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Iberian Historic Endurance shows off at Navarra

Updated: Oct 24, 2022

The Iberian Historic Endurance caravan headed to the north of Spain this weekend for the sixth race of the season. On the modern Circuit de Navarra, the roaring sounds of the fascinating engines of yesteryear were once again heard.

  • Puig and Navarrete were the fastest on track

  • Davila wins H-1976 and Barbot the H-1965

  • Tremendous races in H-1971 and GDS

  • Special winner in Performance Index

On Saturday, the qualifying session and the first race took place on the 3.933-kilometre long Los Arcos circuit, during which the Iberian Historic Endurance competitors put on an excellent show in the spirit of the competition - "Relaxed Historic Racing".


With the sun's rays breaking through a cool morning, drivers and machines had a first morning contact with the track that Historic Endurance had not visited since 2018. In the early afternoon, the eagerly awaited 40-minute qualifying session then took place. With different strategies, the more than three dozen cars, which in their era have brightened the circuits they have passed through, took to the asphalt in search of the best possible time.

The Spanish duo Jordi Puig/Fernando Navarrete, in the always spectacular Ford GT40 entered in the GTP & SC class, concluded the session with the best time. Domingos Sousa Coutinho and Rui Maia were the best of the H-1971s, as they positioned the BMW 2800 CS on the front row of the grid. Frenchmen Florent Cazalot (Lotus Seven) and Stéphane Rey/Mathias Rey (Crosslé 7S), who did not line up for the race, put their GTP & SC class cars on the second row of the grid, while the third row was shared by Eduardo Davila (Porsche 911 3.0 RS), the fastest H-1976, and Carlos Barbot (Lotus Elan R), the fastest H-1965. Luís Sousa Ribeiro, in his competitive Ford Cortina Lotus, set the best time among the GDS class.


Starting from the first position, Jordi Puig and Fernando Navarrete carried out an authoritative race with the fabulous Ford GT40 and without any slips repeated the triumph in 2021 at Jarama. Florent Cazalot was a fair second place after a smooth race. Savinien Legeleux (Lotus Seven) completed the podium in the GTP & SC category, he who certainly enjoyed himself by meddling in the fight of the front men of the H-1971 class.

The third to see the chequered flag on Saturday afternoon was Eduardo Davila's Porsche 911 3.0 RS, which gave the Spanish driver the triumph in the H-1976 class, immediately followed by Carlos Barbot's Elan 26R, who, this time solo, tasted the category's triumph again after his victory at Estoril Classics. The Oporto Racing driver finished with a certain lead over the class runner-up, Frenchman Vincent Tourneur (Porsche 365 Speedster), who, with a lot of effort, managed to drive his car to the end and to celebrate another victory ( Index of Performance ).

Still concerning the H-1976, if Davila's triumph was unquestionable, the battle for the remaining positions of honour was always much more "open", with the French duo Mathieu Izidi/Rémi Guillot (Porsche 911 2. 7 RS) overtaking Ricardo Pereira/Nuno Breda (Ford Escort) in a tête-à-tête for second place, which doesn't take away the relevance of the Portuguese duo's result, since this was their first podium in the most prestigious classics competition of the Iberian Peninsula.

In a race that was always interesting, the highlight was, without a doubt, the fight for the victory in the H-1971 class. The BMW of Domingos Sousa Coutinho/Rui Maia led the first two laps until it DNF. From that moment on, the fight for the triumph was left to Joaquim Soares (Lotus Elan) and Paulo Lima (Ford Mustang). The imposing North American car jumped in front of the orange Lotus right in the first meters of the race, but the particular fight between these two cars, that always ran at the same level, was "complicated" by the presence of Savinien Legeleux's Seven and the present threat of Vincent Jimenez's Porsche 911 2.5 ST. Soares overtook Lima in the obligatory pit-stop, but he could never give up, because the short margin was not enough to give up. In fact, in a duel that lasted almost the entire race, the two cars crossed the finish line just two seconds apart. Vincent Jimenez was a legitimate third place.

In the Gentleman Driver Spirit (GDS) category, Luís Sousa Ribeiro managed to get away from Frenchman Michel Mora (Porsche 911 SWB) in the first moments of the race, and both of them were isolated in the front, until the latter abandoned. Nuno Nunes, who this time raced alone, had the merit to take the Porsche 911 SWB run by Garagem João Gomes to the second place. A little behind, in the first half of the race, there was a very funny duel between four drivers: Piero del Maso (Porsche 911 SWB), Carlos Beltran (Porsche 911 SWB), Carlos Santos (Ford Escort - H-1976) and Jorge Guimarães (Volvo 121 - H-1971). Playing at home, Carlos Beltran took the best and climbed to the last step of the podium.


The Performance Index, where the winner is not the first car to cross the finish line, but the one that performs the best on track according to age, cylinder capacity and body type, had its fifth different winner this season. The copy offered by the prestigious Swiss watchmaker Cuervos Y Sobrinos awarded in today's race will be handed over tomorrow to Frenchman Vincent Tourneur, the driver of the James Dean-style white Porsche 365 Speedster.

As well as being a figure in classics racing, this French driver is also one of the few international paraplegic drivers in the discipline. A former professional snowboarder in the 1970s, his life changed in 2003 following an accident at work. He refused to let his destiny be reduced to "three buttons" and has taken part in the world's biggest classic rally races, including the Tour Auto and the Mille Miglia, and races regularly. A habitué of Historic Endurance, Tourneur took part in the last edition of the Dakar Classic.

In the second position of the Index of Performance finished Luís Sousa Ribeiro, while the British duo Ellie Birchenhough / Nick Topliss (Austin Mini Cooper S) finished third.

The Festival de la Velocidad de Navarra continues this Sunday and the second race of the weekend, with the same duration of 50 minutes, will take place tomorrow at 12.55 pm (local time).


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