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Historic Endurance: Two unpredictable races in the heat of Portimão

  • Eduardo Davila wins first race

  • Pedro Bastos Rezende wins second

  • Porsche 356 keeps the tradition in the Index of Performance

Historic Endurance held its first race on Portuguese soil this season during the Algarve Summer Party weekend (July 30/31). After the stops in Barcelona, Pau and Spa-Francorchamps, at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, the biggest classics competition in the south of Europe provided again two lively races for drivers and spectators, in which the very hot weather was an obstacle overcome by the well prepared machines of the competition organized by Race Ready.

During the Algarve Summer Party weekend, Historic Endurance held its first race on Portuguese soil this season. After the sucessfullevents  in Barcelona, Pau and Spa-Francorchamps, the most prestigious historic racing competition in the south of Europe provided again two lively races for drivers and spectators at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, in which the very hot weather was an obstacle overcome by the well prepared field of the competition organized by Race Ready.

Race 1 - Eduardo Davila wins in dramatic finish

Eduardo Davila won late a late drama 50-minute Historic Endurance race on Saturday afternoon.

After Saturday morning's qualifying session, in which Pedro Bastos Rezende (Porsche 911 3.0 RS) was the fastest, 46 cars took to the asphalt of the circuit that hosted the last Portuguese Grand Prix later in the afternoon for an exciting race.

Pedro Bastos Rezende quickly took the lead of the race, but the advantage built in the initial moments was dissipated in the fourth lap when the Safety-Car had to be put on track to remove a car immobilized in a risky position. The safety car period was decisive in the teams' strategies, and those who were able to take advantage of it managed to climb in the classification, and those who were not so fortunate lost positions.

Pedro Bastos Rezende seemed more than capable of repeating the double Barcelona victory, until, four laps from the end, engine problems in his car left him at the mercy of his opponents, falling to third overall and second in the H-1976 class. Spanish driver Eduardo Davila (Porsche 911 3.0 RS), who was also comfortably in second place, took the opportunity to overtake the favorite and be the first to see the checkered flag, also winning the H-1976 class, where Bruno Duarte and Filipe Jesus' Porsche 911 3.0 RS completed the podium.

Domingo Sousa Coutinho, who teamed up with Ricardo Pereira in his BMW 2800 CS, was the second car to cross the finish line, conquering with authority the victory in the H-1971 class, where Joaquim Soares (Lotus Elan) and Luís Sousa Ribeiro (BMW 2800 CS) were second and third at the flag.

Race 2 - Rezende gets even with De Tomaso

With his Porsche "out of action", Pedro Bastos Rezende had to resort to his spectacular De Tomaso Pantera for the second race. Starting from 43rd place on the grid, even on a day when temperatures were not inviting to extreme performances, the De Tomaso Pantera frantically climbed positions to the first place. Without taking unnecessary risks, Pedro Bastos Rezende didn't slow down the pace and crossed the finish line comfortably in first place, taking the victory in the H-1976 class.

Eduardo Davila was the first leader of the race, but he would lose positions as the race went on, seeing the chequered flag in fourth place and third of the H-1976 class. Bruno Duarte and Filipe Jesus improved on Saturday's result and their Porsche 911 3.0 RS finished second in the H-1976 class, the best result of the season for this duo.

The BMW 2800 CS of the Domingos Sousa Coutinho and Ricardo Pereira duo led the H-1971 class for a good part of the race, but a penalty for speeding in the pitlane put an end to their chance of repeating their Race 1 success. With a showy performance, Joaquim Soares (Lotus Elan) categorically triumphed among the H-1971s, finishing second only to De Tomaso. The Alfa Romeo 2000 GTAm of the German duo Bjorn Ebsen/Volker Hichert kept the good form already seen with a second place in the 3 Hours of Spa, and was second, ahead of Luís Sousa Ribeiro who was again third.

H-1965: Mustang Law

In the most international of all classes, Dutchman Harmen van Putten lived up to his favoritism and imposed his Shelby Mustang GT350 in both races, always running close to the top ten. Harmen van Putten's first place was never in question, but the same could not be said about his second place. Per-Ake Forsvall (Lotus Elan), one of the stars of the class at the Historic Grand Prix of Pau, took the lead in the first race, while Pieter Boel/Richard Rubbio (Iso Grifo A3C) were the strongest duo in the second encounter.

GDS: Shared Wins

With an impressive 11th place overall, 2009 Spanish GT Champion Ricardo Bravo, driving an Alfa Romeo GTA, triumphed in the Gentlamen Driver Spirit (GDS) category on Saturday, beating the elegant Porsche 911 SWB cars of Piero del Maso/João Carvalhosa and Frenchman Michel Mora. The category that includes all cars equipped with engines up to 1300cc and all Touring cars up to 2000cc had a different winner in Sunday's race. Problems with the Alfa Romeo opened the door to other protagonists, with Michel Mora winning outright and ahead of Piero del Maso/João Carvalhosa. João Neves and José Pina took advantage of the infamous Datsun 1200's reliability and didn't let the opportunity to climb to the last place of the podium slip away.

GTP & Sports Car: Double Win for the Lotus 7

In the GTP & Sportscar class, João Mira Gomes/Nuno Afoito (Lotus 7) won both races, with Paulo Rompante (Alfa Romeo Ti Super) second on Sunday, while the Lotus 23B of French duo Xavier Rascagneres/Jérome Peyrat made its Historic Endurance debut with a second place in Saturday's race.

Index of Performance: Keeping the tradition

The Porsche 356 is the car with more wins in Portimão in the Index Performance Cuervo y Sobrinos and this weekend this prize was delivered again to one of house of Weissach cars. In the best spirit of Historic Endurance - Relaxed Historic Racing - the Iberian duo Pedro Moriyon/José Carvalhosa took home a watch from the prestigious Swiss watchmaker Cuervo Y Sobrinos. Ricardo Bravo's GTA took second place, while the Lotus Cortina from the Netherlands, crewed by Gerritjan van Leenen and Bert van Hees, finished third.

For Diogo Ferrão this "was a weekend with a lot of heat, but where the machines held up very well the races with the special highlight that, in the second race, and during the 50 minutes and with 47 cars on track, we didn't have any Safety-Car period. We ended up with two surprise winners on a grid that fills us with pride. To see fifty cars accelerating on the big straight of Portimão has a special meaning! We are lucky that all the cars are fantastic, but to watch the full-throated singing of this De Tomaso Pantera is extraordinary."

Next race: Historic Endurance returns on the weekend of 8 and 9 October, as one of the races of Estoril Classics, the largest event of historic racing in the Iberian Peninsula that takes place annually at the Autdromo Estoril.


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