Gonzalo de Andrés and Fernando Navarrete, driving a McLaren 570S GT4 from SMC Motorsport team, were the great masters of the opening round of the Campeonato de Portugal de Velocidade/Iberian Supercars Endurance Championship by Hankook, winning both races at the Jarama circuit in Spain.
This time, contrary to what happened in the first race, in the morning, they crossed the finish line with a significant advantage (5.018s) over Marmaduke Hall and Álvaro Fontes (Ginetta G55).
Starting from the pole position, the drivers of #119 SMC Motorsport McLaren 570S GT4 have been always in the lead and, at the beginning, it was thought that the fight for the podium was going to be very exciting, but that was short lived.
Francisco Carvalho kept Araújo Competição's McLaren right at the front, close to the leader and to Marmaduke Hall, but an electrical problem, that happened when he handed the car to his colleague Miguel Cristóvão, put everything at stake. "We could have won the race, but when I came out of the pits, due to some electrical problem, the car wouldn't go more than 45 km/h. I had to restart the engine and the car didn't go any faster. I had to restart the engine and I lost a lot of time", lamented Cristóvão, whose seventh place final is far from reflecting the progress of the Portuguese duo in the first part of the race.
After Fernando Navarrete's accident in Saturday's free practice that left one of SMC Motorsport's McLaren 750S GT4 out of action, forcing the team to resort to the back-up unit, driver and "boss" Gonzalo de Andrs was far from imagining a perfect weekend. "In 2021 we managed, on this same track, the 'pole' and then we had electrical problems, racing is just like that, but I wasn't sure that this Sunday things would go so well for us. These two wins taste even better if you think about the crash on Saturday. The team did a fantastic job," said De Andrés.
Manuel Gião, who came into action in the second half of the race and took the Lema Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 car to the podium, beating the second SMC McLaren on the last lap, also had reason to be satisfied: "It's clear that we don't have the pace for the McLaren, there is a 20 km/h difference on the straight. So we just had to do a good tyre management at the beginning and then try to attack at the end. That's what we did, and with good results. It's great to start the championship on the podium".
Patrick Cunha started well, placing Veloso Motorsport's Audi R8 LMS in the first places, among the McLaren, but he ended up being touched by Tomás Pintos' car, offing the track and the time lost was enough to compromise the achievement of an interesting result. "Everything is going so well... Audi's behaviour was better, but we still have a lot of work to do," said the driver from Braga.
Vasco Barros, who took the KIA Ceed from LOB Motorsport to the TCR class lead briefly, in front of Daniel Teixeira, was again unlucky as he was forced to DNF when the dashboard stopped working. Teixeira, who always kept some pressure on his direct opponent - the Hyundai Elantra had a track exit and lost too much time -, added another victory to his weekend laurels: "We were able to solve the engine problems felt in the first race and now, when I got to the lead in the TCR class. I just managed the race to ensure another victory, which was the goal".
With José Barros (Porsche 911 Cup) absent, following the gearbox problems that had caused him to retire in the first race, Jemma Moore and Aubrey Hall, in the Tockwith Motorsport Ginetta G50, took the victory. João Posser (Porsche 911 Cup) was forced to retire due to technical problems.
1º, Gonzalo de Andrés/Fernando Navarrete (SMC Motorsport/McLaren 570S GT4/GT4 PRO), 46.04.536
2º, Marmaduke Hall/Álvaro Fontes (Tockwith Motorsports/Ginetta G55/GT4 PRO), +5.018s
3º, Elias Niskanen/Manuel Gião (Lema Racing/Mercedes GT4/GT4 PRO), +7.114
4º, Tomás Pintos/Guillermo Aso (SMC Motorsport/McLaren 570S GT4/GT4 PRO), +14.059
5º, Daniel Teixeira (JT 59 Racing Team/CUPRA TCR/TCR), +1.15.906
6º, Andrius Zemaitis (PROGT/Porsche Cayman GT4/GT4 Bronze), +1.24.182
7º, Francisco Carvalho/Miguel Cristóvão (Araújo Competição/McLaren 570S GT4/GT4 Bronze), +1.32.474
8º, Alfonso Colomina (SMC Motorsport/Peugeot 308 Racing Cup/TCR), + 1 lap
9º, Jemma Moore/Aubrey Hall (Tockwith Motorsports/Ginetta G50/GTC), + 1 lap
10º, Patrick Cunha/Jorge Rodrigues (Veloso Motorsport/Audi R8 LMS/GT4 Bronze), + 1 lap
11º, Luís Silva/António Coimbra (Sports & You/Hyundai Elantra N TCR/TCR), + 2 laps
12º, Fred Blok/Álvaro Ramos (Araújo Competição/McLaren 570 S/GT4 Bronze), +3 laps
13º, Vasco Barros (LOB Motorsport/KIA Ceed TCR/TCR), +15 laps
14º, João Posser/Miguel Caetano (Veloso Motorsport/Porsche 911 Cup/GTC), +18 laps
15º, José Barros (Veloso Motorsport/Porsche 911 Cup/GTC), DNS