The third event of the Iberian Supercars Endurance sister series Campeonato de Portugal de Velocidade, the 52º Circuito Internacional de Vila Real, created some stories and conversations in the paddock, with new cars and a possible new circuit in Portugal on the horizon…
Araújo Competição Unveiled a New M4 GT4
Araújo Competição unveiled in Vila Real a brand-new BMW M4 GT4 from the latest generation. The team got the the car with the aim of participating in the Iberian Supercars Endurance and the Campeonato de Portugal de Velocidade in the future.
The Lisbon-based team put a McLaren 570S GT4 on the track in the capital of Trás-os-Montes for Francisco Carvalho and Nuno Batista, and an Aston Martin Vantage for Álvaro Ramos. In the first two races of the season, the team also run a McLaren for newcomers Manuel Vistas and Ruben Vaquinhas.
The BMW M4 GT4, which was received just a few weeks ago, is now available for rental during the remaining rounds of the season, as well as for testing purposes. The first opportunity for Araújo Competição's new machine to hit the track will be during the Jerez de la Frontera round of the Iberian Supercars Endurance, scheduled to take place between October 20 and 22.
Tavares and Imparato Delighted with the Event
Carlos Tavares, the CEO of Stellantis, and Jean-Philippe Imparato, the CEO of Alfa Romeo, took part in the Vila Real round of the Campeonato de Portugal de Velocidade and were very pleased with the event.
The luso-french pair hit the track behind the wheel of a Peugeot 308 Racing Cup from Team VRT, securing a third place among the TC class in the first race and a second place in the second race. It was an impressive set of results for a pair who had never driven the French car before, and for whom the Portuguese street circuit was a new experience.
Tavares and Imparato expressed great satisfaction with the entire weekend, and the Portuguese driver challenged the organizers: "Diogo Ferrão and the city did a fantastic job! But we should bring more categories. Currently, there is only one event per year; they should organize two weekends," stated the CEO of Stellantis.
Monteiro Impressed and Gearing up for the Future
André Monteiro made his debut in the Campeonato de Portugal de Velocidade in Vila Real and showcased his talent.
The youngster from Porto competed in the capital of Trás-os-Montes behind the wheel of an agile Ginetta G40 run by Veloso Motorsport, sharing the British-made car with newcomer António Veloso. Very interesting lap times were achieved with André Monteiro closely matching those of drivers with more high-performance cars.
The current Champion of the Campeonato de Portugal de Velocidade Legends in his class enjoyed the experience and is expected to take part in the Supercars Endurance next round at Jerez de la Frontera.
The 17-year-old aims to take a step forward in his career and is considering the possibility of participating in the Spanish stage behind the wheel of a Peugeot 308 Racing Cup or a Porsche.
With this move, André Monteiro wants to assess possibilities to participate in the Campeonato de Portugal de Velocidade and Supercars Endurance in 2024.
New Racetrack on the Horizon: A Possibility in the Making?
During the Vila Real round of the Campeonato de Portugal de Velocidade, former driver and Portuguese ASN President Ni Amorim pointed out the need for a third permanent circuit in Portugal, revealing that a new venue may emerge in the medium term.
As it is public knowledge, the Braga track is closed to official events, leaving only two permanente infrastructures for motorsport in the country.
However, this could change, as the President of FPAK (Portuguese ASN) mentioned the possibility of a new circuit being developed between Braga and the Spanish region of Galicia.
"FPAK is aware that a group of entrepreneurs have come together to discuss this. It's a very preliminary project, to build a track, not in Braga, but outside Braga, between Braga and Galicia, since there are no circuits in Galicia either. Thus, Portugal could gain business with Galicia," said Ni Amorim during the pit-lane walk on Friday at Vila Real.
Summer Vacation, but Stay Tuned for More News…
The Vila Real round is now behind us. Portugal's premier circuit racing competition and the Iberian Supercars Endurance will now go on a summer break, with the Iberian Peninsula top circuit racing series returning in Circuito de Jerez on October 20th to 22nd.
However, the break doesn't imply inactivity for the teams and drivers. They are working hard to return even more competitive for the second Spanish double-header and fight for the titles in the final stretch of the season.
On September 15th, a 'test day' will take place at the Estoril circuit for this purpose, and we can expect to see new cars on the track, in addition to those that have been competing in the first three events of the season.
Apart from the above-mentioned news, there are some surprises expected to be unveiled in the coming weeks.
Enjoy your vacation, but stay tuned...