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ÁLVARO RAMOS AND FERNANDO SOARES - AN UNLIKELY DUO THAT ACHIEVED TITLES


Álvaro Ramos and Fernando Soares have quite different backgrounds, but their collaboration at the helm of the #007 Araújo Competição Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 translated into an impressive season culminating in title wins.


Throughout the season, the 'James Bond car' duo secured six victories in the GTC category and seven in the GTX division in the Iberian Supercars Endurance, celebrating both the category and division crowns at the Autódromo do Estoril.


In the Iberian Supercars sister series Campeonato de Portugal de Velocidade, Álvaro Ramos claimed the titles, as Fernando Soares did not participate in the Vila Real street circuit round.


The two drivers formed a formidable duo that proved nearly unbeatable in the GTC class, facing increasingly strong competition throughout the year. However, their paths to the cockpit of the spectacular Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 were quite distinct.


"The motivation to enter car racing began at a young age with a great passion for cars. In 1990, I had the opportunity to participate in the Portuguese National Rally Championship for Novices with my friend Nuno Rodrigues da Silva in an MG Metro. From then on, I never stopped, but in recent years, I focused my activity on classics", said Fernando Soares.

On the other hand, Álvaro Ramos had a completely different journey. Like his teammate, the passion for speed and cars was deeply ingrained, but the way he entered competition was different, a path becoming common among 'Gentlemen Drivers.'


"In 2017, I started doing some track days with my sports cars. In one of those track days, I had a serious accident at the Estoril Circuit, destroying a new Ferrari due to a braking system failure. I understood, from my own experience, that road built sportscars are not 'made' for more intensive track use. I then bought a race car for track days and later progressed to participating in races after the pandemic", revealed Álvaro Ramos, setting an example for other track day enthusiasts, showing that it's possible to transition to racing and succeed.


The distinct paths to the world of motorsports did not hinder a fruitful relationship, with the good rapport between the two being a determining factor in the season's success.


Álvaro Ramos, who lost the GTC Iberian title last year in the final event of the season at the Estoril Circuit, admits that Fernando Soares' qualities were crucial for the 2023 outcome: "last year, I was the Vice-Champion. To aspire to win the 2023 championship, I needed a new 'Gentleman Driver' partner who was faster than me, with a good attitude, and from whom I could learn. For this season, I bought an Aston Martin, a more competitive car, and the choice of a partner was naturally made - it could only be Fernando Soares. The coexistence was perfect. I am very grateful to him”.

For Fernando Soares, teaming up with Álvaro Ramos was a pleasure, emphasizing his teammate's skills, which allowed them to form a cohesive and fast duo, building the necessary qualities for the titles to become a reality: "I really enjoyed teaming up with Álvaro, and I think we formed a competitive and consistent team, which was crucial to winning the titles”.


The duo demonstrated strength and consistency throughout the season, winning most of the races they participated in. However, there were challenges along the way that were overcome.


"The biggest challenge of the season was undoubtedly finishing a race in the rain with slick tires in Jerez de la Frontera. It was undoubtedly a complicated moment, a great challenge, which I managed to overcome with a victory in the GTX and second place in the GTC", stated Álvaro Ramos.


Fernando Soares, on the other hand, was expecting difficulties in the title fight but realized that they could be title contenders in their class. "Initially, winning in our division, GTX, seemed to be a huge challenge. But with the effort of the whole team, supported by a very competitive car, we started dreaming of winning the GTC category as well, which we achieved", he added.

Álvaro Ramos had experienced the frustration of losing the title in the last race in 2022, adding a special flavor to this year's title victories - in the GTC category and the GTX division in both the Iberian Supercars Endurance and the Campeonato de Portugal de Velocidade - highlighting the team's effort as a fundamental ingredient to achieve the goals: "I am very competitive, so it was very good for my ego. And it is proof that, with work and the help of the right people, we can overcome goals that we initially thought were impossible to achieve”.


On the flip side, Fernando Soares openly acknowledges that securing the Iberian Supercars Endurance titles in both the GTC category and GTX division held a unique significance, given that the achievement transpired behind the wheel of an Aston Martin: "the experience was truly exceptional, particularly considering my prior successes in classic cars. Winning with my preferred brand, Aston Martin, added a profound layer of importance to the accomplishment".


The success of this duo, each with their unique journey, highlights that under the right circumstances, drivers from classic car racing and track day enthusiasts can make a successful leap. Their achievements inspire many aspiring drivers to compete in the Iberian Supercars.



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