Iberian Endurance – Estoril – Jerez

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Not only fast on the track, historic racer and organiser, Diogo Ferrao, is also fast on his feet when it comes to adapting to ever-changing circumstances. Without his efforts the Iberian Endurance 250km race at Estoril would not have taken place on Friday 20 November. With tighter curfew restrictions announced in the late run-up to the two-day meeting, originally scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Ferrao moved his races to Friday, while some other grids were cancelled. He was rewarded with good support from the local, and some international, drivers, and even the weather, which remained warm and sunny all day, helped boost everyone’s spirits. The other race on the one-day programme was the Group 1 + Troféu Mini race, its drivers also enjoying a two-hour enduro.

250 kms Estoril

With a wide variety of cars, the regs allow for a myriad of classes, leaving everyone to battle for supremacy in their own group, but occasionally, a car and driver combination comes along that punches above its weight, and that has certainly been the case of Carlos Barbot and young Diogo Matos, who drove their little Merlyn MK4, in the H-GTP class, to pole and overall victory, ahead of the powerful Porsche 911 3.0 RS of Danish father and son Lars and Andreas Rolner, who nonetheless fought brilliantly for two hours and won the H-76 class. These two dominated the race, especially after the Ford Escort RS 1600 of Miguel Ferreira and Francisco Carvalho retired in the first half.

Last Race of the Season – Jerez

Being so far south, the Iberians can start their season early (in normal years) and end it late and still expect reasonable weather. With so much of the early season destroyed by COVID, they took advantage of their geography and extended the season on into mid-December with a grand finale at the Jerez circuit, where the Iberian Endurance racers again got a two-hour race. Joined by cars from the newest Race Ready grid, Carrera M80 for touring cars of the ‘80s and small capacity cars from the ‘90s, as well as GT Cup cars of the same years, Carrera los 80s was to have a three-race debut season, but the cancellation of the Jarama meeting in November meant they were invited to share the Iberian Endurance grid at Jerez. The 30 teams and more than 50 drivers were met in Andalucía with dry and mild conditions. The Pereira/Basso Escort dominated the first 30 minutes of the race, shadowed closely by Piero Dal Maso in a Porsche 911 2.8 Carrera RSR. Luis Pedro Liberal (in a similar Ford) and Francisco Freitas (Datsun 1200) lost time to the leaders, slowed by their own battle for third. But in the final phase of the race and after the last pit stop for refuelling and driver change, Piero Dal Maso returned to the lead, and held it until the end to take overall and class H76 honours.

Read more about these two race meetings in our January/February 2021 issue

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