Sunday, December 29, 2013

Portuguese GT: Team Novadriver 2013 season review

By Johan Laubscher

Team Novadriver successfully defended the Portuguese GT title during 2013. Their two-car team enjoyed much success during the season.

The season review has been compiled from the 2013 Audi Motorsport Blog Weekend Round Up posts. Each round has been added as was seen in the individual Weekend Round Up posts during 2013, which can be accessed via the links throughout the review below:

Round 1: Cancelled

Team Novadriver were entered for the first Portuguese GT round, which was scheduled for this weekend. The Portuguese team have entered a two-car team this year, with both of their cars having been updated to 2013 Audi R8 LMS ultra specification. The first round of the championship was however cancelled due to technicalities within their GT Cup rules, thus the Portuguese GT championship will only be getting underway in April. Team Novadriver have completed a number of tests in the last three weeks.

Round 1: Aragon

The Portuguese GT Championship, now known as the Supercars Portugal Series, took place alongside the Supercars International Series this weekend. The event took place at Aragon in Spain. One Audi R8 LMS team has entered the series for 2013, Team Nova Driver, who are once again fielding a two car effort. Both of the team’s cars are in the 2013 Audi R8 LMS ultra specification. The team qualified on the overall pole and finished the race second overall, and first in the Portuguese GT standings. The second Nova car unfortunately retired from the race.

Round 2: Estoril

Round two of the Portuguese GT Championship was held at Estoril this weekend. Team Novadriver took part with both of their Audi R8 LMS ultra cars. Both cars qualified within the top three, with the #1 Novadriver Audi taking pole. It was a very good two-hour race for the team. The lead had changed by the first pitstops with the #10 Novadriver Audi leading and their teammates in fifth. An Audi 1-2 had been established after the second pitstops and this was maintained to the flag. Victory went to the #1 of Cesar Campanico, Carlos Vieira and Mikko Eskelinen, followed by their teammates João Figueiredo, João Ramos and Manuel Gião in the #10.

Round 3: Boavista

The Supercars Portugal Series (Portuguese GT Championship) held its third round at Boavista in Portugal. This event was held together with round two of the Supercars International Series. Team Novadriver, who are contesting the Portuguese series, was entered with their two-car Audi R8 LMS ultra team. Both cars qualified within the top four and the race finished with another Team Novadriver victory, as the #1 Audi R8 LMS ultra won with their teammates finishing in third.

Round 4: Portimão

Portimão hosted GT Racing this weekend, in the form of the fourth Portuguese GT round and the third Supercars International Series round. These two series were once again combined this weekend. Team Novadriver were entered with their pair of Audi R8 LMS ultra cars. They qualified second and third and finished the event with yet another victory for the #1 car, followed by the #10 in third. This victory for the #1 Novadriver driver squad clinched the Portuguese GT driver’s title for Cesar Campanico, Carlos Vieira and Mikko Eskelinen.

Round 5: Braga

The Portuguese GT Championship, also known as the Supercars Portugal Series, held its fifth and final round at Braga this weekend. Team Novadriver had already been crowned as the Portuguese GT champions, as Cesar Campanico, Carlos Vieira and Mikko Eskelinen were crowned champions at Portimão last time out. They showed good form during practice, placing both of their cars within the top three in all three of the sessions. However, following practice the team noticed that their telemetry was reading abnormally high fluent temperatures. The team then decided to withdraw their cars from the event in order to investigate the abnormality and to prevent permanent damage to their car's engines. The team's press release regarding the matter can be seen HERE

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