Visiom Ferrari survives a nervous wait to be declared V de V Endurance GT/Touring champions having sat out the final race due to a qualifying crash.
GT / Touring car: Visiom keep their crown
The day didn't start well for champions Pagny, Perrier and Bouvet, drivers of team Visiom after being forced to abandon the race due to an accident in qualifying that took place on Saturday morning. The #1 Ferrari 488 GT3 was severely damaged but the French team and drivers were nonetheless officially named champions of the 2016 V de V Challenge thanks to their considerable lead over AF Corse's #51 Ferrari 458 GT3, driven by Italians Cordoni, Zanuttini and Montermini, who also didn't make it to the end of the race.
Instead the 6 Hours of Estoril was won by IMSA Performance and their #76 Porsche 991 GT3 R who enjoyed a smooth race from start to finish. Raymond Narac and Thierry Cornac remained in the top three for most of the race - even leading the overall pack of GT and prototypes for the first hour in extremely tricky conditions. In the end their hard work paid off finishing in 3rd overall, with a huge gap to the second placed GT car - victors of the GTV2 class: Porsche Lorient Racing's #62 Porsche 991 GT3 Cup car managed by Polette and Lelievre this weekend. The duo managed to stay ahead of IMSA Performance's #67 machine, expertly driven by Pierre and Armindo, while Racing Technology's #3 Porsche Cup car, with Leherpeur, Chargé and Noël at the wheel, settling for 3rd.
In the GTV1 class, the second step of the podium was reserved for drivers Loger, Debs and Mouez, who gave an outstanding performance in their #30 Ferrari 458 GT3 prepared by Classic & Modern Racing. The third seemed to be destined to CMR's second entrant, Ferrari #31 entrusted to Surand, Soava and Bourachot, however with two minutes to go and after an intense battle it was in fact AB Sport Auto who triumphed, crossing the line to take third thanks to brave efforts from Thybaud, Proust and Jousse in Renault R.S. 01 #45.
LM P3 / PFV: Inter Europol Competition & LNT / Simpson Motorsport: Champions
Graff may have left their mark on the LMP3 championship, scoring their second victory of the season here at Estoril, though drivers Trouillet, Rosselo and Capillaire didn't quite manage to steer their #888 Ligier JS P3 to the championship title. Instead this honour was given to team Inter Europol Competition, who, despite finishing 4th in the race, tallied an untouchable four victories across the season, leaving drivers Jakub Smiechowski and Martin Hippe deserving 2016 champions.
The race could have seen the duo earn their fifth victory of the season however a penalty dished out in the first hour of the race caused the team to drop down the standings. Speed Factory's #5 Ligier was a strong contender throughout the race, leading for several stints, before the #888 car eventually overtook them, desperate to secure a final win and finish the season on a high. The #5 Ligier then went on to drop behind N'Race's #93 JS P3, as Fontaine, Decultot and Perroy gave it their all to steal second place with 20 minutes to go. Once the chequered flag appeared, Abello Gamazo, Costa and Fuster were still well recompensed - scoring third place and a victory in the Prestige class.
Last but not least, Team LNT prepared by Simpson Motorsport concluded their PFV domination by once again winning the overall race and the class at Estoril thanks to an unstoppable performance with their #57 Ginetta G57. The 2016 crown thus goes to Ginetta boss Lawrence Tomlinson, accompanied this weekend by teammates Simpson and Burke, who led an outstanding race from start to finish. Nova Race's hard work also paid off, earning themselves a second-place finish with car #75 entrusted to drivers Salvador, Fernandes and Wilson, in front of newcomer British team Century Motorsport, in charge of Ginetta G57 #99 handled by Green, Breukers and McKay.
6 Hours V de V Proto Endurance: TFT steals overall and Prestige-class pole
Come Saturday morning, this Portuguese finale hadn't yet seen a TFT Norma at the top of the time sheets. This was however reviewed during qualifying, once Bazaud, Thirion and Caillon at the wheel of proto #6 produced a combined time earning the team overall pole position (and pole position for the Prestige class).
Tomorrow's race, starting at 10.10am will thus see the TFT Norma start alongside DB Autosport's #22 machine entrusted to Delafosse, Dannielou and Petersen. The second row will host CD Sport's #32 car handled by Maulini, Bole-Besançon and Foubert and the first Ligier JS53 Evo 2: IDEC Sport Racing's #17 proto driven by Patrick & Paul Lafargue and Enjalbert. Behind this pack sit the #42 Norma prepared by Equipe Palmyr (Kubryk / Wolff / Beck) - second in the Prestige race at Magny-Cours - and car #2 driven by championship leaders Vilarino, Ferté and Illiano, who had in fact recorded the quickest lap time before the average lap times were calculated.
Formulo – Race 1: Peroni = champion!
Alex Peroni's championship lead didn't stop him from giving it his all in the primary race at Estoril. From pole position, the TS Corse driver remained in first place from start to finish in wet conditions. His main rival, Gilles Heriau (Formula Motorsport) was only able to finish in fifth place finish, thus allowing Peroni to take the 2016 championship title. Accompanying Peroni on the podium were both MP Motorsport drivers - second place reserved for Rinus Van Kalmthout who had an unfortunate start to the race and third for teammate Alexey Chuklin, who started from 5th. Erwin Creed (Formula Motorsport) just missed out on a spot on the podium yet managed to keep rival Heriau at bay, while Antoine Robert (RC Formula) placed his Formula Renault 2.0 in 6th.
The Gentleman drivers' race saw Christophe Hurni (Formula Motorsport) put on a great performance, taking the chequered flag before Pietro Peccenini (TS Corse) could take it from him. The Italian ran an excellent race despite starting from all the way back in 7th. Luis Sanjuan (Formula Motorsport) was the lucky third place finisher, stealing the trophy from teammate “Lebreton” while Alain Bucher was the victor in the B class.
Formulo – Race 2: A deserving champion
The start was delayed after Erwin Creed (Formula Motorsport) didn't make it to his second-row grid slot. A few minutes later however, the lights were out and Rinus Van Kalmthout was unable to make the most of his position, allowing Alex Peroni to seize the moment and run away with first place. Shortly after being crowned champion, the Australian faced damp conditions and succeeded in pulling away from Antoine Robert, Nicolas Melin and Van Kalmthout - desperately trying to make up for his slow start. Several laps later, the race came to an end earlier than planned after Robert became trapped in the gravel.
This however didn't prove to be disadvantageous for the young Frenchman as the standings were frozen in the previous lap - meaning he would keep his 2nd position. Gilles Heriau rounded up the top 5 ahead of Ghislain Cordeel (Excelsior) and « Lebreton » - who this time made it to the top step of the podium in the Gentleman drivers' class. Christophe Hurni thus settled for second and Esteban Garcia (Sports Promotion), third.