Since yesterday, Brazilian motorsports mourns the passing, of engine-tuner Lúcio Pascoal Gascon (78) – better known among go-kart and racing enthusiasts as “Tchê” – in the city of São Paulo.

Born in Spain and holding a degree in engineering, Tchê came to Brazil search of employment, and ended up working with the country’s greatest racing legends – among them, a promising young go-kart driver named Ayrton Senna.

The partnership began in 1974, the year Ayrton got his first go-kart title, winning the Junior division of the Paulista championship. Tchê can be seen waving the checkered flag to Senna’s go-kart in the now-famous photograph, at the Interlagos track (above). The Spaniard was in charge of prepping the vehicle’s engines, and he even owned an automobile repair shop near the José Carlos Pace racetrack, in Interlagos.

Thanks to the successful partnership, the Brazilian driver won title after title, paving his way to the biggest category in the world of motorsports. Ayrton and Tchê had such a close relationship that, in 1990, the idol wrote an open letter thanking his friend.

“My Friend Tchê

You’re someone who’s incredibly responsible for how my life turned out. You’re the one who taught almost all I know, who helped me and who was there for me in every single moment. You’re the one who made me get to where I am. You’re the most responsible for my glories. You can’t imagine how grateful I am. You’ve earned a lot of affection and warmth from me.

Tchê, you’re extraordinary, someone to whom I’m forever tied. You better believe in all of this, because I’m speaking from the bottom of my heart, ‘espanholo’.


Source: Folha da Tarde, September 29th 1990