Celso Neto Prepares for Season End Stretch

Celso Neto Prepares for Season End Stretch

Celso Neto is a name anyone following the TC America powered by Skip Barber series has become overly familiar with at this point in the season. Neto secured a spot with Skip Barber Racing School in the No. 7 Honda Civic Type R for the 2023 season and has landed on the podium six out of the possible eight.

It took Neto all of one race weekend to sort out the nuances of his Honda Civic Type R. The knowledge of the Skip Barber Racing School team gave Neto a solid foundation to build on as he developed his racecraft in the car. While many may give Neto high marks in what he has accomplished mid-season, he focused more on his determination than results alone. 

“I think it’s tough to rate my own performance in a way, but what definitely highlights it is resilience and consistency,” Neto said. “We’ve worked very hard as a team at Skip Barber to overcome tough moments when experiencing issues with our car, or after making a mistake for example, keeping our head in it and pushing to always fight for points and podiums which has helped always score as many points as possible. This has ensured we always finish the race which is extremely important and get podiums even when we may not have the most favorable BOP to fight for wins.”

As the TC America series heads into a summer break before the end of the season stretch, Neto won’t be doing too much relaxing on his holiday. With his eyes set on finding his first win Neto will be working on his strength training and doing his own type of race preparation.

“This summer break I’m definitely going to be in the gym with my trainer Demitrius Bronson at 53Squad Performance,” said Neto. “I’m ensuring I’m back on track at peak fitness, especially for Sebring which will be a hot and tough race for the whole grid. I also plan on sim racing and doing some karting to keep the senses sharp! Other than race prep, I’ll be doing some fishing here in Florida where I currently live and enjoying the warm weather.” 

All of Neto’s work is necessary. The final stretch of the season provides drivers with diverse challenges. From Road America which is the longest track on the calendar to Sebring which is non-arguably the roughest track on the calendar and generally higher temperatures are expected through August Neto will have his plate full of demands.

“The vast variety of tracks we experience in SRO is definitely a challenge for us drivers,” Neto said. “One main thing that has helped me was my previous experience in Brazil as each track there has a unique character that over time gave me skills on learning them quickly, which I can then transfer to the tracks here in the USA. 

“In addition to this, I watch countless hours of race onboards from online and find any detail that can help me when I jump into the car and apply what I see to my first lap out. This helps how quickly I adapt to the tracks here and gives me more confidence when getting into a race weekend.”

As previously mentioned, Neto uses go-karting to help him stay sharp in the car. While he karts himself, he also coaches in his free time. Involving himself in the base level of racing gives Neto a more authentic connection to the sport. 

“I definitely still kart and use it to stay sharp,” Neto said. “I coach at Orlando Kart Center and as a result get a good amount of seat time doing one on one driving with younger drivers. Karting is the purest form of motorsport that offers a lot of feedback that we can transfer to virtually any car. During the season I don’t kart as much not to risk any injury during the season, but during a break, I always try to get some practice days under my belt!”

It isn’t just his ability in the car that keeps Neto in racing. His ability to form partnerships is very much what keeps his career growing. As a minority driver that proudly represents Brazil he works endlessly to develop relationships with both people and companies that support his racing career and in turn, give those partners unique opportunities in business. 

“I overcome the challenges by finding partners with specific business needs and offering tailored solutions,” Neto said. “Connecting different businesses that benefit from each other mutually. The result of this is that the businesses gain from the partnership with marketing on the racetrack and on social media.

“I actively promote my sponsors on social media and create a strong online presence and brand. Networking and building relationships within the industry also open doors for sponsorship opportunities. It's all about adaptability, perseverance, and innovative funding strategies to support my racing career.”

Neto would like to thank his current partners Skip Barber Racing School, AMED, Oeste Cotton, Primmoz Builders and 53Squad Performance and training for the support they have provided him thus far. The TC America powered by Skip Barber series gets back to work at Road America starting Friday, Aug. 18 through Sunday, Aug. 20. Tickets go on sale in July.