“For the past 25 years V de V Sports has taken pride in offering the best locations and the most prestigious European circuits. Some destinations are retained, others overlooked but when a new circuit comes to light it’s hard to ignore its calling.
We had a feeling about the track at Portimao and a short visit last year left us very interested indeed. Aside from the fact its location in Southern Portugal, in the Algarve region means the sun will be shining round the clock with temperatures between 20 and 25°C, the circuit promises to be nothing but fun for the drivers. Teams will face an exciting technical challenge as they search for the perfect set up, due to the number of roller-coaster type corners. While we still await the arrival of several well-known V de V competitors this season, a few unexpected entrants have decided to travel to Portugal to experience our event and the races are gearing up to be as thrilling as ever. In Barcelona, we saw in both European Endurance Challenges that suspense can carry us right into the final laps of the race. Meanwhile at the opening event we spotted many Funyo 5, SP05 and Formula Renault 2.0 competitors show off their talent and prove that the V de V Endurance Series are ideally structured to train and expose current and future champions. Sport, sun, fun… come and join us on the Atlantic coast where the second round of 2017 awaits.”
Eric Van de Vyver
V de V 6 Hours Endurance GT/Touring cars/LMP/PFV
GT / Touring cars: IMSA Performance have the winning solution
Victorious at the season finale at Estoril last year, team IMSA Performance reproduced their success at the opening round in Catalunya just a few weeks ago. This time, as we travel to a new destination, Thierry Cornac will be determined to keep up this winning streak and has called on teammate Nicolas Armindo (replacing Raymond Narac) to accompany him aboard the no.76 Porsche 991 GT3 R. However, team Visiom are planning their revenge and drivers Pagny, Perrier & Bouvet will be doing everything to defend their two consecutive titles. The no.1 Ferrari 488 GT3 enters the round at Portimao 2nd in the standings and everyone knows just what this Italian beast of a GT car is capable of on such a circuit.
No-one is ruling out a potential victory of another Ferrari entrant either – the 458 GT3 car belonging to duo Loger / Mouez and team CMR with Sport Garage – after a stunning performance on Spanish soil which saw the team finish 3rd. AB Sport Auto, no stranger to the podium, may also prove that their superb no.46 Lamborghini Huracan GT3, driven by Teneketzian / De Narda, has the pace to win at Portimao, and the no.11 Renault R.S. 01 fielded by V de V / AB Sport Auto, handled by V de V CEO Van de Vyver, Thybaud and Carugati, will be itching to finish in the top 3 after an encouraging first race.
Team RMS will be aiming to extend their lead in the GTV2 category, as regular drivers Mallegol, Blank & Bachelier return to the seat of their Porsche 991 GT3 Cup car. They’ll be faced by the competition of Team Sport 5, who return to V de V at this event, with two Porsche 997, one RSR and one GT3 Cup, entrusted to M. Martins / Monteiro & Baptista / J. Martins. Solution F will also be present on the grid at Portimao, Charriol and teammate Rayneri driving their much-loved SF V8 Silhouette.
LMP / PFV: What a grid…
If we take a look at what happened in LMP3 at Barcelona, we can expect another exhilarating race from these victory-hungry competitors. Despite Duqueine Engineering’s no.9 Ligier JSP3 crossing the finish line in first place at the end of the 4 hours, teammates Duqueine, Droux and Panciatici had to fend off some serious competition. This came notably from team N’Race and drivers Fontaine, Decultot and Perroy who finished right on the heels of their opponents and we can guarantee the no.93 French prototype will do everything to seek their first V de V victory on Portuguese soil. Graff is also on the watch list; as a strong candidate for the win in Barcelona, the trio composed of Trouillet, Gauvin and Deguffroy will be attempting to take the chequered flag this time in Portimao and they have the pace to do the job, much like Duqueine Engineering’s second Ligier JSP3 entrusted to drivers Borga & Henqvist. The team not to be ruled out of course is Inter Europol Competition, who field 2 prototypes, the no.22 car handled by Smiechowski / Still / Elkmann and no.33 by Scheuschner / Michel / Müller. Both Ligier JSP3s encountered technical issues in Barcelona meaning they will be eager to impress at Portimao, and prove why they are reigning LMP3 champions. Further contenders for the victory include Italian team BHK Motorsport, whose Ligier JSP3 will be entrusted to Dracone & Baratto; Spanish entrants By Speed Factory, whose line-up includes Abello-Gamazo, Van Oostrum & Fuster-Pliego, and of course French ecurie Wintec, whose prototype will be handled by Neveu, Héry & Denis. DB Autosport and teammates Foubert, Wolff & Maulini had a tremendous challenge at Barcelona, as they arrived with their new Norma M30 straight from the factory and managed an outstanding performance, finishing the race in 7th. They will also be attempting to claim their first LMP3 victory when we arrive at the Portuguese circuit. Finally, Eurointernational make an exclusive appearance at this round, fielding one of their Ligier JSP3s.
In the V de V coupé prototype “PFV” class, an exciting battle is taking shape between several Ginetta G57, particularly the no.29 and no.57 machines – the former handled by Shell and Raffin, the latter by Ginetta Cars CEO Lawrence Tomlinson and another driver who is yet to be announced. Driver trio Sanders, Simpson and Fielding will also have their work cut out as they attempt to lead their no.52 prototype to victory; the Simpson Motorsport team arrive in Portugal at the top of the leader board after a stunning performance in Barcelona last month.
V de V 6 Hours Endurance Proto: Place your bets…
Who can rival TFT’s no.2 Norma M20 and the unbeatable trio Vilarino, Ferté & Illiano? That’s the question on everyone’s lips as we head to Round 2. The reigning champions opened the season in Barcelona with a win, claiming precious points for the championship, but several key opponents had to face technical and mechanical issues which ruined all chances of a podium finish, including CD Sport’s no.14 Norma (entrusted to Bole-Besançon / Scheier / Taittinger – a mighty driver trio), DB Autosport (with talented drivers Delafosse / Vaucher / Accary at the helm of car n°22), Equipe Palmyr’s no.40 machine (Mondolot / Zollinger / Thuner), and TFT’s no.8 prototype (handled by Capillaire / Creed / Melnikov). The second and third place finishers however fought hard for their prizes after some inspiring battles and well-calculated strategies, leaving the no.6 TFT machine, handled by Bazaud / Thirion / Caillon to take a well-deserved 18 points for the overall championship and maximum points in the Prestige championship (reserved for Gentleman driver line-ups). The no.66 entrant RC Formula, with drivers L. and A. Robert / Perroy also enjoyed huge celebrations as they scored their first ever podium finish in the Proto Endurance Challenge.
The Prestige championship is also looking undecided, as Graff’s no.9 Norma M20 FC (Marroc / Trouillet / Fort) showed excellent pace and Equipe Palmyr’s no.42 machine (Kubryk / Beck / Chevalier) rounded up the podium of the 6-hour race.
Finally, returning to the Proto CN grid at Portimao, Scuderia Bi & Bi’s Tatuus PY12 and driver duo Rinaldi / Biffis will be aiming to finish on the podium, after a stunning result at Motorland Aragon in 2016.
Source. V De V