8h Portimão 2 hour report: Alpine lead Toyota; Ferrari hunt Porsche down in LMGTE Pro
Photo: WEC

8h Portimão 2 hour report: Alpine lead Toyota; Ferrari hunt Porsche down in LMGTE Pro

Alpine ELF Matmut lead the 8 Hours of Portimão, round two of the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship, after two hours of racing.

Ferrari has taken the fight to pole-sitting Porsche in LMGTE Pro and enjoy an increasing lead, while WRT head LMP2 and Cetilar Racing hit the front in thrilling LMGTE Am battle 
First 2 Hours at a glance:  
•    Alpine Elf Matmut lead race throughout the opening two hours as Nicolas Lapierre builds increasing lead over Toyota pair 
•    Despite losing radio communications Lapierre stretches lead in second hour before handing over to Andre Negrao after 90 minutes  
•    Alpine aiming to build as much a gap as possible as they will have to complete additional fuel pit stop over course of the eight-hour race. Negrao enjoys seven second advantage as third hour ticks over 
•    Sebastien Buemi runs second but struggles in second stint with pace sees gap much reduced by sister No.7 Toyota GR010-Hybrid Hypercar of Jose-Maria Lopez 
•    Toyotas place second and third at two-hour mark with fresh drivers Brendon Hartley    and Mike Conway respectively now at the wheel 
•    Glickenhaus Racing’s Richard Westbrook suffers tough opening stint with tyre overheating problems on debut race for the US-entered team 
•    Ryan Briscoe takes over but is involved in three car incident with D’Station Aston Martin and No.77 Dempsey Proton Porsche just before third hour arrives and is forced to pit for repairs 

•    No.92 Porsche 911 RSR-19 polesitter driven by Kevin Estre opens gap in first stint at front as he continues excellent form  
•    Estre hands over to Neel Jani at end of first stint but Swiss ace is hunted down by James Calado in No.51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE Evo 
•    Calado then opens significant gap over Porsche rival and enjoys 19-second advantage as third hour is reached. 
•    No.52 AF Corse Ferrari places third as Daniel Serra completes double stint  
•    No.91 Porsche driven by Gimmi Bruni runs fourth after it was earlier deposed from third by Serra 
•    Frederic Makowiecki takes over the hot seat just before end of second hour 

•    Racing Team Nederland lead first phase of race as Giedo van der Garde resists huge pressure from WRT car driven by Robin Frijns 
•    The Benelux pair have thrilling duel with Frijns briefly taking the lead but out-braking himself just after one hour mark 
•    After 2 Hours and two pit stops WRT finally take the lead as Frijns replacement Ferdinand Habsburg puts a move on Fritz van Eerd who takes over from van der Garde. However, WRT car is under investigation for speeding in pitlane and nervously awaits steward's decision 
•    Taking over second place is United Autosports USA entry which sees Phil Hanson complete first stint before Wayne Boyd steps aboard 
•    Boyd overtakes van Eerd to take second place and attempt reducing gap to challenge leading WRT car  
•    Racing Team Nederland leading Pro/Am race after two hours
•    Inter Europol Competition sit third after Alex Brundle builds strong foundation in opening two stints before handing over to Louis Deletraz who takes van Eerd deep in to second hour 
•    JOTA suffers dramatic start to race as polesitter Tom Blomqvist spins on opening lap after contact via sister Jota car driven by Antonio Felix da Costa 
•    Blomqvist fights back in to top six of the category before handing over to Sean Gelael after initial stint 
•    Antonio Felix da Costa runs third in opening hour before team opt to switch over to Roberto Gonzalez at first stop. Gonzalez is hit by Ben Hanley in Dragonspeed entry which receives drive-through penalty as a result 

•    LMGTE Am class sees polesitter Egidio Perfetti slip back in opening exchanges as the D-Station Aston Martin and then No.54 AF Corse Ferrari of Francesco Castellacci cut through the pack 
•    Castellacci muscles to the front and hands over lead at first stop to teammate Thomas Flohr 
•    Flohr is tracked down by Cetilar Racing Ferrari driven by Giorgio Sernagiotto who leads after two hours from the No.54 Ferrari 
•    Third in class was No.98 Aston Martin car driven by Paul Dalla Lana which is well positioned after initial stint by Marcos Gomes. But No.56 Team Project Porsche slips through to third 
•    D’Station Aston and No.77 Dempsey Proton Porsche involved in dramatic three car incident with Glickenhaus Hypercar. They both suffer damage and drop down the order.