Spanish duo Fernando Navarrete/Gonzalo de Andrés in the SMC Mortorsport McLaren 570S GT4 won the first race of the opening day of the Iberian Supercars Endurance by Hankook, beating Álvaro Fontes and Marmaduke Hall (Ginetta G55 GT4) by 0.254s after a thrilling battle to the chequered flag.
Spirits were high at the Jarama circuit in Madrid in this opening round, suggesting an excellent competitive level for the season.
McLaren dominated more than half of the race (45 minutes), but in the final laps their drivers struggled a bit, as Gonzalo de Andrés recalled at the end: "Fernando had a very good stint at the beginning, but then, due to the weight of the car, which affected tyre wear, we started to lose pace. In the last laps I had to defend myself in order not to let the victory slip away."
Marmaduke Hall nearly took the Tockwith Mototsports Ginetta to the top step of the podium after starting from race, relegating the Portuguese duo Miguel Cristóvão/Francisco Carvalho, who lead the race for a while but also lost pace in the final part of the race, with the latter admitting: "Both the Mercedes and the Ginetta wear less tyres than the McLaren and I couldn't defend myself in the last few laps."
In a very entertaining race, with several battles, those who were careful to save tyres in the opening phase were able to reap the laurels, as was the case with Manuel Gião/Elias Niskanen, who, after finishing seventh, ended up on the podium. "We lacked power, but my experience in GT led me not to push the tyres in the first few laps, so that my teammate could then increase the pace in his driving stint. And so it was, as the McLaren ended up paying the bill," said Gião, satisfied with his GT4 class debut.
The Veloso Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT4 driven by Jorge Rodrigues and Patrick Cunha, despite the difficulties the duo faced, achieved an interesting result, but in the future the aim will be to do better... "It was a back and forth race, but we have been working on the car since we arrived at Jarama, as it had an electrical problem, but we lacked a good set-up. We are still starting...", commented Patrick Cunha.
Protagonist of an excellent race until he was betrayed by the gearbox of the Porsche 911 Cup, the young José Barros dominated the GTC class and still measured forces with the Mercedes AMG GT4 and the Ginetta G55, lacking the result that would reflect this performance. The GTC class win went to the Ginetta G50 Jemma Moore/Aubrey Hall duo. Vasco Barros was also unlucky, as his KIA Ceed TCR was touched by a rival on the first lap and even got a flat tyre.
In the TCR category, Daniel Teixeira was untouchable, facing the duo António Coimbra/Luís Silva, who tried, little by little, to adapt to driving the Hyundai Elantra ("it's been many years since we've driven a car like this, which also has the steering in the rear gear, which takes some getting used to", said the Sports & You drivers), but not without problems, as he pointed out: "The fuel pump started to fail after a few laps and I never had 100% of the power. The most important thing was to win, but the result in the general classification was not what we wanted".
1º, Fernando Navarrete/Gonzalo de Andrés (SMC Motorsport/McLaren 570S GT4/GT4 PRO),46m28.133s
2º, Álvaro Fontes/Marmaduke Hall (Tockwith Motorsports/Ginetta G55 GT4/GT4 PRO), a 0.254s
3º, Manuel Gião/Elias Niskanen (Lema Racing/Mercedes GT4/GT4 PRO), a 6.437
4º, Miguel Cristóvão/Francisco Carvalho (Araújo Competição/McLaren 570S GT4/GT4 Bronze), a9.330
5º, Guillermo Aso/Tomás Pintos (SMC Motorsport/McLAren 570S GT4/GT4 PRO), a 9.825
6º, Jorge Rodrigues/Patrick Cunha (Veloso Motorsport/Audi R8 LMS/GT4 Bronze), a 1.02.911
7º, Aubrey Hall/Jemma Moore (Tockwith Motorsports/Ginetta G50/GTC), a 1.15.542
8º, Daniel Teixeira (JT 59 Racing Team/CUPRA TCR/TCR), a 1.20.335
9º, Andrius Zemaitis (PROGT/Porsche Cayman GT4/GT4 Bronze), 1.37.369
10º, António Coimbra/Luís Silva (Sports & You/Hyundai Elantra N TCR/TCR), a 1 lap
11º, Alfonso Colomina (SMC Motorsport/Peugeot 308 Racing Cup/TCR), a 1 lap
12º, Álvaro Ramos/Fred Blok (Araújo Competição/McLaren 570 S GT4/GT4 Bronze), a 2 laps
13º, Miguel Caetano/João Posser (Veloso Motorsport/Porsche 911 Cup/GTC), a 7 laps
14º, José Barros (Veloso Motorsport/Porsche 911 Cup/GTC), a 8 laps