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Racing certainties

By SKIP BANDELE

This weekend sees all-action racing returning to the Portimão Motor Park.

Top of the agenda are the final rounds of the Portuguese Touring and Classic Car Championships featuring competitive events on both days.

Further popular events on the undercard include the GT&Sport Prototype Championship and the Ford Transit Trophy.

The Grand Touring category, with races scheduled at 3pm tomorrow (Saturday) and 1pm on Sunday will be of particular local interest as Algarve Racing Services manager and on track instructor Steve Worrad is competing in one of his company’s British-made Ginetta G50 GT4, sponsored by Portimão-based Rapid Zoom owner Donald Nassens.

Also behind the wheel of a BMW M3 GT4 will be Parkalgar managing director Paulo Pinheiro.

The meeting of theory and practice should make for an interesting spectacle as the race track’s spiritual father teams up with well-known EVO racing magazine journalist Roger Green to put his brainchild to the test.

“It was a challenge issued in almost a joking manner by Roger,” Pinheiro said, “which we both ended up taking seriously.”

Lastly on four wheels in a competitive race will be Parkalgar Honda Supersport rider Miguel Praia. The Albufeira resident has accepted an invitation from 2010 Portuguese Circuit champion Jose Monroy principally to put the new Mitsubishi Lancer EVO IX through its paces in the GT&Sport Prototypes category.

The weekend’s entertainment sandwiches the start of the Casinos do Algarve Rally which gets under way with a ‘Superspecial’ night stage at the track at 8.30pm tomorrow (Saturday) evening.

More than 50 participants headed up by Portuguese 2010 rally champion elect Bernardo Sousa, as well as top contenders Miguel Campos, Vitor Pascoal and Ricardo Moura, will show off their skills on asphalt before moving into the Monchique mountains for Sunday’s Foia, Corchas and Alferce stages.

Meanwhile the national motocross MX2 championship will reach its deciding round in Cortelha next Sunday.

The circuit’s second visit to Loule’s interior this year will see Luis Correia and Sandro Marcos going head-to-head in the fourth and last round of the season.