Tell us a little about yourself. Who are you, and how was this activity born and is in your life today?
I was born in Luanda in 1972. I came to Carrazedo de Montenegro, in the municipality of Valpaços, when I was only two years old and my passion for cars started very early; I remember that I started driving when I was 13 years old, in closed terrain.
Cars and driving have always been very present in my life. This activity came naturally to me.
At a very young age, I started following live races, with family members: ramps like Murça, Falperra or Penha, or the Vila Real and Vila do Conde circuits.
When I started to have my own money, in 1997, I bought a Toyota Starlet to do Skills, which was the cheapest modality. In my first year, I won the National Championship and the Portuguese Cup.
The following year I switched to Rallycross and got some podiums. But I realized that my style was a different one, and I moved to Road Racing. I won the Starlet and Yaris trophies; the following year, I moved to the National Speed Championship with a Honda Civic and became National Champion. Interestingly, after being national champion in Road Racing, I couldn't get sponsors to continue and that's when I moved to Hill Climbing. In the Portuguese Hill climbing Championship I already have nine titles, three of them in a row that give me the title of tri-national champion of Touring Car Racing and we have already participated in international competitions, such as the FIA Hill Climb Masters in Italy in 2018 and, more recently, in 2020, in Falperra.
What races have you had and what is your performance in them?
This year, we started at the Murça ramp, in second place. We won the Penha (Guimarães) and Arrábida (Setúbal) ramps in Touring Car Racing, which leads us to win the Portuguese Championship. Our goal in 2022 is to reach the fourth consecutive title in Touring Car Racing.
What makes you so successful?
I think it's a mix of passion, rigor and some natural knack for this activity. Despite not being a full-time driver, since professionally I am a businessman, I face my career with the utmost professionalism, in all aspects, inside and outside the car. I think that this attention to detail also helped me to get where I am, to the point of being the only Portuguese driver to become national champion in Skills, Road Racing and Hill Climbing.
CJR Renewables has supported your performance. How important is this business support?
This support is very important and meaningful to me. First of all, for the prestige and national and international dimension of CJR Renewables. Secondly, because the company is a reference in a sector that is increasingly important in our lives and in our society, including motor sport. It is a great pride to represent CJR Renewables across the country and beyond.