José Carlos Pires and Francisco Abreu (BMW M4 GT4) won the first race of the Iberian Supercars Endurance at the Circuito del Jarama.
It was under scorching heat and with a large crowd in the stands that the Portuguese drivers of Speedy Motorsport triumphed over Nuno Pires and Elias Niskanen, driving the Mercedes-AMG GT4 of Slovenian Lema Racing.
However, the drama unfolded even before the race began when Manuel Gião, who had secured pole position on Saturday, was denied the top spot on the grid due to issues with the fuel pump in his Mercedes-AMG. The driver from Racar Motorsport rejoined the race, but with an eleven-lap delay, ultimately finishing in last place despite setting the fastest lap of the race.
The duel between the Lema Racing and Speedy Motorsport pairs commenced right from the start, with Nuno Pires and José Carlos Pires battling it out at the first corner. The Mercedes driver took the lead, while the BMW driver dropped to third and even faced a threat from the Audi R8 LMS GT4 entered by Veloso Motorsport, driven by Jorge Rodrigues.
However, the driver of the Mercedes 505 had a challenging race as he was closely pursued by Guillermo Aso in the Mercedes-AMG of NM Racing Team, which showcased a highly competitive pace.
After almost three minutes of racing, the Spaniard executed an overtaking maneuver from the outside at the first corner, seizing the lead and leaving Nuno Pires without a response. Nuno Pires started to worry as José Carlos Pires closed in on him.
At the twelve-minute mark, the Lema Racing driver experienced a rear-end issue, allowing his brother to put pressure on him and ultimately overtake him on the home straight, moving up to second place.
José Carlos Pires now had Guillermo Aso's Mercedes-AMG in front of him and was steadily closing the gap to the race leader.
Nineteen minutes into the race, the Speedy Motorsport driver launched an attack for the lead, making a successful move under braking at the first corner. However, he would lose this position after the pit stops.
Most of the cars entered the pit lane when the Safety Car was deployed due to Manuel Sousa's Cupra TCR spinning at the entrance corner of the finishing straight. After the driver changes, Guillermo Aso, who was driving solo, regained the lead, followed by Francisco Abreu (BMW M4 GT4) and Elias Niskanen (Mercedes-AMG).
Nevertheless, the Speedy Motorsport driver displayed noticeable speed and managed to reclaim the lead. The Finnish driver from Lema Racing also aimed to secure the second position, which he achieved by overtaking the Spaniard from NM Racing Team.
The attention now shifted to whether the defending champion could close the gap and exert pressure on the driver from Madeira.
However, Francisco Abreu managed the race exceptionally well and successfully kept his pursuer at a distance until the race was halted by the deployment of the Safety Car due to Henrique Cruz's incident. The young driver from the FPAK Junior Team ventured into the dirty section of the track while a faster car was overtaking him, resulting in his Ginetta G40 sliding against the barrier.
With the race unable to resume, victory was secured by José Carlos Pires and Francisco Abreu, followed by Nuno Pires and Elias Niskanen, with Guillermo Aso completing the podium.
In the GT4 Bronze, Alberto de Martín and Nil Montserrat, in the #115 Mercedes-AMG GT4 of the NM Racing Team, won the race, although Jorge Rodrigues and Patrick Cunha were always a threatening presence, finishing second. Alfonso Colomina, in the McLaren 570S GT4 of SMC Motorsport, claimed a podium position for the first time this season.
Daniel Teixeira in his Cupra TCR of JT59 Racing Team continued his winning ways in Jarama, winning the Touring Cars category, as well as the TCR division, with an excellent eighth place overall.
Spanish duo Héctor Hernández and Borja Hormigos, in the BMW M240i Racing of Autoworks Motorsport, were second in the category and triumphed in the TC division, with Duarte Pinto Coelho and Lourenço Monteiro taking second place and Duarte Camelo and Mariana Machado third, both driving a Ginetta G40 of the FPAK Junior Team.
Fernando Soares and Álvaro Ramos were the best of the GTC class, but they had to give their best to conquer it. Not having the opportunity to enter the pits when the Safety-Car situation caused by the Cupra TCR, Fernando Soares had already passed the entrance to the pit-lane, they fell behind the Porsche 911 Cup of David Benett and Marcus Fothergill (Tockwith Motorsports) and the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport of Portuguese rookies Miguel Nabais and André Nabais (Speedy Motorsport), who took the first podium of their career.
Álvaro Ramos spent the second half on the attack to take another win in the GTC class, GTX division. The Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 run by Araújo Competição finished in front of the Tockwith Motorsports/BeSpoke duo, who took the lead in the Cup division and the Speedy Motorsport twins.