Tuka Rocha succumbs to plane crash injuries in Brazil

Brazilian racing driver Christiano ‘Tuka’ Rocha has died as a result of injuries sustained in a plane crash in Brazil on Thursday. He was 36.

Rocha was aboard a plane that crashed upon landing in Barra Grande, Marau district. One person was killed at the scene and Rocha was among the nine seriously injured, having suffered severe burns and pulmonary intoxication from which he succumbed on Sunday morning in hospital.

After beginning his racing career in Brazil, Rocha sprang to prominence in Europe when he was teammate to F1 refugee Ricardo Zonta in World Series by Nissan in 2002. He went on to race in Italian F3000 and A1GP – where he represented Brazil alongside the likes of Bruno Junqueira, Rafa Matos and Vitor Meira in 2006-07.

He drove for the Flamengo team in Superleague Formula, with a best result of second place at Donington Park in the football club-based single-seater series, before moving back to his native Brazil and contesting the domestic Stock Car series between 2011 and 2018, where he was a race winner at Ribeirao Preto in 2015.

A graduate of the Brazilian karting scene, Rocha was one of the founders of Speedland, one of Brazil’s biggest karting franchises, and ran the Tuka Racing School in Sao Paulo.

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