Since the last race in Monza in early June, the team has had some time to breathe and prepare for the 12 Hours of Estoril this weekend from July, 6-8. It is the first time that the team races in Estoril in the GT4 category, it is also a new track for Aliyyah Koloc. Experienced drivers David Vrsecky and Adam Lacko have already driven the track, though this dates back 20 years, and in a truck.
Adam Lacko fondly remembers the Estoril circuit: “Twenty years ago, I participated in my first-ever race here in a truck, with Tatra. However, we drove on a different layout. Based on what I’ve seen in the simulator, there are a few extra corners now. The track is pleasant, and I’m really looking forward to driving there again,” said the seasoned racer.
The conditions in Portugal are expected to be challenging. “It will undoubtedly be hot and demanding. Usually, in the 24H series, there have been two six-hour races on two consecutive days up to now. This time, we will have a six-hour qualifier followed by a 12-hour race. It will be a good preparation for the 24-hour race in Barcelona,” added Adam, the 2017 FIA ETRC champion.
David Vrsecky, another two-time FIA ETRC champion, has also some interesting memories of Estoril. “In 2003, Buggyra lined up three cars there. I was in the third one and ended up colliding with our remaining cars in the first corner. Thankfully, it was just a minor contact, and we continued racing,” he remembers.
The winding circuit, located a few kilometers from the Atlantic coast, will provide a stark contrast to Monza. “It will be a completely different experience compared to Monza. Racing there will be demanding. Navigating through the traffic will be more difficult. Overtaking will slow you down, and the risk of contact increases. There is a lot to gain on this track but also a lot to lose,” Vrsecky explained.
For Aliyyah Koloc, who just turned 19 a couple of days ago, the Estoril track will be new in every aspect. “The track has a lot of tricky corners from what I have seen on the simulator but I am really looking forward to it and to learning from David and Adam. There will be a 6-hour qualifying, so that will be very interesting. This will be the penultimate race of the season, so we will give our all and fight for the championship that is really close in points.”
Official track action starts on Thursday, July 6, with a one-hour practice session. Qualifying will be demanding, as it will be composed of a qualifying session followed by a 6-hour qualifying race on Friday. The race itself will start on Saturday at 9 a.m. for 12 hours non-stop, finishing at 9 p.m. on Saturday night.
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