2022 Estoril Classics will be held next weekend and, with three hundred cars covering six decades of motor racing, it will once again be an event not to be missed by true motorsport fans.
Once again, the event organised by the Cascais Tourism Association, with Race Ready, Peter Auto and the Automóvel Club de Portugal (ACP) as promoters, promises to make its mark on the world classic car racing calendar, with countless historically significant machines present at the Autódromo do Estoril from 7 to 9 October.
Peter Auto brings to us several races, one of which is the 2.0L Cup. This is a competition reserved for two-litre Porsche 911's prepared in accordance with FIA regulations until 1966; a guarantee of great racing throughout the Estoril Classics weekend.
Twenty-three machines from Zuffenhausen will deliver the thrilling roar of Porsche's high rotation flat-six to echo through the Estoril circuit.
The Classic Endurance Racing 1 competition takes us back to one of the most iconic eras of endurance racing. These cars are especially loved by the Portuguese public, who remember the first races held at the Autódromo do Estoril, in the streets of Vila Real, but also in Angola and Mozambique, where the Lola and Chevron cars drove the spectators to their feet.
The diversity that all those who come to the circuit will be able to observe will be intoxicating, with the Ford GT40 and the Lola T70 being excellent flagships of this Peter Auto competition and will delight enthusiasts, transporting them to Le Mans in the 1960s and 1970s. One of the stars will be a Porsche 908/3 in Martini colours, a car that won at the Nurburgring and the Targa Florio.
Classic Endurance Racing 2 is a chronological follow-up to the previous category, bringing the colour and noise of the 1970s and early 1980s.
Many prototypes will line up on the grid, from Lolas to Chevrons or Osellas. In addition to these, the impressive BMW M1 Procar, Ford Capri Zakspeed and Porsche 935 K3 can also be seen in action on track, adding a different colour to a race which will enthuse the fans who will be painting the stands and the paddock.
The parade of machines that went through Le Mans and the most iconic endurance races continues with the Endurance Racing Legends, which gathers GTs and prototypes from the 1990s and the beginning of this century when the Autódromo do Estoril returned to the international endurance racing calendars.
In this competition it is possible to see some of the machines that made history, as is the case of the Ferrari 430 GTC or the various versions of the Porsche 911. Equally impressive will be the MG Lola EX257, an open cockpit car that proved to be very fast in its time, to the point of disturbing the dominance of the Audi R8.
Also competing in this category will be the extraordinary Group C cars. It could be possible to see a direct confrontation between the impressive prototypes of the 1980s and their descendants of the following two decades, which sought to elevate performance over the strict fuel consumption rules.
The Greatest's Trophy, formerly known as Trofeo Nastro Rosso, is a competition featuring exceptional cars that marked the great endurance races in the 1950s and 1960s. With respect and fair-play as the key words, this is a competition that brings together exclusive cars of incalculable value, and that were once contenders for overall victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
In this category fans can delight in machines like the Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ and Giulia TZ, as well as the imposing Bizzarini 5300 GT. However, it will be the Ferrari 250 GT SWB, a car worth more than ten million euros, that will be the focus of attention, with no disrespect to the opponents it will encounter on the track.
The 1950s are also the theme of the Fifties' Legends, an era in which cars, though still rudimentary, were already reaching breakneck speeds on the mythical Hunaudieres straight, which at the time had no chicanes. This is the first visit of the competition whose cars marked the decade in which the modern era of motoring got off to a flying start.
One of the cars that stood out at the time was the Jaguar Type D, which won at Le Mans three times. One of these 'Big Cats' will be present at Estoril Classics, in itself it is worth a visit to the circuit which this year celebrates five decades of existence.
The Sixties' Endurance will be another point of interest for all enthusiasts with two-hour races dedicated to the endurance icons of the first half of the sixties of the last century.
Many different machines will be present at the Autódromo do Estoril, contributing to the diversity that will be seen throughout the weekend, but the Jaguar Type E, Shelby Cobra - with open and coupé versions - will be a special delight for all fans, who will also be able to hear the powerful singing of those big engines.
Of course touring cars, a popular category since the early days of motor racing, could not be left out of the party that will be Estoril Classics. The Heritage Touring Cup will bring to "our Autódromo" cars from 1966 to 1984.
Once again, there are several machines that can be seen, being sure that any fan will find one that marked him/her in a special way. The Estoril circuit is also umbilically linked to these cars, having hosted the European Touring Car Championships in 1977 and 1978. However, given its spectacular and historical interest, it would be unfair not to mention the Ford Capri - 2600 RS and 3100 Cologne - the BMW 3.0 CSL and the Alfa Romeo Giulia 1750 GTAm.
There are almost three hundred cars full of history and evoking glorious eras of motoring. A must-see for any true motorsport enthusiast, as in addition to getting a glimpse of unique machines, you will also have the pleasure of watching them do what they were born to do - compete.
But the parade of competitions is not reduced to the numerous categories of Peter Auto. The Iberian Historic Endurance will also have its race at Estoril Classics, with the most prestigious Iberian Peninsula classic car series showcasing GT and Touring cars from 1965 to 1976. With forty-five cars registered for its fifty-minute race, emotion will be a guarantee, promising to keep all the fans in the stands until the chequered flag.
Finally, there is one of the headliners of Estoril Classics, the Classic GP by Portugal Sotheby's Realty. During the weekend, all the fans will have the chance to watch two Formula 1 car races with single-seaters that made history in the top category of motor sports between 1971 and 1983.
Over the three days, with ten categories and over three hundred cars competing, Estoril Classics promises to be a unique event, in which the public will be able to interact closely with the competitors and their machines, besides having access to the "Food & Brand Village", an area where all fans will be able to socialize and discover various items of 'memorabilia'.
ACP Clássicos will once again be part of the Estoril Classics. With an exhibition dedicated to the history of Aston Martin with some of the most emblematic models in which the DB5 made famous in the James Bond movies could not miss. A 1901 Darracq will also be present in an evocation of the 120 years of the Figueira da Foz - Lisbon Raid that took place on October 27th, 1902 and which was at the genesis of the foundation of the Real Automóvel Club de Portugal on April 15th, 1903.
Tickets can be purchased through the official Estoril Classics website, as well as the new schedule, and also physically at FNAC, Worten, El Corte Inglês and CTT Correios, being that, as it is public knowledge, the number of tickets is limited to the physical space of the paddock of the Estoril circuit. Tickets for one day are at 30 euros, while those for the three days of the event cost 50 euros. There are still some tickets available, but for all those who do not get the desired access to the paddock, as is traditional, entrance to Grandstand A is free.