The Iberian Supercars Endurance season concludes this weekend with the Estoril Season Finale by NAPA, and all titles in the GT4 categories and divisions are at stake. Intense battles are expected to determine the champions of 2023.
The place of all decisions, set at the Estoril Autodrome, will be unmissable, as winners in all GT4 categories and divisions are yet to be decided, promising that excitement and uncertainty will persist until the curtain falls on the season.
GT4 Category – Duel with Engaged Spectators
José Carlos Pires and Francisco Abreu, in the BMW M4 GT4 (G82) from Speedy Motorsport, reach the end of the season with 102 points, earned from three victories. However, they are far from a comfortable position, holding a mere 5-point advantage with 54 still to be contested, against the Mercedes AMG GT4 duo from Lema Racing, Nuno Pires and Elias Niskanen.
The point difference between these two duos is minimal, and every point will be crucial for the outcome of this duel, promising intensity until the last moment of the season's final race.
These two teams are favorites due to their season-long performances, but Patrick Cunha and Jorge Rodrigues in the Audi R8 LMS GT4 from Veloso Motorsport may have a say with their 61 points. It won't be an easy task, as the BMW duo cannot accumulate more than 12 points, and the Mercedes AMG duo 17 points. However, it is not an impossibility.
In a slightly more complicated situation is Guillermo Aso, who will have a new teammate, Jan Duran, at Estoril. The NM Racing Team's Mercedes AMG GT4 driver needs a perfect weekend and hopes that the front-running duos stay away from the podium in both races.
Andrius Zemaitis and Alejandro Geppert, in the McLaren 570S GT4 from SMC Motorsport, also have the mathematical possibility of clinching the coveted GT4 category title, but their chances are slim. José Carlos Pires and Francisco Abreu need only three points to push them out of the competition. However, as motorsport enthusiasts well know, the unlikely sometimes happens in races…
GT4 Pro Division – Unrelenting Duel
Also in the GT4 Pro, the duos José Carlos Pires and Francisco Abreu and Nuno Pires and Elias Niskanen are contenders for the division's crown, with only a 5-point difference between them.
It will be a battle without quarter between the BMW and Mercedes AMG teams, both relying solely on themselves. However, once again, there will be very interested and attentive spectators.
Manuel Gião, in the Racar Motorsport's Mercedes AMG GT4, holds the third position with 65 points, followed by Andrius Zemaitis and Alejandro Geppert in the McLaren with 62.
The possibilities for these three drivers are real, although it is difficult for them to clinch the crown under normal conditions, as it is for Guillermo Aso (NM Racing Team, Mercedes AMG GT4, 59) and season newcomers Sérgio Azevedo and Orlando Batina (Batina Racing, BMW M4 GT4, 53). However, any of these names, realizing that the crown may be out of reach, will not neglect securing the third place in the points table, creating another point of interest throughout the weekend.
GT4 Bronze Division – Anything Can Happen
Patrick Cunha and Jorge Rodrigues, in the Audi from Veloso Motorsport, arrive at Estoril leading the division, holding a mere 7-point advantage over the duo of Nil Montserrat and Alberto de Martín in the Mercedes AMG GT4 from NM Racing Team.
With this slim point difference, anything can happen next weekend, with each of these teams depending on themselves to lay hands on this year's GT4 Bronze crown.
But there are two more candidates who can aspire to the coveted title – Luís Calheiros and Paulo Macedo in the Lema Racing's Mercedes AMG, and Alfonso Colomina in the SMC Motorsport's McLaren.
Tied with 71 points, any of these candidates will have to hope for difficulties in the two leading cars. Still, any abnormal occurrence is enough for them to overcome the 32-point gap to the leadership.