Rui, from Luanda in Angola, is the first of his countrymen to race in the series that includes current Formula 1 drivers Lando Norris, Daniel Kvyat, Alex Albon, Nicholas Latifi and Lance Stroll in its extremely successful alumni. He contested each of the 15 races in his Visit Angola-liveried Tatuus F3 car, across five consecutive race weekends at five different race tracks.
“Learning five new race tracks in five weeks was hard,” commented Rui. “But I learned so much in such a short space of time. Even between the races, Bullet took me and my fellow Bullet Athlete Franco [Colapinto] to do things that really pushed us outside of our comfort zone – like bungee jumping, fishing, white water rafting. Realising that you can do more than you think really removes your self-imposed limitations and you can begin to achieve more.”
The five races took place on both the North and South islands of New Zealand and ended with the New Zealand GP, one of only three non-F1 GPs in the world – the others being Macau and Pau.
“It’s cool that I’ve entered two of the three non-F1 GPs in the world. The New Zealand race was awesome, with thousands of fans in the grandstands and a real buzz. I was on the grid and had a real sense of pride carrying the Angola livery on my helmet and race car. Spreading the Visit Angola message is super important to me – I love my country and fellow Angolans and it’s a real privilege to have the opportunity to encourage people all around the world to see for themselves how beautiful it is.”
“Rui has grown as a person and developed as a driver hugely throughout the five weeks,” commented Bullet Director Maria Catarineu. “We have had highs and lows but that’s to be expected when we are pushing him so hard and he’s learning so much so quickly. I couldn’t have been more proud of him when he got into the top ten – this is a breeding ground for the world’s top talent and to be battling amongst them shows he has talent. We return to Europe with a more confident and well-rounded driver and that’s exactly why we came here.
“The hard work doesn’t stop, though. This season in Europe will be super tough and we still have some pre-season prep to do when we get back home.”