The Portuguesa duo Francisco Carvalho/Miguel Cristóvão, in the McLaren 570S GT4 of Araújo Competição, won the first race of the closing round of the 2022 Iberian Supercars Endurance at Autodromo do Estoril, Portugal.
With a very wet track at the beginning and drying up during the 45 minutes of race, Carvalho and Cristóvão had a somewhat troubled start, but then they managed to get around the difficulties to guarantee the win. "I missed the start, as I had new tyres, and I fell to seventh, taking some laps to clean the gum from the tyres. From there on, I recovered, and ended up being the fastest in the track, until I gave the car to Miguel in the first position", said Francisco Carvalho, while his partner Miguel Cristóvão added: "We deserved and, for a long time, we were chasing this victory, after so many setbacks that prevented us from having the championship already decided. I studied the behaviour of Andrés' McLaren for a few laps, until I managed to overtake him and then I managed to get a comfortable advantage".
In the initial phase, Jorge Rodrigues (Audi RS8 LMS GT4) was the race leader, before Manuel Gião (Mercedes-AMG GT4) succeeded him, but everything changed, especially after the tyres change. "After the safety-car, Jorge, who had started very well, started to feel the tyres overheating, with the Audi slipping too much, and I tried to attack Cristóvão, but I almost ran off the track two or three times. I had to hold on...", Patrick Cunha explained, at the end, while Gião confessed he couldn't understand what happened to him, his colleague and the Lema Racing team: "Honestly, I still don't understand what happened and we'll analyse everything calmly, as I gave the Mercedes to Elias in the second place and then we ended up losing more than a dozen of seconds".
For the Spanish SMC Motorsport team, the objectives were fully achieved, as Gonzalo de Andrés, who together with Fernando Navarrete took the McLaren 570S GT4 to second place overall and first in the GT4 Pro class, pointed out: "We had a very good and quiet race, dominating and winning our class to reinforce our position in the championship. Now, it's all about trying to repeat this result tomorrow..."
A final difference of less than one second separated the Navarrete/Andrés duo from their team-mates Guillermo Aso/Tomás Pintos, in the second McLaren 570S GT4, who closed the top five, ahead of the GTC class winners. Bruno Pires, accompanied by Fábio Mota, in Fabela Sport's Porsche 911 Cup, was one of the protagonists in the first laps, running among the first ones, until he crashed and fell to the middle of the pack. And for making a too fast stop in the pits to change drivers, he was penalized with a pit-stop, but he didn't lose the lead of the class, confirming the conquest of the CPV champion title. "Of course I am happy for the title, only possible thanks to the help of Fabio Mota, Fabela Sport and my family. The merit is more theirs...", stated Bruno Pires.
Álvaro Ramos and Leandro Ribeiro, in the McLaren 570S GT4 of Araújo Competição, finished second in the class, and the former kept the lead in the Iberian Supercars: "It was the first time I raced in the rain and it went well, being part of my learning process as an amateur driver. Besides, the result was also very good, because I'm still leading the championship", said Ramos, visibly happy.
Daniel Teixeira, in the JT59 Racing Team's CUPRA TCR, confirmed his favoritism in the TCR class, dominating from start to finish the Hyundai Elantra N TCR duo, Luís Silva and António Coimbra. "I achieved part of my goal, which was to win, but I missed the fastest lap and with the wet track I didn't want to risk too much. The only chance for me to be champion is tomorrow [Sunday] to win the race and set the fastest lap", said Teixeira, while Coimbra talked about his task: "We knew beforehand that it was difficult to beat Teixeira and, therefore, we bet on getting the fastest lap, which I did, as our pitbox gave me lap by lap information of our opponent's times. Now everything is open for the second race in what concerns the title".
Race 1 (provisional results)
1st, Francisco Carvalho/Miguel Cristóvão (Araújo Competição/McLaren 570S GT4/GT4 Bronze), 22
2º, Fernando Navarrete/Gonzalo de Andrés (SMC Motorsport/McLaren 570S GT4/GT4 Pro), 2.723s
3rd, Jorge Rodrigues/Patrick Cunha (Veloso Motorsport/Audi R8 LMS GT4/GT4 Bronze), 10.535s
4, Manuel Gião/Elias Niskanen (Lema Racing/Mercedes-AMG GT4/GT4 Pro), 11.150
5º, Guillermo Aso/Tomás Pintos (SMC Motorsport/McLaren 570S GT4/GT4 Pro), 13.148
6º, Bruno Pires/Fábio Mota (Fabela Sports/Porsche 911 Cup/GTC), 44.561
7th, Daniel Teixeira (JT59 Racing Team/CUPRA TCR/TCR), 1'07.625
8th, Pedro Bastos Rezende/Quique Bordás (Garagem João Gomes/Porsche Cayman GT4/GT4 Pro)
9º, Andrius Zemaitis (ProGT/Porsche Cayman GT4/GT4 Bronze), 1.09.593
10th, Luís Silva/António Coimbra (Sports & You/Hyundai Elantra N TCR/TCR), 1.29.743
11th, Álvaro Ramos/Leandro Ribeiro (Araújo Competição/McLaren 570S/GTC), 1.55.864
12th, José Correia/Gabriela Correia (JC Group Racing/Mercedes-AMG GT4/GT4 Bronze), 1 lap
13th, Oscar Pires/Tomasso Lovati (Lema Racing/Porsche Cayman GT4/GT4 Pro), 1 lap
14th, Tomás Pinto Abreu/Alvaro Fontes (Tockwith Motorsport/Ginetta G50/GTC), 2 laps