The summer break for the Iberian Supercars Endurance and Campeonato de Portugal de Velocidade concluded with a test session at the Autódromo do Estoril last Friday.
Araújo Competição, Batina Racing, Lema Racing, Racar Motorsport, Garagem João Gomes, Monteiro Competições, and Speedy Motorsport were all at the Portuguese circuit with the same aim - to prepare for the end of the season, which still has two rounds to go at Jerez and Estoril.
Araújo Competição was on track with three cars - two Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4s and a BMW M4 GT4.
The Bavarian car, which was seen in Vila Real last July, was evaluated and compared to the British machines, with the aim of the team getting to know it to extract its full potential in Jerez, although it has not yet announced who its drivers will be.
In the Aston Martin field, the big news was Ruben Vaquinhas' Vantage AMR GT4, which arrived in Portugal at the end of July. The Lisbon driver continued to put his first kilometres behind the wheel of his new car and was very satisfied. "For the first time, I was able to test the Aston Martin with the correct setup for Estoril, and it was extraordinary to feel its braking and cornering ability. I've certainly made the right choice, and my doubts have been cleared up. Now all that remains is to learn how to push it to its limits," said Ruben Vaquinhas.
Álvaro Ramos, already familiar with his Aston Martin, took the opportunity to pick up the pace to stay in the fight for the GTX title alongside Fernando Soares: "The test served to loosen things up a bit.”
Orlando Batina and Sérgio Azevedo were on track with Batina Racing BMW M4 GT4 (F82). The Portuguese duo, who are making their Race Ready promoted series debut this year, have been putting in good performances, and their presence in Estoril was important for preparing for the final two events. "It was a very positive test for us! We've managed to evolve the car a lot, and we're looking forward to a strong second half of the season," emphasized Orlando Batina.
Lema Racing took part in the event with their two Mercedes AMG GT4s. Nuno Pires and Elias Niskanen, protagonists in the GT4 Pro class, worked throughout the day, reaching positive conclusions that allow them to look ahead to the rest of the season with confidence. "We're very happy with the test day; it was an excellent day to check out some developments so that we can remain competitive and fight for the titles," said Nuno Pires.
In the car entered in the GT4 Bronze class by the Slovenian team were their regular drivers, Paulo Macedo and Luís Calheiros. The Portuguese duo was very pleased to have returned to the wheel of the Mercedes AMG GT4. "It was a productive test and perfect timing for us to attack the second part of the season," Paulo Macedo shared enthusiastically.
In need of a teammate for Manuel Gião for the remaining season, Racar Motorsport continued to evaluate drivers at the wheel of its Mercedes AMG GT4, not only for the end of the season but also for the medium term. Those in charge of the Lisbon-based team were pleased with the results, and there could be news in the near future. "We've been evaluating drivers for the future, and we're very pleased with them. We'll be making an announcement soon about our immediate plans, and we're very excited. We believe we'll be very competitive in the remaining races," emphasized Manuel Gião.
Racar Motorsport also carried out a series of tests with a Porsche 911 Cup (Type 997) already with the appropriate BoP, with a view to the possibility of taking part in the rest of the season.
Speedy Motorsport was entirely focused on preparing for the end of the season, as they are in the GT4 Pro title battle. José Carlos Pires and Francisco Abreu were actively and diligently working to find solutions for the BMW M4 GT4 and left the Autódromo do Estoril confident. "It was an important test after the long summer break. As well as getting back into the swing of things, it was important for us to test a setups to understand the best way forward. We were working in the different BoP scenarios, and now we're going to analyze everything and arrive better prepared for the remaining two races of the season," said the driver from Madeira.
Also present at the Autódromo do Estoril was Monteiro's Competições, running one of the FPAK Junior Team's Ginetta G40s, driven by youngsters André Monteiro and Duarte Camelo. The Oporto team also ran a Porsche 911 Cup (Type 997), which may appear in the last race of the season at Estoril.
Garagem João Gomes was also testing various drivers for the possible return of its Porsche Cayman GT4 to the grid.
The next stop for the teams will be the Iberian Supercars Endurance rounds at Jerez de la Frontera on October 20 - 22.