2023 is all wrapped up for the merry band of classic car racers who frequent the Peter Auto calendar. This year has seen hundreds of drivers, mechanics, family members, support crews, and not to mention the thousands of spectators visit some of Europe’s finest racetracks, with Portugal’s Estoril Circuit hosting the finale with some incredible racing into the glowing sunset.
The racing, as ever, was fast and furious, with dozens of disciplines segmenting each car into a specific category. Out of so many highlights, the Endurance Racing Legends cars made the Portuguese circuit their playground on the first day of qualifying, making their mark on this busy weekend. The Maserati MC12 GT1, driven by the Kireev and Orusbaev team was the star of the second session, completing a blistering lap time of 1:36:685, showcasing just how fast these high-downforce machines can tackle the iconic circuit.
It's almost impossible to come to Estoril without memories of Formula One being brought up, and this year’s event paid homage to the iconic racers of the past. The pre-1986 Classic GPs, with their evocative liveries and impressive yet accessible engines, made for some truly unmissable scenes, and cemented themselves as one of the many highlights of the event.
As the days rolled by, the anticipation for one race in particular was starting to build. Marking the last race of the season for the Sixties' Endurance racers, drivers were desperate to score some precious last-minute points for the final podium spot. Seeing a multi-million-dollar grid of Shelbys, Ferraris, Bizzarrinis, Fords, Alfa Romeos and just about everything in between was a spectacle in itself but seeing them run at maximum speed within inches of each other was truly spine-tingling. At the end of an eventful two hours, which unfortunately saw several competitors retire, the #86 Shelby Cobra 289 of good friend of Classic Driver Philip Kadoorie and Perez came out on top, ahead of the #21 Lotus XI of Birch and Stevens, and the #3 Shelby Cobra Daytona of Mille and Scemama.
Weekends without racing are going to feel somewhat less fun as we roll into the darker, colder nights of winter, but rest-assured, Peter Auto are already immensely busy planning the 2024 season, which we have no doubt will be just as enjoyable! To keep up to date with all of the planning from Peter Auto, be sure to head to their website here.