Photo: ACO

ELMS Portimao Resources

» The names Portimao and Algarve are interchangeable for this circuit. The circuits actual name is the Autodromo Internacional Algarve (AIA). Algarve is the southern most region of Portugal, whilst Portimao is a municipality.

» The last European Le Mans Series event at this circuit was in 2010. The series has changed drastically since then. The name was the Le Mans Series, and the class structure  was LMP1, LMP2, FLM, GT1, GT2. We’ve since lost LMP1, FLM and GT1, gained LMP3, and renamed GT2 to GTE.


» Panis Barthez start pole, with DragonSpeed lining up alongside. Championship leading #22 G-Drive Racing start third, and their rivals United Autosports starting 5th.

» The pole for Panis Barthez is not only their first of the year, it’s the first of the year for a Ligier chassis.

» The LMP2 pole time was 1:33.575. The 2010 LMP2 pole time was a 1:33.489 by Strakka Racing, using an HPD ARX-01C. The LMP1 pole time was 1:30.7, by Nico Lapierre in an Oreca run Peugeot 908 HDI.

» G-Drive Racing lead the LMP2 championship, with a comfortable 18 point gap to the United Autosports Ligier. Rojas and Roussel are backed up by Hirikawa in the #22 G-Drive car. Should the #23 take home the title, Hirikawa will not be champion after missing Paul Ricard and Red Bull Ring.

» Algarve Pro caused a red flag after going off on the outside of the final corner. The bumps on the apex are causing problems for the Ligier teams. The session resumed with 7:09 remaining. Pizzitola was given a thank you from Eduardo Freitas for depositing the gravel on the run off, rather than the racing surface.

» Andrea Roda is sitting out the race due to injuries sustained in the accident at Spa. Although not serious, damage to Roda’s foot will make the race too uncomfortable to take part in.

Photo: ACO


» AT Racing took pole, but the real story was the championship contending #2 United Autorsports starting 14th in class. The #2 had its only qualifying time removed for track limits.

» LMP3 qualifying was punctured by red flags. After the second red flag, only 3 cars had managed to set a time. With only 3:31 left on the clock, and a pack of cars waiting at the end of the pit lane to do a lap, most cars would only have time for a single flying lap.

» The championship leading #2 United Autosports Ligier was the biggest casualty in the red flag mess. The team managed a single qualifying lap, which was good enough for second on the grid, which was removed for track limits. Their rivals, M.Racing YMR, lineup 4th on the grid.

» #10 Oregon Team caused a red flag in qualifying after a spin ended with the Norma stuck in the turn 5 gravel. To make matters worse, the driver ignored Eduardo Freitas instructions and drove the car back to the pits, spreading a nice layer of gravel around the circuit.

» #7 Duqueine Engineering cause second red flag. The Norma found itself in the same gravel trap as the #10 Oregan can before it. This time the car was placed on a flatbed, to stop a second gravel layer being added to the racing surface.

» #2 United Autosports car of Ralb and Rayhall leads the LMP2 championship. The pair have a 19 point gap over the M.Racing YMR car of Cougnaud, Jung and Ricci. The gap is 19 points, which is not insurmountable, especially after qualifying.

» The LMP3 pole time was a 1:40.6. The Formula Le Mans pole time in 2010 was a 1:39.2.


» Ferrari locked out the front row, with the #55 Spirit of Race taking the point for pole. Matt Griffin put in an incredible lap to snatch pole, closing the gap in the championship to 10 points

» #66 JMW Ferrari 488 lines up second after a superb lap by Will Stevens in the final moments of qualifying. The #66 sits just a single point behind the championship leading TF Sport Aston Martin.

» As predicted, Aston Martin struggled during qualifying. The championship leading #90 TF Sport Vantage was 1.5 seconds off pole, and the Beechdean car was 1.6 seconds off.

» #90 TF Sport leads the championship by 1 point over the #66 JMW Ferrari. Further back, but still in contention, is the #55 Spirit of Race Ferrari 10 points behind, the sister #51 Ferrari 17 points off.

» Immanuel Vinke substitutes for Ross Gunn in the #99 Beechdean Aston for Portimao. With Beechdean looking at expanded efforts for 2018, Vinke will be looking to put himself in contention for those seats.

» The GTE pole time was 1:42.657. The 2010 GT2 pole time was 1:43.3, set by Gianmaria Bruni in an AF Corse Ferrari F430. The GT1 pole time was a 1:43.9 by a Saleen S7-R. A GT1 Corvette C6.R did manage a 1:42.0 in 2009, which puts the current GTE class almost on par with the old GT1 monsters.

Engineering student, lover of all things technical and lifelong motorsport fan. Employed in the Oil & Gas Industry, developing Major Emergency Management simulations. Owner of the best beard on the site.