César Machado and Mariano Pires impressed in their GT4 South European Series debut, scoring a win and a pole-position at Jarama at the wheel of the ABM Grand Prix’s Ginetta G55 GT4. But the two youngsters want more.
26-year-old César Machado is already a well-respected driver in the Portuguese motorsport scene, after showing strong performances in the Portuguese Circuit Championships in its numerous forms – Prototypes and TCR. Last year he stepped into the international scene with a win in the TCR Italia.
In 2019, the Portuguese driver moved a step forward in his career, joining the exciting GT racing world throughout the GT4 South European Series’ door. He already left his mark.
Mariano Pires is only on his sophomore car-racing season, after an impressive karting career.
The Portuguese youngster’s rawness didn’t prevent him to show himself as one of the exciting prospects in the Portuguese motorsport. The former KIA Picanto GT Cup driver claimed a pole-position at his first attempt in the demanding Jarama circuit.
Questions & Answers
- The round at Jarama was your first appearance in the GT4 South European Series. Please, could you explain us your feelings throughout the weekend?
César Machado: “The sensations were great. We were in the front row of the grid in both races and we won the first race and finished second in the second race. Better than this, only if we’ve win both races.”
Mariano Pires: “The Jarama round was great for us. It was the first time I competed in a GT car. I just completed some laps in France with the Ginetta, but I adapted well to the car driving style and I took the pole-position and won.”
- As you are well aware, this is the inaugural season of the GT4 South European Series. What are your first impressions on Race Ready as the series’ organizer?
César Machado: “The feeling is good. It’s a hard work to bring this category to this market, but I believe it makes sense and there will be good opportunities to take. It’s the first year and a new world to many people. There are some points that can evolve and improve in my view. But we, the drivers, are here to help this series to be more exciting for more drivers and teams to join.”
Mariano Pires: “In my opinion, the organization is working well and I believe that together we can evolve even more.”
- What are the strengths of the GT4 South European Series?
César Machado: “The GT4 South European Series is a great starting point into the GT world with a great format that is evolving.”
Mariano Pires: “The GT4 South European Series is a competition with a huge potential, with a good organization, competitive cars and good drivers. Now, more people have to understand that and come to the series.”
- What do you expect of the next GT4 South European Series’ rounds?
César Machado: “I expect fighting for the win in every race. It’s tough, but I’ll give my best. There are too many factors on the table, the BoP, for example, something that I hope it can be better for us at Barcelona.”
Mariano Pires: “Our goal in the next races is to win. We know that probably Barcelona is not the best track for our Ginetta. However, I believe that with work we will have a competitive car that may allow us to fight for the win.”