The last official race of the Portuguese Cup season was held recently at the track of Maçainhas, Guarda.
The stakes were high as the winner of the Portuguese Cup would guarantee a spot for the upcoming European and World Championships. Saturday’s session was practice only, but it allowed us time to try setup changes and to adjust to the track’s modifications.
On Sunday we had the qualifying heats and the finals. During the qualifying heats I held a good driving pace on all rounds to guarantee a spot on the semi final A.
During the semi final A I had a rough start and had to drive hard regain the time that I had lost. By that time the track was already very bumpy but with a careful and consistent driving I was able to be 4th and qualify for the main final starting in 5th.
With a strong start in the final, I was fighting to secure one of the podium spots right from the beginning.
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Within the first few minutes I was battling for position with Joao Gomes for the 2nd/3rd place. We were both driving cautiously due to the conditions of the track.
When Joao made some small mistakes I was able to get away and I was now on the hunt for the 1st place that was being held by Miguel Matias.
I tried hard to catch up with him and at several points he appeared to be within reach, but the pit stops and some small mistakes would separate us. We were both making 9min fuel stops so no major distance between refuelling. But on the 3rd refuel my engine stopped right in front of the pit area. I lost some time and at that point Matias pulled away and I did not have enough time left to catch him. In the end Miguel Matias won, with me being 2nd and Joao Gomes on the last podium place.
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1. Miguel Matias 2. Ricardo Monteiro XRAY XB808
3. Joao Gomes
4. Bruno Coelho
5. Carlos Duraes