Qualifying 1 - Gião is back
Manuel Gião stood out in the first qualifying, taking pole position for tomorrow's first race at the wheel of Racar Motorsport's Mercedes-AMG GT4. However, the defending GT4 Pro champion did not have an easy task, having a strong opposition from Nuno Pires, also driving a Mercedes-AMG GT4 but from Lema Racing.
The fight between them was such that they were separated by a few milliseconds. Gião, however, would end up improving his pace, holding definitively the pole-position. José Carlos Pires, in the Speedy Motorsport BMW M4 GT4, was also fighting for the best grid position, but in the end, he couldn't get the best out of his tyres due to the traffic, registering the second best time.
In the end, however, José Carlos Pires lost his best lap for crossing the pit-lane line, dropping to third ahead of Guillermo Aso in the NM Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 entered in GT4 Pro.
The Spanish team was on top form as Alberto de Martín set the best time in the GT4 Bronze class, edging Jorge Rodrigues in the Audi R8 LMS GT4 by eight-tenths. However, not everything went well for the Veloso Motorsport driver, as a water leak conditioned his performance and prevented his team mate, Patrick Cunha, to take part in the second qualifying of the day.
Daniel Teixeira, despite not having new tyres in his Cupra TCR, managed to get the pole-position in the Turismos category and also in the TCR.
The JT59 Racing Team driver set the tenth fastest time overall, following two McLaren 570S GT4 from SMC Motorsport, with Alfonso Colomina beating Andrius Zemaitis, and the Lema Racing Mercedes driven by Luís Calheiro.
Héctor Hernández stood out in the TC category with Autoworks Motorsport's BMW M240i Racing, finishing seventeenth overall after the fastest GTC drivers.
Fernando Soares was the top performer in Araújo Competição's Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4, excelling in the GTX division as well. He narrowly beat João Vieira by less than three-tenths of a second, who, driving Garagem Aurora's Porsche 911 Cup, was the best among the Cup drivers.
The GTX division also witnessed intense competition, with Miguel Nabais, in Speedy Motorsport's Porsche Cayman Clubsport GT4, and Rúben Vaquinhas showcasing great competitiveness, securing the second and third positions in GTX, respectively.
However, the driver of the McLaren 570S Trophy from Araújo Competição experienced an unlucky moment in the middle of the session, preventing him from improving his lap times, despite the potential he had been demonstrating.
The FPAK Junior Team drivers demonstrated remarkable skill behind the wheel of the agile Ginetta G40, with a difference of less than a second separating them. Duarte Pinto Coelho recorded the fastest time, followed by Duarte Camelo and Gabriel Caçoilo.
Qualifying 2 - Abreu continues on a high
If the first qualifying was tight, the second was even more so, with six drivers in the same second, pushing hard every lap in their eagerness to get the best position on the grid.
Speedy Motorsport’s Francisco Abreu was soon at the top of the timesheets, but the BMW M4 GT4 driver was under pressure from Nil Montserrat, in the NM Racing Team Mercedes-AMG, Alejandro Geppert, SMC Motorsport McLaren, and the Mercedes-AMGs of Guillermo Aso, NM Racing Team, Elias Niskanen, Lema Racing, and Carlos Vieira, Racar Motorsport.
Nil Montserrat was the quickest of the rest, and besides the second place in the overall classification, the Spaniard was also the fastest in the GT4 Bronze class, being Paulo Macedo (Lema Racing) and Alfonso Colomina (NM Racing), both in Mercedes-AMG cars, in the next positions of the division.
Like in the first qualifying, Daniel Teixeira was the highlight in the Touring Cars category, securing again the best lap time.
The JT59 Racing Team driver set the 11th fastest time behind the Batina Racing BMW M4 GT4 driven by Orlando Batina and the Tockwith Motorsports Ginetta G55 GT4, which was driver by Fábio Mota.
Luís Silva was the second fastest in the Touring Cars, with the Group TDS Cupra TCR, beating Autoworks Racing's BMW M240i Racing, driven by Borja Hormigos, who was the best of the TC division.
Briton Marcus Fothergill was the fastest in the GTC category driving a Porsche 911 Cup from Tockwith Motorsports, also the best in the Cup category, beating Álvaro Ramos, in an Aston Martin from Araújo Competição, by less than a second.
Lourenço Monteiro was the fastest of the FPAK Junior Team drivers, beating Henrique Cruz and Mariana Machado, who were in the next positions. The three youngsters continue to show a remarkable evolution as their team mates.
After two qualifying sessions in which emotion and uncertainty were the watchwords, tomorrow's races - the first at 10:15 am and the second at 2:25 pm, Continental Portugal time - have everything to be heady and exciting on a circuit that exudes history and has an extremely selective layout. More than enough reasons to tune in to A Bola TV or follow the races on the competitions' social networks, if you are not one of the many fans that have been filling the paddock and the stands of the Circuito del Jarama.