Return of motorsport to Algarve

Last year, 2020, saw many race events at the Algarve International Racetrack (AIA) in Portimão, Algarve.

These included Formula 1’s return to Portugal, the Ferrari Challenge, the European Le Mans Series and the Superbike World Championships. Sadly, the Algarve Classic Festival, at the end of the year, was cancelled.

In January this year, 2021, the Grand Finals Rotax MAX Challenge was also cancelled. This is perhaps the biggest of the races in the karting world and was met with much disappointment.

However, this year we have many races to look forward to.

Formula 1 (F1) is looking very likely to use Portimão’s racetrack for the fourth event in the calendar, the weekend of April 30 to May 2.

A release from the F1 Commission stated, “The group was updated on the ‘TBC’ space on the current version of the 2021 calendar. It is the intention of Formula 1 to fill the position with a race at Portimão in Portugal on the dates already held in the calendar. The final agreement is still subject to contract with the promoter.”

Should all go well, the decision will still need to be approved by the World Motor Sport Council.

October will be a busy month in the racetrack’s calendar. The superbikes will be back for the World Superbike Championship over the weekend October 1-3, followed by the European Le Mans Series that is planning to race over October 23 and 24.

The Algarve racetrack has also announced that it will be holding the first and last stages of the Portuguese Speed Championship (Campeonato de Portugal de Velocidade) this year. 

The first stage is to be held over three days, April 23 -25, and will take place alongside the first round of the GT Open Championship. 

The last stage is planned to take place alongside the European Le Mans Series in October. 

Designed as “spectacular and competitive”, the new-look race is being describer by the organisers as “the pinnacle of Portuguese speed racing”.

With each of the three races staging two 20-minute sprint races and a 45-minute endurance race, the three categories will include GT Cup, GT Light and Touring Cup vehicles.

Currently we do not have confirmation if spectators will be allowed into the stands to watch.

Image: European Le Man Series — #2 Ligier JS P320 – Nissan / UNITED AUTOSPORTS / Wayne Boyd / Tom Gamble / Robert Wheldon

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