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Know the track: Molina talks about Portimão

Portimão 10 June 2021

The Portimão circuit in the Algarve region of Portugal is one of Europe’s most exciting and challenging. It is a new generation track where ups and downs, blind corners, fast sections and slow corners constantly alternate, except for the very long start straight. Official Ferrari Competizioni GT driver Miguel Molina will join Daniel Serra at the Autodromo Internacional Algarve at the wheel of the 488 GTE no. 52 of AF Corse for round two of FIA WEC Season 9.

This track is really rather lovely,” begins the Spaniard, “with some sections where the drivers can make the difference. The first of these is Turn 4. It’s a big, blind bend, which makes it essential to keep a good line when clearing a hill because the car’s nose tends to lighten. You need to keep a perfect line to negotiate the turn at a good speed for the short straight that follows."

The wide roadway gives scope to the driver’s creativity to vary trajectories in both attack and defence. From this point of view, Turn 8 “offers several lines for braking. Throttling down is difficult because you have to brake while you are steering, but the driver can create an excellent passing opportunity”.

The sequence of Turns 10 and 11 is also very stimulating. “Braking is very demanding, and there are different possible trajectories to enable us to attack those in front of us. Clearing a hill brings a certain instability to the car, so we may see some mistakes in this section”. Then there are a few corners before the grand finale, the last challenge for the driver. “The last turn is crucial: It’s downhill; the asphalt is composed of different surfaces, so the grip is not uniform, but getting it wrong means losing speed for the very long main straight”.