Iberian Historic Endurance – Showdown at Estoril

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It has become a tradition that the final race of the Iberian Endurance season is a 250km enduro at Estoril, this year held on 2 December as part of the Estoril Endurance Festival.

Qualifying for the race was close on a damp, then dry, track, with the top four separated by less than half a second.  Carlos Brizido and João Pina Cardoso took pole, followed in close succession by soloist Pedro Bastos Rezende (both in Porsche 911 3.0 RS), then the 2.8 L Porsche of Paul Daniels and Markus Palttala and the agile Lotus Elan 26R of Carlos Barbot and Diogo Matos.

In this order, the first four lined up with the rest of the pack for the classic Le Mans-style start to the strains of the São Pedro de Sintra Firefighters band, marching down the line of 40 cars.

The first leader was the Porsche of polemen Brizido and Pina Cardoso, running in the H-76 class, challenged by the H-65 class Barbot/Matos Elan, which sadly faded away into retirement on the fourth lap.  After the pit stops, Hipólito Pires and Tiago Raposo Magalhães led the field, and the 65 Class, in their Porsche 904/6, but they suffered two penalties that knocked them back to fifth overall, just ahead of the second-in-class Cobra of Brice Pineau and Olivier Muytjens.  

Next to lead were Jesus Fuster and Jorge Lopez, but the Spanish pair, in yet another 911 3.0 RS, was also penalised, for overtaking in the pit lane, leaving the consistently quick Rezende to come home overall and 76-class winner, topping a highly successful season for the Portuguese driver.  With a clean race and no mistakes, Paul Daniels and Markus Palttala, two former FIA World Endurance Championship drivers, saw the chequered flag in second place, and also took second in class.

Paulo Lima, who had been in the running for an overall win and took fastest lap of the race in his Ford GT40, finally finished on the third step of the podium with a win in the GTP & SC class, leaving behind classmates and 2014 race winners, João Mira Gomes and Nuno Afoito, in their Lotus 7.  Father and son, Stéphane and Mathias Rey, in a Crosslé 7S, were third in class, although a long way off the top two.

In the H-1971 class, the fight was between the Alfa Romeo GTAm of Rafael Cerveira Pinto and Carlos Dias Pedro and the similar car of Pedro Gonçalves, Manuel Melo and João Sardinha, the two teams finishing in ninth and tenth places in that order.

Index of Performance winners were Bevilacqua, Magalhães and Veiga

In the Gentleman Driver Spirit (GDS) class, where Garagem João Gomes monopolised the podium with SWB Porsches, Nuno Nunes was the strongest, with Michel Mora and the duo Piero dal Maso/José Carvalhosa completing the triple.  Until a few minutes before the end, it had been the French driver in the lead, but a drive-through demoted him to second in class.

For Diogo Ferrão and his team, the most prestigious prize goes to the winner of the Index of Performance, who is offered a Cuervos y Sobrinos watch, this time won by the Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti Super of Rui Bevilacqua, António Magalhães and Nuno Veiga.

These stories are all from the pages of Historic Motor Racing News.  Some have been abbreviated for this web site.  If you'd like to receive the full version, please visit our subscription page where you will find postal subscriptions available.  A full subscription also entitles you to access the current issue online (available soon), so you can take it with you and read it anywhere, and we are working on providing full access to our archives of back issues exclusively for our subscribers.