Pedro Ramos Santo is a commercial photographer working out of Lisbon, Portugal. Although his professional work is varied, cars are his passion, and in this I Am The Speedhunter submission Pedro takes us to the Algarve Classic Festival.
My interest in cars started early, when I was a kid. With an older brother passionate about cars (at the time he drove a 1979 Volkswagen Golf MK1 GTI) it wasn’t hard for me to fall in love with them either – especially the classics. Living in a small country internationally known for its classic rally and hill climb events, cars like the Porsche 911 and the Ford Escort Mk1 really left a mark on me as a youngster, as did the smells of burned tires and gasoline.
Fast forward in life, I studied photography and became a still life photographer in 2007. But the passion for cars has always remained and for the last three years I’ve dedicated myself to automotive photography. In 2016, I travelled the whole country shooting motorsport events, one favorite being the Algarve Classic Festival in Portimão, Portugal.
When most people think about Algarve, the fantastic beaches and the summer vacations spent in the south of Portugal normally come to mind. But having now attended this event, my thoughts are all memories of the pure sounds of classic motors running around Algarve International Raceway.
The Algarve Classic Festival is divided into several categories spanning different eras of motorsport. Competing classics include everything from Ferraris to Fords and Lotuses, and Porsches to Bizzarrinis among many others.
The paddock and the stands fill up while the teams prepare the cars for the MRL ’50s Sports Cars category, which includes cars like the Jaguar E-Type, Lister Knoobly and Cooper Lotus 11 and 15. With the sun about to disappear behind the mountains surrounding Monchique, the lights are turned on and the pilots get ready for a spectacle that evokes scenes reminiscent of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, thus becoming one of the most appreciated races of the event.
On the second day, the GT & Sport Cars Cup competition for genuine pre-1966 and pre-1963 sports cars takes place. It’s in this race that machines like the Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta, AC Cobra 289, Morgan Plus 4 SLR and various Maseratis all share the track.
The Iberian Historic Endurance, a race created by Diogo Ferrão, Portuguese pilot and organizer of the event, is held at different raceways in the Península Ibérica. During the Algarve Classic Festival there were two 50-minute races run for this class.
After the successes of previous Algarve Classic Festival events, drivers rallied for a new race for ’70s sports car, and that has come to life as the Algarve 200km Sports Cars Pre-1979. It’s a great race to see models like the Porsche 911 RSR in action.
Pedro Ramos Santos
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