The second ever round of the JD Classics Challenge, run by Motor Racing Legends, saw 18 historic Touring Cars from the 1972-85 era (Groups 1, 2 and A) take the rolling start for the one-hour race at the fabulous Algarve circuit on Saturday 22nd October.
Among the Jaguars, BMWs, Ford Capris and the rest (even a lone Golf GTI) were no fewer than nine entries from Portuguese drivers. “What fabulous people the local drivers turned out to be,” said Motor Racing Legends Chairman Duncan Wiltshire. “They were really good fun, really good drivers, and my only complaint is the trouble I had pronouncing their names when it came to the prize-giving.”
On pole position by a convincing three seconds was the Ford Capri RS 3100 of Antonio Nogueira, who increased his lead in the early laps only to be stricken by a puncture. Having limped back to the pits and emerged with a fresh tyre, Nogueira flew through the field of cars and could well have still snatched victory, had it not been for oil on the track that saw the race red-flagged, ten minutes before the end. The red flag would have relegated Nogueira to fourth place, but for a post-race infringement which excluded him from the results.
This left first and second places to be taken by two stunning cars entered by JD Classics themselves – the TWR XJS of Alex Buncombe and Gary Pearson, and the BMW 3.0 CSL of John Young and Andrew Smith (and their places could well have been reversed had the red flag not come out). In third place was the Ford Cologne Capri of Dan Cox and Vince Woodman.
Not the fastest car on the track, perhaps, but well worth a mention was the Hillman Imp of Manuel Melo and Miguel Pereira. After two engine changes before the start of the race, the heroic pair brought their little car home to a glorious ninth-place finish – and third in class.
And finally, congratulations to Alexandre Beirao and Carlos Abreu, who took fifth place and a class win with their Alfasud Sprint.