Iberian Historic Endurance dresses up for Estoril Classics
Updated: Sep 29, 2022
45 cars and over 70 drivers to take part in the race
Iconic models and several national champions
Five categories that promise an exciting race
The Iberian Historic Endurance, the most prestigious historic racing series on the Iberian Peninsula will present itself in all its glory at Estoril Classics, an event that has already become an essential stop on the European itinerary of great classic events.
With more than seventy pre-registrations, Race Ready had to make a careful selection to bring together a starting grid of excellence for the 6th edition of Estoril Classics a starting grid of excellence with forty-five Tourism and GT cars, divided into five classes, which spread their magic on several national and international race tracks around the world between 1965 and 1976.
Highlight for the presence in the fifth race of the 2022 season of two machines rarely seen competing in Portugal, such as the Porsche 904/6, a car once built by Porsche to satisfy the FIA definition of a GT car, or the Ginetta G4R, one of the most successful models of the small British car builder. Ten car manufacturers are represented on this colourful grid, featuring iconic models of world motoring, such as the 911 by Porsche, the E-Type by Jaguar, the Escort by Ford, the Elan by Lotus or the GTAm by Alfa Romeo.
For Diogo Ferrão, CEO of Race Ready, the promoter of Iberian Historic Endurance, this is always a special race: "Estoril Classics has already become a 'must do' in European and therefore the most awaited event for our Iberian Peninsula drivers and teams. So, with over seventy applications, we had to make a considered choice of which cars to accept based on diversity, on-track behaviour/performance and of course frequency of participation. We thus hope to have a fantastic race in what is the most anticipated event of the year."
With a qualifying session on Saturday afternoon, the 50-minute Iberian Historic Endurance race will close the packed Estoril Classics 2022 programme at 5.30pm on Sunday (October 9).
GDS: A word to the petite
The Gentlemen Driver Spirit (GDS) class, which includes all cars equipped with engines up to 1300cc and all Touring cars up to 2000cc, gathers a wide range of cars, including the curious Fiat 128 SF of the José Moreira/Paulo Antunes or the Datsun 1200, a model that says a lot to motoring fans in Portugal, to be driven by João Neves. Rui Belivacqua, whose presence in motor racing spans five decades, will drive an Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti Super, while Luís Sousa Ribeiro brings his competitive Ford Cortina Lotus, a model resulting from Colin Chapman's mastery in the early 1960s.
This quartet is joined by four Porsche 911 SWB, all driven by drivers with a proven track record in Historic Endurance. The French Vincent Tourneur and Michel Mora, the latter a podium driver in the last Pau Classic Grand Prix, will drive their beautiful German short wheelbase, while the Spaniard Carlos Beltrán, head of the Nou Onze Team, will be paired with his compatriot Pablo Tarrero. The Portuguese trio composed by Piero dal Maso/Nuno Nunes/José Carvalhosa, will meet in the 911 SWB-run by Garagem João Gomes.
H-1965: Perfect balance between elegance and speed
Some say that it was in the 1960s that the most elegant cars in history were built, and perhaps it is no coincidence that the most eye-catching cars on the starting grid will appear in this category of cars built up to 1965. Besides the Porsche 904/6, from Denmark, to be shared by Thorkild Stamp and Michael Holden, lining up in the grid will also be the well prepared 356 of the Iberian duo Pedro Moriyon/João Carvalhosa, winners of the Index of Performance in the last race held in Portimão, and Guillermo Velasco/Francisco Freitas, whose SC model stands out for the legendary Gulf decoration.
The robust Ford Mustang of the Dutchman Bart Uiterwaal will be noticed not only for its size, but also for the roar of its 4.7 litre engine. Its biggest opposition will come from the cars made in the United Kingdom, including Palle Pedersen's Ginetta and two precious Jaguar E-Type that return to the series, both with the curiosity of having two especially fast female drivers at the wheel. Lisa Schwartz will team up with her father Christophe, while Rhea Sutter will share the driving duties with Andy Newall, a pair who finished second overall in the Spa 3 Hours.
To complete the field, three Lotus cars will delight the spectatores: Carlos Barbot, a multiple winner in international classic car races, will drive his Elan 26R, Sweden's Per-Ake Forsvall will try to repeat the good pace he showed on the streets of Pau in his Elan and Robin Ellis, winner of the Index of Performance in France's Pau Classic Grand Prix, will swap his less powerful Lotus Elite for a faster Elan 26R.
H-1971: When quality and quantity meet
Fourteen cars will compete for the honours in this class, where there is a bit of everything, including five Alfa Romeos, one of them a GTA Corsa version from the German Christian Oldendorff, a car prepared with care and handwerkskunst by Fernandes Oldtimertechnik, in Hamburg, a workshop that will also take care of Volker Hichert and Björn Ebsen's car in this race. With the same commitment and hard work, RP Motorsport will put two GTAm on track for the duos Roberto Díaz Rincón/Francisco Sottomayor and Jorge Santos/Alcides Petiz, while João Sardinha is in charge of another identical unit to be shared with Mário Neto and Pedro Gonçalves.
With Supercars Endurance racer Francisco Carvalho and Miguel Ferreira at the wheel, the Ford Escort RS1600 prepared by Antero Pereira is an unquestionable candidate to victory, as well as the Ford Escort that Mário Silva, an unavoidable name of the national car racing scene, will debut with the world-known automotive executive Carlos Tavares, making up one of the most famous pairs of the whole event.
Motivated by the victories obtained in the previous race disputed in Portimão, Joaquim Soares will try again to stand out with his agile orange Lotus Elan, something that Domingos Sousa Coutinho and Rui Maia will want to do in the same way at the wheel of the vigorous BMW 2800 CS.
In such a heterogeneous class it would be inevitable not to find a few Porsche models. There will be four models and three of them will be different models: the Spanish "habitué" Manuel de la Torre will bring his 914/6, car resulting from the collaboration between Porsche and Volkswagen, Carlos Brízido will drive an apollineal 911 ST, the former RallyClassics Series winner Jordi Prenafeta will drive a 911 2.5T and the trio Piero dal Maso/Nuno Nunes/José Carvalhosa will share the driving of another 911 2.5T.
Last but not least, the imposing Ford Mustang of Paulo Lima, Bruno Lima and José Paradela, besides being a car that cannot be ignored in the chronometer battle, adds to this race the "pedigree" of a car that fifty years ago competed in the American tracks.
H-1976: Dearborn breaks Stuttgart monopoly
From this group emerged the first car to see the chequered flag in last year's race. A regular at international classic races, Denmark's Lars Rolner will attempt to repeat his triumph of last year with one of the eight Porsche 911 3.0 RS entered, which also includes the archetype to be driven by his wife and all-round speedster Annette Rolner.
From Spain there will be two competitive 911 3.0 RS, one for the duo Juan Alonso/Jose Antonio Zorrilla, who this season took the podium place in Carrera Los 80 Race in the Race Ready-organized "Supercars en Jarama" weekend, and another one for Eduardo Davila, winner of the first of the two Iberian Historic Endurance races in the "Algarve Summer Party" last July.
Still among the Weissach cars, the Portuguese national colours are represented by four 911 3.0 RS, all of them well driven and masterfully prepared by Aurora Motorsport, the sporting arm of the historic Garagem Aurora. Mário Meireles will team up with Vasco Nina, who impressed in the curves and countercurves of Pau, while Bruno Duarte and Filipe Jesus, second classified in the H-1976 class in Portimão, are looking for another podium finish. The relative inexperience of the "rookie" Bruno Santos, who will continue his learning process this weekend, contrasts with the experience of the Miguel Vaz/Fernando Soares duo, seen for eight years racing together in this successful competition promoted by Race Ready.
To break the monopoly of the Porsche there are two Ford Escort. One will be driven by Filipe Nogueira, son of Joaquim Filipe Nogueira, one of the most respected driving aces in Portugal in the 1950s and 1960s, and the other will be shared by the duo Carlos M. Santos and Carlos A. Santos.
GTP & Sports Car: Old friends meet again
João Mira Gomes/Nuno Afoito, in a Lotus Seven, and Paulo Rompante, driving an Alfa Romeo Ti Super in GTP spec, replay last year's friendly duel in this same race. In October 2021, the Italian car won by ten seconds, but the duo of the British car will arrive even more motivated to this confrontation, because this time it is the class victory that is at stake in the track designed by the Brazilian architect (and former football player) Ayrton Lolô Cornelsen.
A final note for Jorge Cruz's participation in a BMW 323i, a car usually seen fighting for the top positions in Carrera los 80 series and that will be entered in this event as "Invitational".
The reserve entry list counts with ten competitors that will take their place in the starting grid in case any of the entries drops out before the event.
Index of Performance: A Beautiful Watch is at Stake
With the motto "Relaxed Historic Racing" and the aim of providing lively classic car races for Gentlemen Drivers on the best events and circuits of Southern Europe, there is no Historic Endurance race without the Index of Performance award. The winner of this classification often comes from the smaller capacity cars. In last year's edition, the Frenchman François Guerin triumphed with his Porsche 356, taking home a beautiful model of the prestigious Swiss watchmaker Cuervo Y Sobrinos. In this year's edition, there are several candidates to the coveted prize, where the winner is not the first to cross the finish line, but the one who performs best in track in function of age, cylinder capacity and bodywork type. The Porsches 356, Datsun 1200, Lotus Elan, and Cortina are the favorites, but the Fiat 128 SF could surprise us.