Bruno Bonifacio has made the move from the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 to the Formula Renault 3.5 Series in 2015, and has joined International Draco Racing alongside fellow Brazilian Pietro Fantin.
Bonifacio raced for Prema Powerteam in Eurocup in 2014, winning once and finishing fifth in the final standings, and now moves up to the next level with another Italian team Draco.
The Brazilian spoke to The Checkered Flag ahead of his rookie campaign in 2015, and revealed that he has come a long way from where it all started at a go-karting track in his homeland.
“I’ve always liked cars and racing cars since I was very young,” revealed Bonifacio. “My dad took me to a go-karting track to try a go-kart but at that time was just for fun. After some time driving as a “hobby”, when I was nine I asked my dad if I could start racing for real.
“I come from far away and if I look back when I was just a little boy racing go-karts in Brazil, many things I’ve achieved seemed impossible at that time. I feel proud and blessed about everything I was able to do with a lot of hard work and great people around me so far.”
Bonifacio revealed that he joined International Draco Racing feeling it was the right time to step up into the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, and revealed the team are going through a transitional time as they go through some modernisation to try and make them more competitive in the long run.
“I’ve known the team owner [Guto Negrao] for a long time – he’s Brazilian too,” said Bonifacio. “As soon as the right time came, we started speaking about it so I got to know more the category and the team. They offered me a great opportunity so I took it!
“The team is passing through lots of changes this year. They’re getting more modern and changing the way they work to be more precise. I think that’s what we need to make a step forward as a team. They have great will to work and to fight and they will not give up easily.”
Looking ahead to the new season, Bonifacio heads into the season opener at Motorland Aragon having had a good pre-season test campaign, and knows where he has to improve to be a contender. He is excited for the season ahead, and will be looking to improve his race craft throughout his first season in the series.
“The pre season went great,” insisted the Brazilian. “We were constantly in the top-10 and as a rookie I think that’s not bad at all. We see room for improvement and we know we have the right qualities to fight for top positions; we just need to be patient and keep working hard.
“The car is amazing to drive so I just can’t wait to drive it on my favourite tracks! I’m also very excited to race in a very exclusive track as Monaco.
“I think at the beginning we will be able to fight for points. As we’ve been making progress in all the test sessions then we can keep putting a higher target every race as we continue to work and to learn.
“It’s my first year racing with big cars so it would be best to learn as much as possible and see where we end up. [It’s] very important.”