The final day of the V de V Endurance Series’ second round of the championship, at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, took place in mixed conditions including intense sun, heavy rain, cold winds and fierce heat! All in all, the day’s events concluded a successful meeting, V de V’s first in the Algarve.
V de V 6 Hours Endurance Proto: A double victory for TFT
It’s become a difficult task to find new, original titles for our race reports at the end of each Proto CN race – because since last year the no.2 TFT Norma M20 FC seems to have gained a habit of winning! Reigning champions Ander Vilarino, Alain Ferté and Philippe Illiano once again proved they are the class of the field after dominating the 6-hour event at Portimao. As usual, and despite the huge number of drive-through handicaps the team had to complete due to their driver gradings (one Gentleman driver and two Elite drivers), they managed to take the reins of the race at the half-way point and from that moment onwards lead the pack to the chequered flag.
One of their main rivals this weekend was in fact the TFT no.8 sister car, entrusted to Capillaire, Creed and Melkinov, which showed strong potential of winning after occupying the top spot on the leader board for a good chunk of the race. They were unable however to transform their efforts into a victory, leaving the door open for the no.2 prototype which was driven exceptionally well by the trio in the wet. The rain didn’t stay for long, yet it returned frequently throughout the race which complicated the strategies, some teams choosing to pit for wet tyres, others preferring to stay out and make do with their slicks. In the end, it was thanks to team DB Autosport’s fantastic strategy that their no.22 Norma managed to secure 3rd place on the podium. Drivers Delafosse, Vaucher and Accary, who started from 5th, moved around the top-5 during the first half of the race before commencing their attack on the front runners, which resulted in overtaking the TFT no.6 entrant, entrusted to Bazaud, Thirion and Caillon who had to settle for 4th.
This result of course delighted the no.6 drivers, as not only is it the second consecutive 4th place for the trio, but also the second consecutive first place finish in the Prestige class. Behind them, Equipe Palmyr can be satisfied by their result, 5th for driver trio Mondolot, Zollinger and Thuner, while CD Sport’s no.14 machine – which started from pole – entrusted to Bole-Besançon, Scheier & Taittinger scored 6th. Next came TFT’s no.5 entrant, handled by drivers Cimadomo, Rihon & Philipps, who crossed the line 2nd in the Prestige class.
Many cars endured a difficult race after suffering from mechanical problems – notably the no.67 prototype belonging to team Lamo Racing Car, who still made it to the chequered flag in 10th, Equipe Palmyr’s no.41 Norma, RC Formula’s no.66 car and DB Autosport’s no.21 machine. It was an unfortunate and frustrating end to the weekend for this particular team; after showing strong pace throughout the sessions, the no.21 car suffered an engine failure in the first hour. Finally, IF Motorsport had a fantastic 6-hour race at Portimao – after choosing to stay out and not change their tyres during the rainy periods, the team found their no.49 Norma near the top of the time sheets. The Dunn / Hart / Wilson trio finally crossed the line in 9th position.
Source. V De V