Stephen Pattrick/Romain Monti in the Bullitt Racing Mercedes AMG triumphed 'in extremis' on Sunday afternoon in race two of the second round of the SuperCars Series at the Estoril circuit, taking victory on the final lap when they overtook Daniel Teixeira in the JT59 Racing Team CUPRA TCR to cross the line 0.754s clear. Teixeira concluded this round on a high note, by securing another victory in the TCR class, after winning the morning's race, both overall and in the class.
There were strong emotions throughout the 45 minutes of the second race, which had, since the start, the Luís Cidade/Gustavo Moura (P&B Racing, Hyundai Elantra N TCR) duo in the lead, losing that position after the mandatory driver's change. The safety car coming on track, after the Tockwith Motorsport Ginetta G50 of Jeema Moore and Paulo Sousa was stranded on track with engine problems, gathering, for almost two laps, all the drivers, ended up being determinant for the future development of the race, as Romain Monti admitted at the end:
"I was far from imagining this victory, especially after we started from the bottom of the grid, because we didn't make the second qualifying, due to turbo problems in the Mercedes. The truth is that the safety car was lucky, helping us to recover and my colleague also performed well. Otherwise, the car was perfect, thanks to the team's work," said the Bullit Racing driver.
Monti, who drove the second round, took the 'candy' out of Daniel Teixeira's mouth in the last lap?
"It was a shame not to repeat the overall victory, but my goal was to win the TCR and I did it. I leave here leading the championship, which makes me happy. There was fight and emotion, and it's only fair to congratulate my opponents: Gustavo Moura, Jorge Silva, Pedro Silva and also Manuel Sousa", declared the JT59 Racing Team driver, undoubtedly the figure of the SuperCars Racing Series weekend in Estoril.
Luís Cidade and Gustavo Moura finished third in the podium and second in the TCR. "It wasn't an easy weekend, because the BOP (balance of performance) of the Hyundai Elantra received a readjustment, which meant 30 kilos more weight. And if in the first race we had problems with a shock absorber, now we couldn't be better than second. Our opponents were stronger. We just have to keep working...", said Gustavo Moura. The duo of Audi RS3 LMS from Veloso Motorsport, formed by Jorge Silva and Pedro Silva, third in the TCR class and fourth in the absolute classification, was again in a good level. In the second half of the race, Pedro fought a lively battle with António Coimbra, in the Sports & You Mercedes AMG, but the latter, winner of the GT4 Bronze class, was not very pleased?
"I took a touch from the rear of the Audi in the inside parabolic and I spun, needing to make a U-turn. Anyway, my race was ruined there, because I was having a good fight with McLaren". Despite everything, the final sprint still allowed him to gain a position to the car of the Spanish duo from SMC Motorsport, second in the GT4 Pro class.
Pedro Marques, in the Porsche 911 Cup from Moby Motorsport, finished as the winner of the GTC class, while Manuel Sousa and Luís Silva, in the CUPRA TCR from TDS Group, who in the first race climbed to the podium in their class (TCR), concluded this second race ahead of José Correia/Gabriela Correia, in the Mercedes AMG from JC Group Racing Team. The young Gabriela, starting from the last place, started the race well, but a spin would end up affecting the final result.
1º, Bullitt Racing, Romain Monti/Stephen Pattrick (Mercedes AMG/GT4 PRO), 45.02.011
2º, JT59 Racing Team, Daniel Teixeira (CUPRA TCR/TCR), + 0.754
3º, P&B Racing, Gustavo Moura/Luís Cidade (Hyundai Elantra N TCR/TCR), + 6.448
4º, Veloso Motorsport, Pedro Silva/Jorge Silva (Audi RS 3 LMS/TCR), + 32.769
5º, Sport & You, Luís Silva/António Coimbra (Mercedes AMG/GT4 BRONZE), + 47.043
6º, SMC Motorsport, Gonzalo de Andrés/Guillermo Aso (McLaren 570S/GT4 PRO), + 52.894
7º, Moby Motorsport, Pedro Marques (Porsche 911 Cup/GTC), + 1.00.773
8º, PROGT, Andrius Zemaitis (Porsche 981 Cayman/GT4 BRONZE), + 1.07.721
9º, Grupo TDS, Manuel Sousa/Luís Silva (CUPRA TCR), + 1 volta
10º, JC Group Racing Team, Gabriela Correia/José Correia (Mercedes AMG/GT4 BRONZE), + 1 volta
The next round (3rd) of the Supercars Endurance Series will take place at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, in Portimão, on 16 and 17 October.
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