009 Leave a comment
If I’m not mistaken, Xandi Negrao is – after Giorgio Pantano – the GP2 driver with the most starts in the series history: a total of 64 races. The dubious honor that Xandi holds on his own is being the GP2 driver with the most starts and no wins to his name – not a great statistic to lead.
Xandi Negrao started off his GP2 career in 2005 as the series was inaugurated, partnering fellow Brazilian Nelson Piquet Jr. in the Hitech/Piquet Racing team. Negrao was financially supported by his family’s pharamaceutical business, and he came into GP2 with a strong record as the F3 Sudam champion, with 10 wins in 18 races.
Unfortunately, this pedigree did not spill over into European single-seaters and Negrao proved to be lacking in serious talent. In his 64 races his best result was a 2nd place in the sprint race at Istambul in 2007, with his best points tally at 13 in 2006.
Negrao wisely chose to move on, racing sporadically in 2008 with the Emerson Fittipaldi’s Brazil A1GP team and in the FIA GT1 series, with a decent showing and 1 win in 10 races with a Maserati MC12. Today, Negrao is back in Brazil, racing a Stock Car series, much like a Brazilian WTCC, where national F1 and open wheel glories go out to pasture – such as Luciano Burti, Antonio Pizzonia, Gualter Salles, Tarso Marques and Enrique Bernoldi.
Though his early success showed signs of promise, the advantage he enjoyed in his home turf did not translate into European competitions. Makes you wonder about the level of competition in the F3 Sudam in the recent past…. definitely not what it used to be.