The first GT4 South European Series’ season came to an end at the Autodromo do Estoril this Sunday with two intense races under difficult weather conditions. The pair Miguel Cristóvão/Francisco Abreu was once again untouchable in a day that celebrated Veloso Motorsport as Team Champions and Francisco Carvalho as Am Cup class Champion.
The first race of the series supported by Betano Portugal was held in the morning with damp conditions due to the night showers. It didn’t prevent Francisco Carvalho from getting a great start, taking the lead with Veloso Motorsport’s Porsche Cayman GT4, after overtaking both Bullitt Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4s.
Poleman Miguel Cristóvão quickly started to recover places, overtaking Mariano Pires, ending the first lap in third pressing Ian Loggie, who was second, to gain another position in Turn 1 in the second lap.
At the front, Francisco Carvalho, however, already had a two seconds lead, showing a strong pace under tricky conditions.
The Pro-Am Cup Champion, along with Francisco Abreu, set his sights in the Zuffenhausen-built car and reduced the gap to the leader. On lap nine Critóvão was in the Porsche’s tail, coming out from the Parabolica well to take the lead at Turn 1.
Cristóvão built up a good gap and hand over the Mercedes-AMG GT4 to Abreu in a comfortable position.
The driver from Madeira showed a strong pace, posting the fastest lap on his way to the sixth win of the season.
The Porsche Cayman got delayed after its pitstop with a speed-limiter problem. Fábio Mota, nevertheless, would take the #6 entry to the fifth place overall and to the Am Cup win.
The fight for the Pro-Am Cup podium positions was question between the two Bullitt Racing’s Mercedes-AMG GT4, as the ABM Grand Prix’s Ginetta G55 GT4 had a three seconds Stop & Go after a pitstop infringement – César Machado was fourth at the flag.
Andy Meyrick, #33 Mercedes-AMG GT4, left the pits in the third position, but started to pursuit his teammate, Callum McLeod, #66 Mercedes-AMG GT4. The cars from the Spanish team fought the second place during numerous laps with Meyrick moving to second place with three laps to go.
In the GTC Cup, Marmaduke Hall and Edward Moore had engine troubles, giving the chance to Jemma Moore to win. The Tockwith Motorsports driver was the youngest winner ever in the GT4 South European Series.
The second race and last of the season took place in the afternoon with the rain and fog packing the cars behind the Safety-Car for the start. It didn’t take long for the race came to a halt, with the field heading to the pitlane. The compulsory drivers change happened under red flag and there were just thirteen minutes left for some proper racing.
Just after the restart, the ABM Grand Prix Ginetta G55 GT4, who was starting from pole-position, had to retire with technical problems.
Cristóvão, who inherited the lead from the green Ginetta, lost two places in the start, but the local hero soon start to get back the lost positions, lapping constantly to the team’s seventh win of the season.
Bullitt Racing duo Loggie an Pattrick saw the chequered flag in second and third in the Pro-Am Cup.
The pair Carvalho/Mota ended the race in the second position overall and took the honours in the Am Cup class. This result allowed Francisco Carvalho to overtake CO Jones in the Am Cup standings, bagging the class title with four class wins this season.
2019 GTC Cup Champions, Moore and Hall had a flawless race, conquering another class win, followed by Jemma Moore, who started from the pitlane a lap down.
With this weekend’s result, the Portuguese team Veloso Motorsport won the Team’s trophy, with 111 points, followed by Great Briatin’s Tockwith Motorsports and France’s ABM Grand Prix.
Miguel Cristóvão (1st Pro-Am Cup – Race 1&2): “The start was a bit difficult. I tried to not risk too much because we knew we had a good pace for the rest of the race. I pushed a bit and overtook three cars. Then I caught Francisco Carvalho’s Porsche, which was not easy cause he had a big gap by the time. I kept the pace before handing the car to my teammate (Francisco Abreu), who did marvellous job to take the car to the flag in first position.”
Francisco Abreu (1st Pro-Am Cup – Race 1&2 Winner): “The race was not quite a story for me, however, Miguel has been blameless, putting up a strong pace on difficult race conditions. It was a fantastic performance from him. It was one more win for us and a strong end of the season on an extraordinary season. I want to thank all my sponsors and to Veloso Motorsport for their support and hard work over the year.”
Francisco Carvalho (1st Am Cup – Race 1&2 Winner): “I had a good getaway in race one and moved to first place, which it was really good. I put in a strong pace but the tires lost efficiency and I had no way to keep Miguel at the bay. Nevertheless, we won the Am Cup races, our priority this weekend.”
Fábio Mota (1st Am Cup – Race 1&2 Winner): “All in all it was a good weekend for us. I don’t have much to say about this afternoon’s race, but Francisco had two strong stints. I had no chance to run on competitive lap times. I believe if we had stop the timing over a period we could have raced more time and enjoy a more complete race.”
Jemma Moore (1st GTC – Race 1 Winner): “Basically, I just needed to keep myself on track to win this race! That is an important victory as it was my second ever GT4 South European Series participation and I don’t have much experience. I will keep developing myself and growing up as a driver.”
Edward Moore (1st GTC – Race 2 Winner): “Wet weather is what we want as we are from England. We are used to wet conditions. It was nice a little bit of rain, unfortunately I didn’t manage to get out apart from the Safety-Car. Obviously it would have been nice to do the full duration of the race in wet conditions. Apart from that it was a good race for the team. It has been a really good year. It was Marmadake and I first time racing abroad. A new track every time around. We didn’t make any pre-season testing, so coming out and winning the championship in GTC class makes it a very good year.”
Source. Race Ready