The first two qualifying sessions of the Iberian Supercars Endurance were run today at Autódromo Internacional do Algarve.
The battle for the best grid positions featured José Carlos Pires (BMW M4 GT4 - Speedy Motorsport), Nuno Pires (Mercedes-AMG GT4 - Lema Racing), Guillermo Aso (Mercedes-AMG GT4 - NM Racing Team), and Jorge Rodrigues (Audi R8 LMS GT4 - Veloso Motorsport).
José Carlos Pires prevailed over his brother by seven-tenths of a second, followed by Guillermo Aso and Braga-native Jorge Rodrigues, who took the lead among the GT4 Bronze field.
"It was very difficult due to the traffic on track, and I even had a time as my best record when I went through off-track! We had to attack everything in the last four minutes of qualifying, and it went well!" said José Carlos Pires.
Daniel Teixeira was exceptional among the Touring cars field, driving his Cupra TCR to the 11th place in the overall classification, securing the best time in his category, after the JT59 Racing Team made efforts to change the gearbox of the Spanish car.
"After the problems we had yesterday, being able to line up in today's qualifying was already very positive, even without having the car lined up. We managed to be the fastest of the tourers in both sessions, but I think that under normal circumstances, we would be a bit better in the overall classification," pointed out the JT59 Racing Team driver.
Also in the M2 division, Alvaro Fontes (BMW M2 CS Racing) was in good form, securing 14th place behind Álvaro Ramos, who, in his Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 from Araújo Competição, was the fastest in the GTC, GTX division.
In a Porsche 911 Cup-run by Garagem Aurora, João Vieira was the fastest of the Cup division, securing 10th place in the grid ahead of the best TC car, the BMW M240i Racing of Autoworks Motorsport, qualified by Borja Hormigos.
The second qualifying session saw an intense fight for the top of the timesheets, with Speedy Motorsport's BMW, one of Lema Racing's and NM Racing Team's Mercedes-AMG GT4s, and Veloso Motorsport's Audi R8 LMS GT4 being the protagonists.
Francisco Abreu prevailed in the BMW, beating the GT4 Pro champion Elias Niskanen in the Slovenian team Lema Racing Mercedes, while race-returnee Nil Montserrat placed other Mercedes-AMG in third, six-tenths of the pole time, being the best among the GT4 Bronze division competitors, being even faster than Patrick Cunha in the Audi.
"I got some traffic on my lap, but I got a good time! One thing is to be fast in practice, another is to be fast in qualifying, and we did it. Now we have to keep improving, as we have been doing so far," explained Francisco Abreu.
Gentleman driver Dave Bennett had a great performance, taking the Porsche 911 Cup of Tockwith Motorsport to the ninth place overall, ensuring the best position in the GTC category and in the Cup division. However, the Mauritian driver will lose three places on the grid for tomorrow's race due to an infraction during yesterday’s fee practice session.
The best GTX, and second best GTC, was Fernando Soares on the Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4, who placed thirteenth overall, just ahead of the McLaren 570S GT4 of McLaren Barcelona - SMC Racing driven by Alfonso Colomina.
Daniel Teixeira was behind this duo, having once again dominated the battle for the Touring cars honours with his Cupra TCR. Miguel Gomez, driving the BMW M2 CS Racing for Escuderia Faraón in the M2 division, was the second fastest, while Héctor Hernández, driving the BMW M240i Racing in the TC division, took third place, posting the 20th overall la-time.