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2021 Estoril Classics
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Season finale
For the last race of the 2021 Racing by Peter Auto series, we travelled to Portugal. As in 2020 the destination was the Circuito Estoril, where the fall had not quite started. Held under beautiful blue skies, the second Estoril Classics saw well over 200 historic racing cars hit to the track. The action was literally non-stop with no breaks in the schedule and the final race on Saturday running well past sunset. For the fifth and final race weekend, all of the familiar Peter Auto grids were present with the cars from the Fifties' Endurance field forming part of the Sixties' Endurance race. This freed up room to add races for 1970s and 1980s Formula 1 and the local Iberian Historic Endurance to the packed schedule.
We ventured to this particularly scenic part of the Iberian peninsula to capture the second Estoril Classics from start to finish. The results are captured in a 220-shot gallery and the following concise report.

Early sports cars
With the risk of sounding like a broken record, the Sixties' Endurance race was once again one of the weekend's highlights. This time round, the action on the track was further helped by the timing of the race, which meant it finished under complete darkness. The undulating track with its two long straights suited the Shelby Cobras well and they featured strongly throughout the race. Eventually, it was the blue Cobra of Richard Cook and Harvey Stanley that clinched the win, ahead of their compatriots James Cottingham and Max Girardo.
For cars of the same era that are a little more valuable, Peter Auto have created the Greatest's Trophy. Where the Sixties' is dominated Cobras, the Bizzarrini 5300 GT reigns supreme in this field. Victory in the first race was father and son Dirk and Leon Ebeling and the second race, Christian Bouriez drove his 5300 GT across the line first.
Also from this period are the Porsche 911s that compete in the one-make 2.0L Cup. This weekend marked the first appearance this year of the successful pairing of Mark Sumpter and Andrew Jordan. The seasoned Porsche racer and former BTCC champion dominated all sessions and scored a convincing victory.

Heritage Touring Cup
Rarer than hen's teeth was once an apt description for the 24-valve engined BMW 3.0 CSLs and Ford Capris that competed in the 1974 European Touring Car Championship. In recent years, one evocation after another appeared and at in the HTC race at Estoril there were no fewer than ten on the grid. Among them was just a single period racer, which was shared by Zak Brown and Martin Brundle. The former Formula 1 racer grabbed the early lead in the race from the pole sitter Christian Traber and his BMW 3.0 CSL. The Brown/Brundle team lost precious time in the pits due to a 20-second penalty for Brundle being an ex F1 ace. They finished fifth but would have finished no higher than fourth without the penalty. Traber could also not hold onto the lead group as his brakes faded during the one-hour race. That left the victory to Maxime Guenat with Yves Scemama finishing second, both in Equipe Europe prepared Capris. The two had an eventual qualifying session, which forced them to move up the order during the race. The same could also be said for Franz Wunderlich, who was third after starting from the back in his CSL.

Modern Endurance Racers
Over the last couple of years, the cut-off date for historic racing cars has been extended considerably to now include sports cars of up to 2010 in case of the Endurance Racing Legends series. For the 18-strong field that lined up in Estoril, there were two 30-minute races. Starting on pole for both was the ex-works Dallara SP1 shared by James Cottingham and Max Girardo. They competed in one race each and won both. Second in both races was Mike Newton in the very MG-Lola that he raced at Le Mans back in the early 2000s.
Sports prototypes of one generation earlier were catered to by the two 45-minute Group C races. This year, the field for this complicated machines has been a little thin on the bones and there were only nine cars at Estoril. Among them were a couple of particularly interesting machines, which included the Ford Mustang Probe of Lars Erik Nielsen and the Jaguar XJR-10 shared by Zak Brown and Martin Brundle. The latter placed the Castrol-liveried Jaguar on pole for both races. Eventually, however, it was young Olivier Galant, who snatched the victory in both 45-minute races in his first appearance with his newly acquired Jaguar XJR-12.

Classic Endurance Racing
Dedicated to arguably the heyday of sports car racing are the two Classic Endurance Racing races. The slightly earlier CER1 race saw a proper David vs Goliath fight between two-litre Chevrons and Lolas and the mighty small-block powered Lola T70s. Neither David or Goliath qualified on pole though as fastest of all was in fact the three-litre Cosworth DFV powered McLaren of Marc Devis and Martin O'Connell. Mechanical issues, however, prompted Devis to pull off the grid. He was able to start the race but a lap down and eventually finished eighth. Making the most of their misfortune was Armand Mille, who drove a faultless race to claim his first outright victory in his little Lola T212. Despite starting from the pitlane, Detlef von der Lieck and Ralf Kelleners were victorious in the GT1 class.
In CER2, it was Goliath that did reign supreme in the form of the next generation three-litre DFV engined sports prototypes. Qualifying was dominated by the Lola of Maxime Guenat and the TOJs of Yves Scemama and Dominique Guenat. All three cars were carefully prepared by French specialists Equipe Europe and did not miss a beat in the race, to score a one-two-three finish. The GT category was won by Lars Rolner and Patrick Simon in a Porsche 934/5.

Final Thoughts
With last year's edition greatly affected by travel restrictions, the second Estoril Classics organised by Peter Auto fulfilled the great promise already shown in 2020. It is a beautiful track located in an equally beautiful area, and we are happy to confirm that the 2022 season will also be concluded at Estoril. To discover just why that excites us so much, sit back and enjoy our 220-shot gallery.

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Report by Wouter Melissen and images by Wouter Melissen and Pieter Melissen for Ultimatecarpage.com