This weekend will mark the return of the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) to the Algarve International Racetrack (Autódromo Internacional do Algarve) in Portimão.
The concluding round of the 2022 season, ‘4 Hours of Portimão’, will take place on Sunday (October 16) and is promising an “afternoon of thundering engines, high-pressure pit stops and thrilling corners”.
The ELMS was once again held in six rounds this year, each with a 4-hour race across Europe: France, Italy (Imola and Monza), Spain, Belgium and Portugal.
The season started in April with the Official Tests and the first round at Le Castellet in France and will now culminate in Portimão.
For United Autosports, the focus will be on “continuing the Portimão success story”.
The Anglo-American race team – co-owned by McLaren Racing CEO, Zak Brown, and former 24 Hours of Le Mans champion, Richard Dean – celebrated victory at the 2018 and 2021 editions of the Algarve endurance race, with the #22 car taking the chequered flag under the October sunshine.
British drivers Phil Hanson and Tom Gamble were part of the winning #22 crew last year and are back to race again with new teammate Duncan Tappy.
“And fresh from a winning weekend together at the 4 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps last month, the United team have got their eyes firmly set on the top step of the Portuguese podium,” the team says in a statement to the press.
“Portimão is the last round of the European Le Mans Series, so there’s the added excitement and hunger to do well and finish the year on a good note. The track itself is very enjoyable – it’s tight, twisty and invokes good racing with traffic from other classes playing a big role in how you’re able to pass and block your competitors,” says driver Phil Hanson.
His teammate Tom Gamble also spoke highly of the Algarve racetrack, describing Portimão as one of his favourite circuits.
“It’s a track myself and the team have great memories at, winning the LMP3 ELMS title back in 2020 and winning the final race of the season in LMP2. That was such a great way to end the season, hopefully we can make it three victories in a row this year,” he said.
Last but not least, Duncan Tappy said that racing at Portimão “is always fun”.
“The circuit is epic and creates great racing, and as a team we have a great track record here. Plus, it’s nice to come out a few days early and squeeze in some golf before the season finale kicks off,” said Tappy.
Tests and qualifying rounds take place on October 14 and 15, with the four-hour race starting on Sunday at 1pm.
The 4 Hours of Portimão will be open to the public, and tickets are already on sale. The three-day passes cost €20 and the Sunday race ticket €15.
For more information, visit the official website: https://www.europeanlemansseries.com/