The sixth edition of Estoril Classics, and the fifth supported by Peter Auto, was run under benign summer sunshine as befits southern Portugal and the Cascais region, in front of a capacity crowd of 30,000 enthusiastic spectators. After free practice and qualifying sessions on Friday and Saturday morning for the ten grids on the programme, racing kicked off on Saturday afternoon with an 80-minute race for Peter Auto’s Fifties Legends.
This was won by Danes Jakob Viggo Holstein and Ott Reedtz-Thott, who outpaced the rest of the field, including the pole-sitting pre-‘63 spec Cobra of John Spiers and Nigel Greensall that had its hands full battling with the little Lotus XI of Dafyd Richards and Eugène Deleplanque’s Austin Healey 3000. The Lotus dropped out just a few laps from the end, and the Cobra was out in front when the flag fell, but Deleplanque’s Healey was classified second after the Cobra was penalised, which also promoted Romain Guerardelle’s MGB to third.
The impressive Maserati MC12 GT came out on top of a strong Endurance Racing Legends grid in the hands of Evgeny Kireev and Ramzan Orusbaev, beating Mike Newton’s MG EX264 LMP2, which dropped to last on the first lap after he was sent into a spin by an errant Aston Martin. He fought his way back up to second at the flag.
The traditional Saturday evening slot was reserved for the 40 cars of the Sixties’ Endurance two-hour race, as usual dominated by Cobras. However, Lotus 15 pilots Michael Birch and Luke Stevens weren’t going to let the snakes have it all their own way. Richard Cook and Harvey Stanley were first to lead in their Cobra but fell back down the standings with a penalty. Was this a gift to Guillaume Mahé and Maxime Guenat? No was the answer as a few minutes from the finish, Guenat ended up in a gravel trap. As Philip Kadoorie and Seb Perez had opened up a gap at the wheel of their Cobra, the Hong Kong national anthem resounded around the circuit. Birch and Stevens snatched second place from all the big horsepower cars and Armand Mille and Yves Scemama completed the overall podium with their Cobra Daytona Coupe.
Bavarian cars prevailed over their Cologne rivals in the Heritage Touring Cup with Sebastian Glaser/Michael Kammermann and Franz Wunderlich/Patrick Simon coming first and second in that order. Although Maxime Guenat led in his Cologne Capri at the halfway point, the Swiss driver ran into trouble and had to return to his pit because of brake failure.
Jean-Lou Rihon and Nick Padmore clinched the Group A win in their BMW 635 CSi, while Peter Joos won the TC1 class with his Ford Falcon Sprint.
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