Birthdate: July, 26, 1983
From: Nova Prata (RS, Brazil)
Lives in: Mooresville (North Carolina)
Greatest champion in the history of the Porsche Cup, with seven titles won in ten seasons raced, Miguel Paludo is much more than a specialist with the most produced racing car on the planet.
Living in the United States for more than a decade, the “gaúcho”from Nova Prata is one of Brazil’s pioneers in NASCAR, with more than 90 starts in races sanctioned by the category. His career in the “American Stock Car” includes feats such as the first pole position achieved by a Brazilian driver at NASCAR –precisely done in the mythical Daytona Superspeedway, which is the hallmark of the most popular series in the USA.
The tireless search for innovation, allied to the passion for motor sport, made Paludo one of Brazil’s pioneers in virtual motorsport. The multi-champion of the Porsche Cup is a constant figure in the main e-sports events of the iRacingplatform, which reinforces his great popularity among simulator fans.
Anyone who sees his statistics believes that the current champion of the Porsche Cup is one of those who dedicate themselves exclusively to the tracks from an early age. In the Porsche Cup alone, there are 36 victories in 150 races (or 24% of triumphs). He is the greatest pole starter in the history of the series, with 22 starts from the position of honor. And also the biggest champion in the history of the event, with seven championships.
But Paludo only accelerated a kart for the first time when he was 11 years old and started to really dedicate himself to the sport only at 17, after completing his university course and running a successful business.
The beginning was in local regional series , in which he could soon show his talent, winning right away in the fourth race in which he participated. His debut on the national stage came in 2005, for the Renault Clio Cup.
The first championship was won in 2008, his debut year in the Porsche Cup. It was the second full championship the driver raced in Brazil, granting three wins and 11 podium appearances in 15 races of the season. The following season, he dominated the Porsche Cup again, winning the championship with 10 wins and 14 podiums in 16 races. He was also third in GT3 Brasil, winning four times in 12 races that season.
2010 marked the move to the USA – and the initial contact with the exciting reality of NASCAR. For different teams, Paludo competed in the Arca Series, Truck Series and Pro Series East, in which he won his first top 5 (a respectable fourth place in the New Hampshire Motor Speedway).
The following season marked his first full season at a NASCAR championship. Racing with the Toyota #7 truck of the Red Horse team, the gaúcho was close to the title of “rookie of the year”. He ended the season with 3 top-5s and 7 top-10s in 25 races, ending the season in 17th position.
In 2012 he moved to Turner Motorsport, taking over the #32 Chevrolet pickup in style: with pole position at the season opener in Daytona. His best result of the year was fifth place in the final race at Miami Homestead, finishing the season tenth in the final standings. This season, Miguel also competed in two races in the Nationwide Series (currently Xfinity Series), inRoad America and Watkins Glen road couses.
Miguel remained in the team with truck #32 in 2013, closing the championship in ninth place and winning another pole in Pocono and 11 top-10 on the way, being 4 top-5 in that account.
After just two races with the BMW Z4 of BMW Team Brasil in the biggest GT championship on the planet in 2014, Paludo returned to Brazilian tracks to defend his legacy in the Porsche Cup in 2015.
And he did it in style: considering only the short-race championships, between 2015 and 2020, the driver finished every season as champion or runner-up.
With the colors of BRANDT, Miguel ended up with the second place in his year of return to the category.
As of 2016, the Porsche Cup has held two championships: the traditional Sprint (short races) and the Endurance Series (with 300 km and 500 km events). The highest scorer of the two also takes the title “Overall”. And the first great champion was Miguel Paludo – in the Sprint championship, he repeated the runner-up from the previous season.
Winning the Overall title earned BRANDT a prestigious invitation: to compete in the support event of the 24 Hours of Le Mans the following season, a memorable race with more than 60 Porsches on the grid.
The 2017 season marked two titles for the gaúcho competitor. Paludo led BRANDT to the achievements of Endurance and again Overall, finishing second in the Sprint championship.
In 2018 and 2019 again he was the protagonist of the championships, fighting for the title until the end and finishing as runner-up.
But in 2020 the story would be different.
With the Sprint championship being held almost entirely in Interlagos (five of the six stages were in São Paulo), the gaucho was crowned king of the main track in Brazil. He won five of the ten races played at Autódromo José Carlos Pace and won the championship with more than 30 points of margin over the runner-up. Along the way, Paludo isolated himself as the biggest winner of the category at Interlagos (he has 17 victories).
The year 2021 started on the right foot for the driver. On his return to NASCAR at Daytona Road Course, he made a top 10 in a remarkable recovery race despite having made initial contact with the Xfinity Series car in the warm-up laps for the race. Then again he excelled at the Mid Ohio and COTA circuits. In the Porsche Cup, he lifted another Sprint title and extended his records.
The 2022 season begins with more challenges: again Paludo will make the mixed track journey in the Xfinity Series, now with the mythical #88 in his Chevrolet Camaro prepared by the team of Dale Earnhardt Jr. In Brazil, the challenge is to tame the brand new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup of the 992 generation, the most technological car in the history of the Porsche Cup.
Activism off the tracks
Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2005, Miguel Paludo has been developing his successful career for more than a decade controlling his condition.
In his first full season at NASCAR, the driver took a stand for diabetes awareness, a cause very well regarded by the series‘shuge fan base. Not by chance, Paludo was always one of the most applauded competitors on the racetracks during the official introduction of the drivers.
A few months before taking the unprecedented pole at Daytona, Miguel and his wife Patricia were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes by their son, Oliver, who was just eight months old at the time. Little Paludo’s condition motivated Miguel to expand his engagement with the cause. The driver has joined the International Diabetes Federation as a “Blue Circle Champion”. He was the first South American to represent the organization, including showing his brand at NASCAR races. Paludo uses social media to inspire and enlighten families who are affected by the same condition.
Miguel and his family prioritize health daily. Paludo has been practicing crossfit weekly since 2015 and usually runs 5, 10 or 15 kilometers at least twice a week. Miguel bases his diet on low carbohydrate and high protein and fat consumption. In this way, he manages to maintain an excellent control of his blood glucose, with this, he manages to be an example for his son Oliver and other people who also have this condition. In his regimen he includes vitamins and meditation.
The driver, when not on the tracks, enjoys time with his family, making barbecue, accompanying Oliver in the sports he practices. Like karting and soccer, that’s when the two aren’t in the simulator battling for a seat.
Paludo and Patrícia have been together since high school, the two complete 22 years of relationship in 2022.