Portimao: Series race report

Pescarolo shines in the Portuguese night! The Portimao race track has all the character of an old British or American track. There are twists, turns and elevation changes everywhere, making this track alike a tarmac rollercoaster. All of the ...

Pescarolo shines in the Portuguese night!

The Portimao race track has all the character of an old British or American track. There are twists, turns and elevation changes everywhere, making this track alike a tarmac rollercoaster. All of the drivers heaped praise on the new circuit, and it brought us some brilliant racing.

The inaugural 1000Km do Algarve, the first Le Mans Series night race, was a huge success and produced one of the most fascinating races of the season.

Pescarolo Sport took up the challenge of this brand-new track and claimed first place overall, Quifel ASM Team took his first victory of the season in the LMP2 class. Luc Alphand Aventures won again in the GT1 class and JMW Motorsport overshadowed the GT2 class.

A clear victory in the LMP classes

The stalwart of the Le Mans Series is still alive and kicking. Team Pescarolo Sport indeed climbed on the first step of the podium and demonstrated once again how the car is reliable. The team from the Sarthe was able to defend its lead in the Series, and fierce battles should stem from the current tightened classification. "We didn't qualify well," explained Jean-Christophe Boullion, who broke the wins record of the Le Mans Series today. "We should have been able to set a better lap, because the car was fantastic. In fact, the car has been doing well from the beginning of the weekend."

What a season for Aston Martin Racing! Before the 2009 season kicked-off, the British team admitted that with a limited budget, it could but only aim to do its best: victory was not the target. The crew probably changed his mind after one victory, a second and a third place, and last but not least, a fourth place overall at Le Mans despite seven diesel-engined cars. Had the engine not failed during the qualifying session at Spa, the Britons would be a stronger second of the Series.

Team Oreca-Matmut AIM has been one of the strongest sides since the beginning of the season, but could hardly capitalize on it yet, which is now done. The car had been quick all weekend and an excellent strategy call from the team helped the drivers to bring a trophy home. There could have been no better place for Tiago Monteiro who was running his home race and this second podium of the season, but the first one with the new car, should give the team an incentive for the future.

The LMP2 class is more than ever uncertain with a new winner. Nevertheless, this victory could be predictable after the Quifel ASM Team and its Zytek showed a good performance, but bad luck during the previous races prevented them from taking the victory. The luck has turned today for the greatest pleasure of Miguel Amaral who was running his home race. The Portuguese team takes the lead in the Series, but the leadership is fragile because the gap is very tiny with Racing Box. The Italian team is delighted to be back on the podium after a good start at Barcelona and Zytek can be proud of having two cars on the podium since G.A.C. Racing Team turned its second place on the grid into a third place on the podium.

The Michelin Green X challenge is a race within the race at every 2009 Le Mans Series event and the winner, today, is Racing Box with the Nr.29 car.

Corvette and Ferrari take the victory

Even if it is a shame to watch only two cars on the podium, both competitors tried very hard to shine and we expected that the Luc Alphand Aventures Corvette would cross the finish line. The reliability of the American car, here run by a French team, is now legendary with many victories in 24-hour races and has been the key of today's win, in front of Larbre Competition

Germany 2 -- Italy 1! After two wins in a row, Porsche surrendered and JMW Motorsport and Ferrari took their first victory of the season. The classification changed many times, but the British team took a strong lead in the middle of the race. The turbulent GT2 class didn't fail at making the show and in spite of all its efforts, IMSA Performance Matmut could not reach the top of the podium because of an early incident. Team Modena is once again on the podium after Spa, and demonstrated that it stored up experience from the GT1 class last year to build a strong team in the GT2 class.

Many national anthems on the podiums!

Derek Johnston and Stuart Moseley took the victory once again in the Radical European Masters for the first race of the day. In the Formula Renault 3.5, two different drivers climbed on the first step of the podium: Jon Lancaster won the first race and Jaime Alguersuari showed in the second race that it is not by chance that he will soon race in Formula 1. The Seat Super Copa Leon offered two very exciting races with Eoin Murray finishing first in Race 1 and Massimiliano Pedala winning Race 2. In Classic Endurance Racing, Jean-Marc Luco is once again the winner. Lastly, for the second weekend of the Formula Le Mans, Samuele Buttarelli and Jerome D'Ambrosio took the victory and in Race 1 of Superstars, ex-Formula 1 driver Gianni Morbidelli shined.

-credit: lemans-series.com

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About this article
Series European Le Mans
Drivers Tiago Monteiro , Jean-Christophe Boullion , Luc Alphand , Miguel Amaral , Gianni Morbidelli , Stuart Moseley , Jaime Alguersuari , Jon Lancaster , Jean-Marc Luco , Samuele Buttarelli , Derek Johnston
Teams Aston Martin Racing , Larbre Competition , IMSA Performance Matmut