By João Rodrigues
Algarve Motor Park in Portimão was host to a spectacular motoring event at the weekend, gathering racing stars and leading teams for four days of practising, qualification and racing.
The reason was the Le Mans Series – 1,000km do Algarve race, which brought all the excitement and spectacular entourage that goes with it to the Algarvean track.
Everywhere there was colour, engines, tyres, cars, trucks, all sorts of machinery and a very enthusiastic audience, so much so that the atmosphere was close to a Formula 1 event.
The design and facilities of the race track were truly put to the test and all the teams and drivers were unanimous about its high standards.
The drivers were thrilled, highlighting the demanding and challenging twists and turns and elevation changes of the race track, exactly what a good and confident racing driver wants.
Another highlight was the first Le Mans Series night race. It was fantastic to witness the spectacular performance of the 35 cars under the clear Algarve moonlight.
Although the main aspect at the weekend was, in fact, the race for the Le Mans Series Championship, the event included various other races: World Series by Renault, Supercopa Seat Leon, Formula Le Mans, Classic Endurance Racing, Superstars – Radical
European Masters. A busy time not only for the teams but also for journalists covering the event, the general public and race track staff!
After 1,000kms, six hours and 215 laps, the Pescarolo – Judd driven by Jean-Christophe Bouillon and Christophe Tinseau (Team Pescarolo Sport ) took the chequered flag, followed by the Lola Aston Martin (Aston Martin Racing) driven by Jan Charouz, Tomas Enge and Sefan Mücke.
Portuguese drivers Tiago Monteiro (Team Oreca AIM), Miguel Pais do Amaral (Quifel – ASM Team) and Miguel Ramos (Lola Aston Martin) all delivered brilliant performances, with Monteiro finishing in third place overall and Pais do Amaral winning his category (LM P2).
The weekend saw skilled top drivers in a fabulous race track that is already in the hearts and minds (and hands!) of all those who love real motor sport. And, with or without cars on the track,
POS. CAT. TEAM CAR LAPS
1 LMP1 Pescarolo SportPescarolo – Judd0 215
2 LMP1 Aston Martin Racing Lola Aston Martin 215
3 LMP1 Team Oreca Matmut – AIM Courage-Oreca LC70 – AIM 214
6 LMP2 Quifel – ASM Team Gynetta Zytek 09S – Zytek 207
7 LMP2 Racing Box Lola B08/80 Coupé – Jud 205
8 LMP2 G.A.C. Racing Team Zytek 07S – Zytek 205
14 LMGT1 Luc Alphand Aventures Corvette C6.R 194
24 LMGT1 Larbre Competition Saleen S7R – Ford 172
15 LMGT2 JMW Motorsport Ferrari F430 GT 190
16 LMGT2 IMSA Performance Matmut Porsche 997 GT3 RSR 190
17 LMGT2 Team Modena Ferrari F430 GT 189
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