Estoril Classics were the theatre of the final round of the 2022 season of the Series by Peter Auto. 250 drivers flocked tothe Estoril circuit in the beautiful municipality of Cascais to do battle on the track one last time before putting away helmets, driver suits, gloves, etc. and give the engines time to rest before next year. From Thursday onwards, engines roared on the Estoril layout, first of all with private practice to enable drivers to get to know the 4,182 km track and its 13 corners and then on Friday, day of the first qualifying sessions. Thirteen races were spread over a weekend bathed in an Indian summer to the great delight of the many Portuguese spectators who flocked to the track. A look back at the race incidents of the weekend.
This last meeting of the season was in the Cascais municipality which gave us a very warm welcome: next rendezvous in the region on 6 – 8 October 2023!
CLASSIC ENDURANCE RACING 2
Two Tojs were on the front row of the grid for the Classic Endurance Racing II event. Maxime Guenat very quickly slotted into first place in his #50 Lola T286 (1976). The result was a closely-fought battle in which tenths-of-a-second made the difference fought between these drivers until Yves Scemama was obliged to retire in his #52 Toj SC304 (1976). At that moment, it looked like Guenat in #50 was going to romp away to victory, but then the race was neutralised and he still had to do his obligatory refueling stop. He decided to stay out behind the safety car while the outsiders in the race all pitted. After his refueling stop he found himself in ninth place in the overall classification. He began a great comeback up through the field and on the second-last lap of the race he retook the lead from Swiss driver Philipp Bruehwiler in #42 who finished in second place on the podium. Russel Büsst filled a well-deserved third spot on the podium in his #22 Chevron B31 (1975).
The Fifties’ Legends event was marked by the lightning comeback of Eugène Deleplanque in his #7 TVR Grantura MK III (1963) who had started at the rear of the grid and fought his way up to second place. Up front, Serge Kriknoff at the wheel of his #99 Lotus XI 1500 (1956) held on to his lead as he had 9.4s in hand over Delplanque in the #7 TVR at the finish. There was also a superb battle between the Mini Cooper Ss from start to finish with David Barrere in his #25 Austin Mini Cooper S 1275 (1964) clinching third place on the podium.
ENDURANCE RACING LEGENDS & GROUP C RACING
The battle in Endurance Racing Legends raged between the two MG-Lolas that started from the front row and monopolised the first two places till the end of the race. Christian Gläsel in his #20 MG-Lola EX257 (2004) got the better of Mike Newton’s #25 MG-Lola EX257 (2001) which was a slightly less powerful version. Into a well-deserved third place came Marc Jully in the #60 Keiler KII (1998).
The second race was eagerly awaited with an expected double by the MG-Lolas driven by Christian Gläsel in #20 and Mike Newton in #25. Finally, that’s not how it turned out. There was no double because Christian Glasel had engine problems in #20 which forced him to spend more time at his pit than expected. British driver Mike Newton in his #25 MG-Lola EX257 (2001) which he already raced in the noughties took the chequered flag in first place. This time, Marc Jully’s #60 Keiler K II (1998) clinched an excellent second place from Patrick Simon and Sébastien Glaser in their #22 Porsche 993 GT2 Evo (1999).
Forty-seven cars started the Sixties’ Endurance event making it the race with the highest number of cars on the track. It was the theatre of a great scrap between Cobras during its two hours. If the victory of a British crew was expected finally the young driver lineup of Guillaume Mahe and Maxime Guenat in their #51 Shelby Cobra 289 (1963) came out on top with 10 seconds in hand over Harvey Stanley’s #355 Cobra. He fought tooth and nail throughout the second part of the race with German journalist and driver Patrick Simon in #369. Then Simon fell back at the end of the race gifting second place to Stanley in #355.
The spectacular 2.0L Cup event kicked off a sunny Sunday’s proceedings. This 90-minute event was marked by the retirement at the start of Mark Sumpter in #77 who was the main rival of the #64 Porsche 911 2.0 L driven by Andrew Smith and Oliver Bryant. After his pitstop and a tyre change, Bryant in #64 made a great comeback and controlled the final laps with ease to climb up onto the topmost step of the podium in front of Matthew Holme in #9 and Bonamy Grimes in #116.
THE GREATEST’S TROPHY
The start of the race was marked by Christian Bouriez in the #46 Bizzarrini 5300 GT (1965) setting off from the back of the grid, while unfortunately Dirk Ebeling and Christian Schoedel’s #68 was not present. Bouriez’s climb back in the #46 Bizzarrini 5300 GT (1965) was expected – and it took place! It was a spectacular, perfectly judged fightback by the French driver who sealed victory from Yves Vögele’s #58 Porsche 904/6 Carrera GTS (1964). Completing the podium in third place was Charles de Villaucourt in the #22 Lister Jaguar Knobbly (C) (1968). The other members of the Vögele family finished fourth, fifth and sixth monopolizing a good few places in the classification of the Greatest’s Trophy!
HERITAGE TOURING CUP
A Ford Capri RS 3100 domination was expected as they filled the first four places on the grid. Finally only one was missing at the end of the 60-minute race, #52 driven by Yves Scemama who was forced to retire due to technical problems. Thus, the young generation seized power in a race largely dominated by Maxime Guenat in #50 who scored his third victory in this end-of-season meeting after the Classic Endurance Racing II and Sixties’ Endurance events. Guenat in #50 emerged a comfortable winner from Emile Breittmayer in #123 and Armand Mille in #37. These three are clearly part of the young generation of the Series by Peter Auto!
CLASSIC ENDURANCE RACING 1
The Classic Endurance Racing I cars provided the ultimate event of the Series by Peter Auto week-end and also the 2022 season. It turned out to be a particularly interesting race marked by the domination of Mark de Siebenthal in the exceptional #114 Porsche 908/03 (1970) in the first part of the event. Once the pit stop window had closed de Siebenthal in #114 found himself in the mid-field and at that moment Armand Mille in his #35 Lola T70 Mk III B (1969) snatched first place in the race, which he never relinquished. Behind him there was a great scrap between Emmanuel Brigand and Rolf Sigrist in their #97 and #19 Chevron B19s. This was the order in which the race finished. However, the cars did not take the chequered flag as the engine blew on a Chevron B16 and spread enough oil on the track to bring out the red flag!
This foray to the region of Cascais was also marked by the two grids assembled by the organisers of historic races, Portugais Race Ready: Classic GP Pre-1986 F1 and the Iberian Historic Endurance. Mister John of B in #69 and Soheil Ayari in #2, two drivers who are regulars in the Series by Peter Auto, had a great tussle in their Ligier JS 11 (1979) and Ligier JS 21 (1983) in the classic Classic GP Pré-1986 F1 race. The Iberian Historic Endurance field attracted 44 very diverse cars including Porsche 904/6 and 911 3.0 RSs, Alfa Romeo GTAms, Ford Escort RS 2000s, E-Type Jaguars, etc.