Here at iberianmph.com HQ we are not known for our love of hybrid mumbo-jumboism, so the opportunity to further enhance our knowledge of the European Le Mans Series at the sunny Rainoril (that’s how we’re going to call Estoril from now on) seemed like a purist’s dream come true. Our brief visit to the same event this time last year proved quite productive: glorious sunshine and fast cars. Needless to say, we expected more of the same in 2015.
The dream got slightly tarnished first by torrential rain of biblical proportions and then by gusty rain, with the teams struggling to keep their material stable on the ground right up until 2:00PM. The word is megastorm, except it wasn’t mega for the poor race organizers, ACDME, who, in all honesty, were doing a good job by keeping all the hungry-hungry journos alive with sandwiches, pastel de nata or “les nátàs” and strong coffee in the media centre. We lordly declined the treat: we can afford to pay for ourselves in the circuit bar (good coffee, only 1€, highly recommended).
Kudos as well to the wet spectators who braved under the roof of the main grandstand for the entire day, that’s dedication for ya! I’m saying wet spectators because with that heavy wind there’s no escaping from the dreary realities of Chuvaril – anywhere!
So by now you all know the championship went down to the wire once again in the mighty LMP2 category – sorry GT (i.e. LMGTE and GTC), you didn’t turn me on this time despite Andy Priaulx’s presence, also feat. R. Stanaway, A. Carroll and introducing British GT Champs A. Howard and J. Adam. Can’t ask for more than that supposedly.
LMP3 cars looked pretty contemporary, I dunno, very hoy as they say in Spain. It’s a total Hoy carbon toy.
We actually loved LMP3 and all closed cockpit cars. We reckon open cockpits should be banned for obvious reasons. Tradition is one thing, dead people is something else. Racing is drama, however we prefer theatrical deaths to real ones.
Anyhoo, the LMP2 battle promises quite a lot of harmless drama (we hope) with the #38 JOTA Sport’s Filipe Albuquerque, Simon Dolan and Harry Tincknell vs the #41 Greaves Motorsport of Jon Lancaster, Bjorn Wirdheim and Gary Hirsch. Filipe is a local man who is adored by the Chuvaril public and we sincerely admire his driving skills/racing career so far… Despite that, Bjorn The Dambuster Wirdheim is also a cool dude. Just to explain: our judgement is based on his Formula 3000/Jaguar F1 days. We’d say, in those days, he was a muscular driver. With all the presence of someone like John Cooper or Jon Lancaster, his current ELMS team-mate.
What have we learned on Saturday? We need a change of clothes and surely the race will be a full-on Portuguese roulotte!
Bring it on!!!
FP 1 – Results
FP2 – Results