Star Track.jpg

Star Track

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.

From left: Lord Paul Drayson from Drayson Racing, Phil Egginton from Puxar Lustro vehicle services shop at the race track, and Simon Rose, Algarve representative for the Aston Martin Owners Club
From left: Lord Paul Drayson from Drayson Racing, Phil Egginton from Puxar Lustro vehicle services shop at the race track, and Simon Rose, Algarve representative for the Aston Martin Owners Club

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.

British racing driver Leo Mansell (left), son of F1 world champion Nigel Mansell, with Doug Styles from Kiss FM
British racing driver Leo Mansell (left), son of F1 world champion Nigel Mansell, with Doug Styles from Kiss FM

TOP RACING

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, there was plenty to see and to do, including a swimming pool, kids’ recreation area and live concerts.

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

Do you have a view on this story? Email us at editor@algarveresident.com

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