Snapshot 1996: The BPR Endurance Series bellows in Brazil

It’s 16th December 1996, and at a promotional race for the BPR Global GT Series in Brazil, national hero Nelson Piquet leads the braying back of GT1 and GT2 sports cars behind the wheel of his Hollywood-sponsored McLaren F1 GTR…

Piquet, whose company coincidentally currently leases the Brasilia circuit from the Brazilian Federal District, is looking to replicate his victory at Curitiba last weekend – the first of two non-championship Brazilian races held in order to promote the BPR Global GT Series in South America. He’s driving a factory BMW-entered McLaren F1 GTR. And while he will indeed race on to victory with his co-pilot Johnny Cecotto and succeed in raising the profile of the flourishing race series, the championship sadly won’t return to Brazil. In just a few weeks’ time, the BPR Series will become the FIA GT Championship. On the plus side, the Brasilia circuit will be renamed the Autódromo Internacional Nelson Piquet in honour of the great Brazilian champion. 

Photo:Pascal Rondeau via Getty Images