The wait for the start of the season is over! The Iberian Supercars Endurance field hit the track today, with twenty-nine cars taking part in the practice sessions of the opening round at Autódromo Internacional do Algarve.
Speedy Motorsport's Francisco Abreu set the best time of the day in the team's brand new BMW M4 GT4 (F82), which he shares with newcomer José Carlos Pires.
"It went well. It was a good first practice. Obviously, we always have some work to do. From what it looked like, we are well-positioned and have a good pace, but we will know for sure only in qualifying. It will be essential to make a lap without getting too much traffic in the middle of the circuit. But I think that if we do our job, improving session by session, we will be fighting for the front positions, and that's what we want," said the Madeira island native.
Francisco Abreu left Elias Niskanen in the Mercedes-AMG GT4 from Lema Racing, which he shares with Nuno Pires, just over half a second behind. However, when he made an even faster lap, with the best second sector of all the peloton, he got stuck in traffic in the third sector and did not improve his previous mark.
Third overall was the Audi R8 LMS GT4 of Veloso Motorsport, driven by Patrick Cunha and Jorge Rodrigues, who was just over one-tenth of a second quicker than the best car in the GT4 Bronze, ahead of the Mercedes-AMG GT4 of the NM Racing Team, driven by Spanish duo Nil Montserrat and Alberto de Martín, entered in the same division.
The Barcelona team was in excellent shape today with the team’s second car shared by Guillermo Aso and Gilles Vannelet finishing fifth overall, beating the best McLaren 570S GT4 from the McLaren Barcelona - SMC Motorsport shared by Andrius Zemaitis and Alejandro Geppert.
Iberian Supercars TCR reigning champion Daniel Teixeira was the best Touring car competitor, with the JT59 Racing Team Cupra TCR immediately ahead of the fastest GTC.
Series debutants Manuel Vistas and Ruben Vaquinhas, in the McLaren 570s Trophy car of Araújo Competição, were quicker than Álvaro Ramos and Fernando Soares, teammates of the novel Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4, being the two GTX class competitors separated by 0.385 seconds.
Behind this duo was João Vieira, the fastest of the Cup division in Garagem Aurora entered Porsche 911 Cup, followed by Alvaro Fontes/Miguel Gomez, the best in the M2 division in the BMW M2 CS Racing of Escuderia Faraón.
Borja Hormigos and Hector Hernández placed 18th overall in the BMW M240i Racing of Autoworks Motorsport entered in the TC division, where all six drivers of the three cars of the FPAK Junior Team evolved in the Algarve circuit.
Racar Mercedes-AMG GT4 pair Manuel Gião and Carlos Vieira couldn't take part in the free practice session, as the German made car's splitter broke during the tests. However, the team where the reigning and former Portuguese circuit champion and the former Portuguese Rally Champion are both aiming to put their car on track tomorrow.
Tomorrow, the two qualifying sessions will start at 11:05 am, while the two races will be held on Sunday, the first at 11 am and the second at 4:50 pm.
POS TEAM CAR DRIVERS DIVISION LAPTIME 01 Speedy Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 (G82) José Carlos Pires / Francisco Abreu GT4 Pro 1m52,10s 02 Lema Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 Nuno Pires / Elias Niskanen GT4 Pro 1m52,557s 03 Veloso Motosport Audi R9 LMS GT4 Patrick Cunha / Jorge Rodrigues GT4 Bronze 1m53,541s 04 NM Racing Team Mercedes-AMG GT4 Alberto de Martín / Nil Montserrat GT4 Bronze 1m53,651s 05 NM Racing Team Mercedes-AMG GT4 Guillermo Aso / Gilles Vannelet GT4 Pro 1m54,159s 06 McLaren Barcelona – SMS Motorsport McLaren 570s GT4 Andrius Zemaitis /Alejandro Geppert GT4 Pro 1m54,186s 07 Batina Racing BMW M4 GT4 (F82) Sérgio Azevedo / Orlando Batina GT4 Pro 1m54,473s 08 Tockwith Motorsports Ginetta G55 GT4 Bruno Pires / Fábio Mota GT4 Pro 1m55,142s 09 Lema Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 Luís Calheiros / Paulo Macedo GT4 Bronze 1m55,154s 10 Araújo Competição McLaren 570s GT4 Francisco Carvalho / Nuno Batista GT4 Bronze 1m55,313s 11 JT59 Racing Team Cupra TCR Daniel Teixeira TCR 1m57,858s 12Araújo Competição McLaren 570s Trophy Manuel Vistas / Rúben Vaquinhas GTX 1m58,177s 13 Araújo Competição Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 Álvaro Ramos / Fernando Soares GTX 1m58,562s 14 Garagem Aurora Porsche 911 Cup João Vieira Cup 1m59,620s 15 Escuderia Faraón BMW M2 CS Racing Alvaro Fontes / Miguel Gomez M2 1m59,620s 16 McLaren Barcelona – SMS Motorsport McLaren 570s GT4 Alfonso Colomina GT4 Bronze 1m59,966s 17 Speedy Motorsport Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport (981) André Nabais / Miguel Nabais GTX 2m00,333s 18 Autoworks Motorsport BMW M240i Racing Borja Hormigos / Héctor Hernández TC 2m01,515s 19 Tockwith Motorsports Ginetta G50 Tomás Pinto Abreu / Simon Moore GTX 2m03,522s 20 Escuderia Faraón Porsche 911 Cup Agustin Sanabria / Pablo Braz Cup 2m04,608s 21 Tockwith Motorsports Porsche 911 Cup Marcus Fothergill / Dave Bennet 2m06,140s 22 Tockwith Motorsports Ginetta G50 Steve Kirton / Jonathan Elsworth GTX 2m07,119s 23 PDAuto Audi RS3 LMS TCR Paulo Silva TCR 2m11,088s 24 Grupo TDS Cupra TCR Manuel Sousa / Luís Silva TCR 2m43,540s