“Time goes by so fast. We are getting to the end of the 2017 V de V Endurance Series season.It is hard to believe that the opening event in Barcelona took place more than seven months ago. Yet… Estoril marks the conclusion of an intense sporting season and, we are impatient to be in 2018. But let’s enjoy this final meeting in the beautiful outskirt of Lisbon with a lot of suspense in all categories. Some of the competitors may already nurse the hope of winning the overall but in motorsport nothing is certain before the display of a checkered flag, especially as the points will be doubled. The serious overall contender is Graff racing team who lined up its Norma M20 FC powered by a 1,6 l turbo engine, designed by RDM, in Proto Endurance. The performance, in Magny-Cours, appeared promising and the team had the opportunity to further develop the prototype. It will be interesting to compare it with its homologue 2.0 l naturally aspirated engine. We are looking forward to seeing you in this friendly and sporting spirit.“
Eric Van de Vyver
6H GT / Touring / LMP / PFV Endurance
LMP / PFV : Graff concludes ?
Always on the podium since the kick-off in Barcelona, the French racing team, managed by Pascal Rauturier, never won first place – until Magny-Cours. Now, when it’s done, Eric Trouillet and Franck Gauvin together with Sergio Pasian at Estoril, build on their leadership in the ranking. But the game is wide open for the #39 Ligier JS P3 since thare are still many pretenders to the crown. In the first place, there is Inter Europol Competition with Jakub Smeichowski, reigning champion, who can still turn the situation to his advantage. If it happens, his teammate aboard the #22, Hendrik Still, will not share the glory, since he had to skip the event in Castellet. Together in the #20 DB Autosport Norma M30, the trio Foubert / Wolff / Maulini can still be a champion just like the duo Borga / Enqvist behind the wheel of the #8 Duqueine Engineering Norma. OAK Racing and By Speed Factory are back with their Ligier, the first one for Jacques and Pierre Nicolet (#24) and the second one for Krebs / Van Oostrum / Fontes (#5). The big announcement comes from CMR / Sport Garage who will participate in the Challenge with their new Adess 03 shared by young drivers Jean-Karl Vernay, Nyls Stievenart and Michael Petit.
GT / Touring : Visiom aimes for hat-trick
Will Jean-Paul Pagny, Thierry Perrier and Jean-Bernard Bouvet win for the third time in a row ? The trio in the #1 Ferrari 488 GT3 comes at Estoril as a leader but is threatened by the #44 Ferrari 458 GT3 driven by Mouez / Loger / Delhez. The last leg will be a blast. Two competitors will fight for the top step of the podium : the #46 AB Sport Auto Lamborgini Huracan GT3 driven by Teneketzian, De Narda and Tiziano Carugati and the #11 V de V / AB Sport Renault R.S. 01 shared by Van de Vyver, Thybaud and Sébastien Chardonnet. It is worth to note the return of Lorient Racing in GTV2. They will line up their three 991 GT3 Cup with Jean-François and Alain Demorge in the #63, Polette, Lelièvre and Pontais in the #64 and Gibon / Ancel aboard the #66.
6H Proto Endurance : Who is the next champion : TFT or DB Sport ?
The trio Vilarino / Ferté / Illiano aboard the #2 Norma M20 FC has a an important advantage in the European Proto Endurance but nothing can be taken for granted. The reigning champions won three times in 2017 but their crew team on the #8 (Capillaire / Creed / Melnikov) has not yet said their last word just like the DB Autosport trio – Delafosse / Vaucher / Accary in the #22 Norma who won at the Circuit of Paul Ricard. The drivers of the #6 TFT Norma, Bazaud / Thirion / Caillon are off the provisional podium but still have a chance to be crowned in Prestige. Their biggest rivals come from their own team – Rihon / Phillips, together in the #5 TFT Norma. In Portugal, two crews of Equipe Palmyr will try to shine – Mondolot / Zollinger / Vaglio-Giors in the #40 Norma and Kubryk / Faggionato / Weil in the #42, winners at Jarama. We will also see for the first time Graff’s #9 Norma turbo engine driven by Nicolas Marroc, Eric et Adrien Trouillet.
Formulo : Is next champion French?
The 2015 champion was Swiss, the 2016 champion was Australien, will the 2017 champion be French ? Gilles Hériau has a comfortable lead in the ranking but since the points will be doubled, Formula Motorsport’s driver cannot rest on his laurels. Two rivals keep pushing hard : the Swiss, Moritz-Muller Crepon (Heuri Rennwagen), achieving victory after victory since Dijon and the German, Laurents Horr (Dutt Motorsport). The Italian, Diego Bertonelli (TS Corse) will try to win while Alexis Carmes (Lamo Racing Car) will try to make it to his first podium. In the Gentlement category, the suspense remains : who will win, « Lebreton » (Formula Motorsport) or Pietro Peccenini (TS Corse)? We’ll have the answer by the end of next week.