4 exciting hours in Portimao – updated

United Autosports #32 with Job van Uitert, Alex Brundle and Will Owen was starting the race from Pole Position, ahead of Panis Racing #31 with Will Stevens, Julien Canal and Nicolas Jamin, while Cool Racing #37 with Antonin Borga, Alexandre Coigny and Nicolas Lapierre was starting the race from the third position.

G-Drive Racing #26 with Mikkel Jensen, Roman Rusinov and Nyck de Vries had been fastest in the Qualifying, but got their time disallowed due to track limits, so they would have to start 6th.

United Autosports #22 with Filipe Albuquerque and Phil Hanson, was already crowned Champions, would have to start the race from P5.

ELMS Portimao 2020 start
Photo: JJ Media

United Autosports was on Pole Position in LMP3 too, with championship leaders #2 with Wayne Boyd, Tom Gamble and Rob Wheldon on Pole, ahead of DKR Engineering #4 with Laurents Hörr, Wolfgang Triller and Francois Kirmann, while Malthe Jakobsen had qualified RLR MSport #15 in the third position, which he shares with James Dayson and Lorenzo Veglia this weekend.

The main competition for the LMP3 title, Inter Europol Competition #13 was only starting 10th, while third in the standings, Realteam Racing #8 was starting 5th.

Eurointernational #11, IDEC Sport #28, United Autosports #3, AF Corse Ferrari #51
Photo: JJ Media

Iron Lynx Ferrari #60 with Andrea Piccini, Sergio Pianezzola and Rino Mastronardi was starting from Pole Position in GTE. Mastronardi had to replace Claudio Schiavoni, who had to stay at home due to COVID-19 in the near family, so he would have to self isolate. The guest entry from AF Corse Ferrari #88 with Alessio Rovera, Emmanuel Collard and Francois Perrodo was starting the race from second, ahead of Iron Lynx Ferrari #83 with Michelle Gatting, Rahel Frey and Manuela Gostner.

Second in the Championship, Proton Competition Porsche #77, was starting from fourth, while championship-leading Kessel Racing Ferrari #74 was all the way down in P7.

It was a slightly chaotic start to the race, since Graff #39 almost spun at Turn 1, and United Autosports #22 ended up pushing him in the right direction again.

Proton Competition Porsche #93
Photo: JJ Media

After a wild first lap, G-Drive Racing #26 had grabbed the lead.

United Autosports #3 tried to overtake RLR MSport #15, but had to bail out of it at, at the very last moment. That made Andrew Bentley lose several positions before he got going again.

The lead of the race changed once again when Rusinov in #26 made a small mistake, so Will Owen in #32 could go ahead.

Algarve Pro Racing #25, Inter Europol Competition #34, IDEC Sport #28
Photo: JJ Media

JMW Motorsport Ferrari #66 was off the circuit in Turn 5, which resulted in a Full Course Yellow, so he could be dragged back on the asphalt. Rodrigo Sales locked the wheels, all the way down the hill, that leads into Turn 5, but was lucky not take other cars with him into the gravel.

United Autosports #22 opted to change the front of the car, following the early contact.

United Autosports #2 chose to pit, to take their long pitstop, which meant that RLR MSport #15 would take the lead of the race.

Once the race went green again, there was a tough battle between #32 and #26, but not enough for the race lead to change.

High Class Racing #20
Photo: JJ Media

Graff #5 and Nielsen Racing #10 collided, but both could continue.

G-Drive Racing #26 made the switch from Roman Rusinov to Mikkel Jensen, at their first pitstop.

DKR Engineering #4 got a lot of damage on the rear of their car, when Proton Competition Porsche #93, and a lot of cars had to avoid the stricken Michael Fassbender.

DKR Engineering #4
Photo: JJ Media

Iron Lynx Ferrari #83 had the second off of the day, with Manuela Gostner behind the wheel. And for the second time in the race, it was when the car was near High Class Racing #20.

Jensen in #26 managed to take the race lead back, and pull away from Owen in #32.

JMW Motorsport Ferrari #66 and Iron Lynx Ferrari #60 had a collision at Turn 13, but both cars could continue the race.

The race didn’t get any better for #66, since they were handed a Drive-through penalty for Track Limits.

Iron Lynx Ferrari #83
Photo: JJ Media

AF Corse Ferrari #88 spun off the corner, in the final corner, when Francois Perrodo was a bit surprised by some faster prototype cars, and ended up in the gravel. That resulted in the second Full Course Yellow of the day, so the car could be lifted out of the gravel.

Iron Lynx Ferrari #60 got a Stop & Go for the contact with #66.

At the halfway point of the race, it was G-Drive Racing #26 in front of LMP2, United Autosports #2 leading LMP3, and Iron Lynx Ferrari #60 leading GTE.

BHK Motorsport #35 and Realteam Racing #8 had a close moment on the track, which sent #8 into a spin.

BHK Motorsport #35, Graff #5, Panis Racing #31, High Class Racing #20
Photo: JJ Media

There was contact between AF Corse Ferrari #51 and Gulf Racing Porsche #86, which meant that #51 would have to pull off the circuit, while #86 tried to continue, but had to pit just a few laps later.

The Safety Car was deployed, when Iron Lynx Ferrari #60 got a puncture on the left rear, and ripped a lot of body parts off the car.

Graff #5 was handed a drive-through penalty, for speeding in the pits.

Duqueine Team #30 & Kessel Racing Ferrari #74
Photo: JJ Media

The final hour of the race started with G-Drive Racing #26 in front of LMP2, United Autosports #2 in LMP3, and Proton Competition Porsche #77 in GTE.

DKR Engineering #4 was told by the stewards, that they would have to repair the rear end of the car, when they would pit for their last time in the race.

There was huge drama in GTE, when Kessel Racing Ferrari #74 spun all by themselves in P2. Spirit Of Race Ferrari #55 was right behind, and grabbed second in the race – but pitted shortly after, to put Duncan Cameron back in the car.

Kessel Racing Ferrari #74 also had to pit for fuel, but managed to get out in second, since they didn’t change driver or tires, but just gave David Perel a fresh tank of gas.

Gulf Racing #86
Photo: JJ Media

JMW Motorsport Ferrari #66 closed their day with another Drive-through for breaking Track Limits.

Proton Competition Porsche #77 had to pit with 17 minutes left, where the mechanics changed the left rear tire, and send the car back on the track again.

Iron Lynx Ferrari #83 ran into another problem, when Rahel Frey had a puncture and had to come back to the pits, slowly.

RLR MSport #15
Photo: JJ Media

RLR MSport #15 pitted for their final few litres of fuel, with 9 minutes left on the clock, but ended up being pushed into the garage. So unlucky for the team, that had driven a fine race until then.

Duqueine Team #30 also had to pit with 9 minutes to go, and rejoined in second, ahead of both United Autosports cars.

Inter Europol Competition #34 crashed heavily in Turn 1 with just four minutes left, but Jakub Smiechowski was able to jump out of the car by himself. He thankfully hit the tire barrier side-on.

G-Drive Racing #26
Photo: JJ Media

AF Corse Ferrari #88 got a puncture with just two minutes to go, but was already far down the GTE ranks, due to their problems earlier in the race.

Graff #39 pitted on the very final lap of the race, but kept hold of P7.

G-Drive Racing #26 with Nyck de Vries, Roman Rusinov and Mikkel Jensen won the final race of the year, breaking the United Autosports dominance. Duqueine Team #30 with Tristan Gommendy, Jonathan Hirschi and Nicolas Jamin finished second, while United Autosports #22 with  Phil Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque finished third. Mikkel Jensen posted the fastest lap of the race, for the second race in a row in LMP2.

Proton Competition Porsche #77, Spirit Of Race Ferrari #55, Richard Mille Racing Team #50
Photo: JJ Media

High Class Racing #20 with Dennis Andersen and Anders Fjordbach finished on P6, where they ran for most of the race, after another fine opening stint from Fjordbach. The Danish duo finished as the best team without a Gold or Platinum driver on the car, so they were part of the podium celebrations.

The LMP3 category was won by with Wayne Boyd, Tom Gamble and Rob Wheldon, ahead of Realteam Racing #8 with David Droux and Esteban Garcia, while Inter Europol Competition #13 with Martin Hippe and Dino Lunardi finished third.

Proton Competition Porsche #77 won the GTE category with Alessio Picariello, Christian Ried and Michele Beretta, ahead of Kessel Racing #74 with Michael Broniszewski, David Perel, and Nicola Cadei, while Spirit Of Race Ferrari #55 with Duncan Cameron, Matt Griffin and Andrew Scott grabbed third position on the very final lap, when Iron Lynx Ferrari #60 had a very slow final sector, on the very final lap.

United Autosports #2 & Algarve Pro Racing #24
Photo: JJ Media

Proton Competition Porsche #77 wins the GTE Championship, in the most narrow way. They finished equal on points with Kessel Racing Ferrari #74, with the two teams having exactly the same positions throughout the year – 2 wins, 2 seconds and a fourth each, and then the rules states, that the first winner of the season will win the title. Spirit Of Race Ferrari #55 grabbed third in the standings, since they finished higher in today’s race, than Iron Lynx Ferrari #83, that takes fourth in the standings.

United Autosports #2 are LMP3 Champions, ahead of Inter Europol Competition #13, while Realteam Racing #8 finished third.

United Autosports are also LMP2 Champions, having won the title with #22, even before the race had started. #32 secured second in the Championship, while G-Drive Racing #26 advanced to third with thanks to today’s victory.

United Autosports #22
Photo: JJ Media

United Autosports #22, United Autosports #32, United Autosports #2, Proton Competition Porsche #77 and Kessel Racing Ferrari #74 has secured automatic invitations for the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2021.

That was the end of the European Le Mans Series 2020. The season got quite a different outlook than what was originally planned, but they managed to run five rounds, with good racing, in both at daytime, and post-sunset.


Spirit Of Race #55 got a post-race penalty of 30 seconds, since they hadn’t done the minimum drive time for Matt Griffin. So they were sent back to fifth in the race, while Iron Lynx Ferrari #60 with Andrea Piccini, Rino Mastronardi and Sergio Pianezzola got promoted to the final podium position. #55 still finished in front of #83 in the race, so it didn’t result in any changes in the championship.

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