Season 2008 – Evolution and cinematic ending
In its fourth year, the series went through its first technological evolution – the new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup “model 997”, with 3.6L engine and 420hp. On track, the cinematic championship battle between Paludo and Constantino.
In its fourth year, the series went through its first technological evolution. The new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup “model 997”, with 3.6L engine and 420hp (30 more than the previous 996) with sequential gearbox and no ABS brakes. The drivers quickly absorbed the car’s secrets and had a sensational season, in which the title was decided at the last turn of the last race.
A rookie Miguel Paludo soon stood out in the very first races due to his calm and speed, constantly finishing among the top 3. Contatino Júnior started the season with two first places, both in front of Tom Valle. In the following stage, Valle won twice and took the leadership back. The third stage came in Curitiba and Paludo won both races, sprinting ahead in the overall scoreboard.
Constantino won another double round in Interlagos. Yet, he had to work hard to endure the attack from champion Ricardo Baptista and Miguel Paludo at the same he was trying to overtake the leader Clemente Lunardi. Constantino won with the other drivers finishing less than one second behind him. He went on to repeat this result in the following six races with Paludo taking four second places and one third place. In the Formula 1 support race, Paludo finished sixth, a result that cost him the championship leadership.
The championship’s decision was left to the last two races that took place in Rio de Janeiro. Paludo won the first but Constantino held the first spot in the scoreboard by finishing second. If Palude secured a win in the following race, Constantino would need only a fourth place to celebrate the title. In the start, Paludo in pole position due to his previous win, fell to third place. He went into second place behind Constatino and escorted him the entire race.
In the last lap, both races approached the straggler Danilo Fernandez. In the last straight before the “victory curve” (the last one in the track, a right-hand turn), Danilo took the inside line and signaled Constatino to overtake to the left. Paludo, coming extremely close behind saw an opening in the inside of the curve and decided to overtake since both drivers were braking to enter the final turn. Side by side, all three drivers crashed. Paludo and Constantino went off the track but Paludo managed to return and finish second, behind Marcelo Ometto. Constantino remained stuck in the gravel and did not finish. With this, Paludo won his first championship in Porsche Cup.
After the race, another unexpected fact: during the post race interviews, Paludo kept his promise of asking his fiance to marry him in case he won the overall title. In 2010, Paludo went to race for Nascar Truck Series and moved to the US with Patrícia where Oliver was born.