Back to the competitors for the ULTIMATE CUP in Estoril, Portugal

It’s time to go back to school for the Ultimate Cup Series, which returns to the Portuguese Circuit de Estoril at the gates of Lisbon, this weekend for Round 4 of this Season 5 for the following four grid champions:

GTE Cup (GT Endurance), Proto Trophy (proto endurance)GTS Cup (GT Sprint) And the Formula Cup (single seat).

An event that promises to be even more exciting with the weather changing over the weekend…

Estoril is the start of a new academic year for the Ultimate Cup Series competitors. The 2023 season continues this weekend on September 8.9-10 after a well-deserved summer break. The tournament goes to Portugal for the third time since 2019.

So, in Portugal, at the Estoril track, the 2023 season of the Ultimate Cup series continues this weekend, as the championship kicked off when it was created… in March 2019!

Built in 1972, the Estoril Circuit, just a few dozen kilometers from the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, is a place steeped in history.

It actually hosted Formula 1 between 1984 and 1996, thus seeing Ayrton Senna take his first Formula 1 victory, but it also hosted FIA GT or DTM.

All the champions are at the end of the long summer break since the Tour of Hockenheim… Last May 30, they are at the starting point with the dawn of this transformative fourth stage in the second part of the season.

In the program of the 600 km race of Estoril, three days of intense competition on the following four grids: (GT Endurance), (proto-endurance), (GT Sprint) And (single seat).

Primary Cup: A contentious battle in LMP3 between TS Corse and Team Virage


The quality of the range offered in the specialization dedicated to sports models has led to exciting races since the start of the season and, above all, an indecisive battle for the championship, particularly in the LMP3 class.

And for good reason, the first three races were won by three different teams, Team Virage, then TS Corse and finally Zosh Compétition.

Ayrton Simmons will arrive in Portugal at the top of the classification for the Italian TS Corse (Dokine D08 No. 27) with a total 67.5 pointsa few lengths ahead of George King, the Virage driver (Legier GS P320 No. 14) who matters 61. The Briton will also find Manuel Espiritu Santo and Viacheslav Gutak, with whom he won at Le Castellet.

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Graff Racing could play a spoiler when it returns with the Ligier JS P320 which will be entrusted to Vincent Capier (eight 24 Hours of Le Mans), Stéphane Robb and Nicolas Chartier.


Once again, only the very smart person will be able to predict the winner at the end of this fourth round, in the NP02 category. Here too, three different cars have won the same number of races. First with CD Sport at Le Castellet, followed by Racing Spirit of Léman at Navarra, before winning at Hockenheim for ANS Motorsport.

Precisely this last team with Nova Proto N°72 piloted by Frédéric Crollet and Matthijs Joubert leading the class with 59.5 points, Just behind them, Daniel Basora, Matthias Piech and Philippe Iskard followed (DB Autosport No. 21) which total 52 stitches.

On the third step of the podium are Nicolas Molini and Jack Wolf (Lehman Spirit Race #51) Will be back this weekend.

Among the cities, Mathis Joubert will be one of the biggest absentees from his 600km race in Estoril, and will be replaced by ANS Motorsport team principal and driver, Nicolas Schatz.

With two podiums accumulated in three races, it will also be essential to watch ANS’s Dimab Motosport race which may also join the battle for victory.

North Carolina

The 600km race of Estoril will also be an opportunity to see Sacha Clavadetscher and Iko Segret with ANS Motorsport in the CN class. Both men have the opportunity to continue their momentum, after the last two races were marked by back-to-back victories.

The 4-hour race will be held on Sunday, September 10 between 9:15 am and 1:15 pm.

GT Endurance Cup: An ever-diverse field and a battle to resume in the premier category

After an early part of the season in which Team Visiom was still made up of the winning trio of Jean-Paul Baggny, Jean-Bernard Bouvet and David Halliday, their Ferrari on the turf of the Lusitania aimed for another victory in the UGT3A class.

In the Porsche Cup, local team Racar Motorsport comes to join the fight against the championship players, Martinet By Almeras. (Porsche No. 95/Dorchy Martins) and the Sib Lago Race. Seb Lajoux Racing’s N°58 911 GT3 Cup ‘992’ will see Jean-Baptiste Seminauer co-drive with Loris Noroy and Lucas Walter.

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We will not fail to highlight the return of Team 2B Autosport with Olivier Favre, Yann Benelo and Hugo Chevalier.

The victory in the UGTC4A class will be contested by a BMW M4 GT4 N°17 at Espace Bienvenue, and a Ginetta GT4 G55 N°68 at CMR.

Estoril will also be an opportunity to see the Ligier JS2 RN°42 from ANS Motorsport as well as the 488 challenge for Team XP Racing, in UGT3B, which will seek to score the most points to return to the championship…

The 4-hour weekend race will end on Sunday, September 10, between 2pm and 6pm.

GT Sprint Cup: Ten brands compete in Portugal

In the GT Sprint, diversity is on point again. No fewer than ten different brands are represented by more prestigious models than one another.

Starting with the Renault RS01 entered by AB Sport Auto with Franck Thibaud. The latter finds the Portuguese track that saw him win the GT Sprint title in 2021. In the same UGT3A class, CMR presents the Bentley Continental GT3 entrusted to the hands of Eric Moyes and Jean-Marc Bachelet.

It will also be interesting to see if one of the two teams will have the potential to win the Porsche 992 Cup, from the Seb Lajoux Racing Team, the last winner so far, in the Porsche Cup and overall in Hockenheim.

The latter will also have to contend with a newcomer to the series, with the local team Racar Motorsport, but also the French team 2B Autosport which, in addition to its participation in GT Endurance, will also enter its Porsche in the GT Sprint with the sire duo of Olivier and Romain Favre.

The UGT3B class will resonate strongly with the voice of Italy and Maranello. Team SRR will run two Ferrari 488 challenges, with Lorenzo Cosso and Alessio Bacchi still 13th, while the No. 33 car is still driven by Eduardo Barbollini and Francesco Azzurri.

It is likely that the two Italian crews will meet Patrick Michelier, the only representative of Estoril’s CMR team in this category. (Ferrari No. 73).

The most comprehensive of the GT Sprints series, the UGTC4A Series, for this fourth round of the season.

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The Alpine A110 GT4 and Audi R8 LMS GT4 from Team Speedcar line up alongside another R8 GT4, which Milan Compétition has participated in, not to mention the BMW M4 GT4 from Rosel Racing from l’Espace Bienvenue.

To complete this field, the UGTC4B class will allow the Mitjet 2L, entrusted to Serge Nauges, or the Ginetta GT4 G50 N°555 of François Denis to develop on the track.

The three matches will be held during the day on Saturday, September 9.

Formula Cup: The duel heats up at the top between Gaspard Le Gallet and Paul Trojani

The fourth chapter of the title struggle in the single seat challenge at the Estoril circuit between Swiss Gaspard Le Gallet (CMR) and French Paul Trojani (Graff’s race).

Only a dozen small spots separate the two young F3Rs. There is no shortage of overtaking opportunities on the Portuguese track, especially since every point can make the difference at the end of the season.

In the general classification, Walter Rikaart with his Tatuus F3R N°2 has the chance to consolidate his third position in Formula Motorsport.

The other connecting point in the single seater challenge, in Estoril, comes from Jordan Robinel, who has had a very strong performance since the start of the season, in the FR2.0 class.

And after nine victories in as many races, he also finished in the top four consistently.

Now in F3R, he could be a celebrity at the end of the season, not forgetting Laura Villars, Formula Motorsport driver, who continues the adventure.

Team Virage, accustomed to endurance racing in the Proto Challenge, finally gets to the single seater challenge this weekend with Argentinian Juan Francisco Soldavini Norse, who is just… 16 years old!

The first race will take place on Friday 8 September, at the end of the day, while the other two races will take place on Saturday afternoon.

Florian Devitt

Photos: Gilles Vitry – Davey Dillian – Hughes Laroche

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About the Author: Germano Álvares

"Desbravador de cerveja apaixonado. Álcool alcoólico incurável. Geek de bacon. Viciado em web em geral."

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