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Back to the past in Jerez

The Iberian Historic Endurance returned to the challenging and captivating Circuito de Jerez-Ángel Nieto to deliver two highly exciting and spectacular races at the 4th edition of the Jerez Historic Festival.

At the historic Andalusian permanent circuit, we reminisced about the marvelous years when the world of Spanish motorsport advanced at a rapid pace, thanks to the contributions of the Jerez track. And there was nothing better than a local driver enforcing the rule of the fastest during a festive weekend.

After pole-position, the experienced Spanish driver Jordi Puig led almost the entire race on Saturday, only losing the lead during the mandatory pit stop. The Porsche 911 3.0 RS of Bruno Santos/Cláudio Vieira and Pedro Bastos Rezende ran in that order until Bastos Rezende jumped into first position. It was a short-lived lead, as the blue Ford GT40 only needed half a lap to regain the top spot and go on to win the GTP class, in which Paulo Lima's Ford GT40 was second, while the driver of the Porsche prepared by Aurora Motorsport took victory in the H-1976 class, clearly ahead of the opposing duo.

Despite the threat of rain and strong winds, the second race of the Historic Endurance was run on a dry surface to the delight of most of the drivers. Jordi Puig stormed to the lead of the race, but this time found himself chased by David Methley, the winner of Saturday's H-1965 class race. The Englishman in the AC Cobra looked capable of keeping up with the favourite Ford GT40, but a mechanical problem forced him to retire on the second lap. Bastos Rezende and Bruno Santos/Cláudio Vieira were once again involved in a lively battle for the honours in the H-76 class, but the Portuguese-Spanish driver repeated his victory from the first race. Justin Maeers and Charlie Martin were the fourth to see the chequered flag, but after a penalty to Paulo Lima, they climbed to third in the standings and second in the GTP category with their Cooper Monaco T49.

In the H-1965, which featured more than ten cars, including a squad of five Lotus Elans, David Methley won the first race, followed by Stephan Joebstl and Andy Willis, while Swiss Max Huber took third place on the final lap of a 50-minute race. In the second race, it was the young Ralf Huber who won, with the Steve Jones/Chris Atkinson duo in Lotus Elan close behind, crossing the finish line less than a second behind. A very satisfied Guillaume Huber, in a Ford Mustang, got his first podium.

Third in the H-1976s in Saturday's race, Frederico Brion Sanches/Jorge Lopez, in a Porsche 911 3.0 RS, were second on Sunday, while the returning Carlos Brízido got the better of English ex-WEC driver Paul Daniels, in a Porsche 911 2.8 RSR, after a close but always correct fight between these two "Gentleman Drivers".

In H-1971, following on from their good form in the Estoril Classics, Rafael Cerveira Pinto and Carlos Dias Pedro, in Alfa Romeo GTAm, had a perfect weekend and won both races categorically, while Manuel de la Torre, in his Porsche 911 S, was second twice and the duo Carlos Rivera/Lucas Rivera third in the BMW 2002 Tii entered by Real Circuito de Guadalope, the Spanish club that continues to invoke the memory of the Alcañiz city circuit.

Among the GDS (Gentleman Driver Spirit) competitors, the Porsche 911 SWB from Garagem João Gomes secured a double victory in the first race, with Michel Mora leading the way followed by Piero Dal Maso and José Carvalhosa. The Velez-Grilo family driving a BMW 2002, clinched the final spot on the podium.

In the second race, the two Porsche cars from Garagem João Gomes were caught off guard by the MG B of Brian and Barbara Lambert, who emerged as victors in their beautifully prepared English model.

In the sixth race of the season, in the Index of Performance classification based on the first race's results, three Lotus Elans claimed the top three positions. Newcomers Stephan Joebstl and Andy Willis received a prestigious watch from the renowned Swiss brand Cuervo Y Sobrinos, and they were joined on the podium by the duo of Steve Jones and Chris Atkinson, along with Paul O'Reilly.

Diogo Ferrão commented at the end of the event: "It was a great weekend, on and off the track, in this spectacular city of Jerez de la Frontera. The track always offers very entertaining races and greater camaraderie due to the excellent moments of conviviality that the city offers. That's why the Gentlemen Driver spirit was at its best and once again there was no contact between cars, which is still one of the most important issues in Historic Endurance".

After the visit to Andaluzia, the most charming Iberian competition says goodbye to the 2023 season at the Estoril Autodrome, when the Estoril Endurance Festival takes place on the first weekend of December. In an event that combines the competition's end-of-season race with the revived 500 km of Estoril for modern cars, this is an opportunity to see and revisit some of the most beautiful racing classics on the Iberian Peninsula.


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