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Chico Serra

Full Name:
Francesco Adolpho "Chico" Serra
3rd February 1957 (Age 63)
Sao Paulo
Most recent race (in database):

Chico Serra was a five-time karting champion in Brazil who made the switch to cars in national Formula Vee in 1976. He moved to England a year later to race a works Van Diemen in British Formula Ford 1600. Victory in the Townsend Thoresen series and in the end-of-season Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch indicated a star of the future.

Formula 3 and F2 with Project Four Racing

Serra joined Ron Dennis’ Project Four Racing for the 1978 British Formula 3 Championships when a contemporary of Derek Warwick and Nelson Piquet. However, injuries sustained during testing at Mallory Park forced him to miss crucial races and delay his title challenge by a year. Smooth and consistent, he beat Andrea de Cesaris to the 1979 British F3 title with his March 793-Toyota winning five times.

Serra and de Cesaris were Project Four team-mates for the 1980 European Formula 2 Championship. The Brazilian started the year with his March 802-BMW fourth in the opening two rounds. However, he eventually faded to 10th in the championship and was generally overshadowed by de Cesaris.

Formula 1 with Fittipaldi and Arrows

He graduated to Formula 1 nevertheless with Fittipaldi Automotive as replacement for the retiring Emerson Fittipaldi. Serra finished seventh on his debut in the 1981 Long Beach Grand Prix but it was not an easy year as both he and team-mate Keke Rosberg (world champion just a year later) increasingly struggled to qualify.

The team entered just one car in 1982 for Serra who scored a solitary championship point by finishing sixth in the Belgian GP. Fittipaldi closed down at the end of the year and Serra began 1983 with Arrows. He was seventh in Monaco in what was his last GP before his sponsorship ran out.

Serra tried sports cars and made one Champ Car start at Portland in 1985 but his Theodore T84’s Cosworth engine broke. Instead, he forged a successful career in the Brazilian V8 Stock Car Championship – a title he won three times in a row for Chevrolet. He retired from racing in 2011 and is now a team owner in national touring cars.