Paulo Macedo took a successful step forward in his motorsport career this year by entering the Iberian Supercars Endurance, a journey that began as a child in front of a television.
Paulo Macedo made his debut this year in the Iberian series sharing a Lema Racing Mercedes AMG GT4 with Luís Calheiros in the GT4 Bronze division. Although he faced strong and experienced opposition, the Portuguese driver has been securing important results, having already taken three podiums, which leaves the duo still in the fight for this year's title.
Paulo Macedo's quality as a driver is very evident in a squad that demonstrates a high level of competition, and is proof that sometimes a child's dream can come true. "I've always loved motorsport, ever since I was a little boy! I remember being glued to the telly watching Formula 1 on RTP when I was 8 years old," says the Lema Racing driver.
Although he was attracted to speed from an early age, it was quite late in life that he began the path that led him to Iberian Supercars Endurance almost by chance. "In 2007 I entered a two-stroke kart endurance competition. That was the beginning..." From then on, the competition virus, the desire to do more, better and come first, became almost a necessity: "the following year I was competing in the Rotax Trophy with a DD2 kart in the Master category and I kept going there non-stop. In the meantime, in 2010, 2011 and 2012, I went to the Nordschleife for a few track days, and I can say that that's when the unequivocal passion for motor racing emerged..."
After six years in karting and with a clear desire to move up to cars, the next step was obvious and Paulo Macedo quickly proved to be a driver with an analytical approach, which allowed him to progress from his first contacts with national motorsport. "In 2013 I tested with a CN prototype, a Juno, and prepared my debut for the following year, becoming Vice-Champion of the Portuguese National C3 Sport Prototypes. In 2015 I made my debut in Super Seven, a competition where I stayed until 2022, moving up to the 420R class in 2017," said the driver who is currently in third place, along with his team-mate Luís Calheiro, in the GT4 Bronze division.
Paulo Macedo discovered motorsport relatively late in life, which is perhaps why he was keen to take part in various events in different categories: "In 2015 I competed in the Campeonato de Portugal de Velocidade race in Vila Real with a Wolf GB08 from CRM Motorsport, winning a podium. I've also competed in Rallycross (Lousada), the C1 Trophy (Portimão), the 24H SERIES 24 Hours of Portimão in 2018, coming second in our class. In 2021, I took part in the 24 Hours of Dubai with a BMW M4 GT4 and we came 4th in our class.”
The two 24-hour races that the Oporto driver took part in foreshadowed the direction he wanted to take his career and, as soon as he realised that the conditions were right to reach the top of Iberian speed, he did so with conviction. "GT cars have always been a passion of mine and, after following the Iberian Supercars Endurance races, seeing how well they are organised and the cost/benefit ratio, it led me to think that this was undoubtedly the way forward," admitted Paulo Macedo.
"The field is very competitive with the best national drivers and some excellent foreign drivers," he said, making a positive assessment of his first season in the competition, after numerous podiums that still leave him with a chance of winning the GT4 Bronze title. "So far we've been within expectations, I have a team-mate who is also very competitive, which helps. Our ambitions are to finish the championship in the top three in GT4 Bronze and right now that's possible. We need to gain a bit more confidence, but we're on the right track," concluded Paulo Macedo.
The pair in Lema Racing's #38 Mercedes AMG GT4 has illustrated that acclimating to the highest tier of Iberian racing circuits can occur progressively and without any major hitches. Their performance underscores the competitiveness of this top-tier Am line-up. As we approach the Estoril Season Finale at the Autódromo do Estoril from November 24th to 26th, Paulo Macedo and Luís Calheiro are on the cusp of validating a remarkably successful debut season.