The youngster from Luanda took on a great challenge this season, entering the world of sports car racing, and already exceeded all expectations in his rookie year. After a successful debut in the Asian Le Mans Series, he moved on to compete in the ELMS, and together with John Falb, they finished on the podium in every single round – including two victories in Austria and Italy.
The penultimate round of the 2021 season took place last weekend in Spa-Francorchamps, where the dynamic duo of Rui and John was joined by Peugeot Hypercar driver Gustavo Menezes.
Following a productive test day and two strong practice sessions, the pace of the G-Drive Aurus 01 looked promising for the 4-hour race ahead.
John took the start in the 25 car from P8 on the grid and made a clean getaway, avoiding the mayhem in turn 1. Unfortunately, an emergency pit stop during the safety car period at this early stage of the race resulted in a 30s penalty later on, which took away their winning hopes, but that didn’t dim the team’s fighting spirit.
Rui completed a flawless stint, including a spectacular overtaking maneuver on the Cool Racing car ahead to take the class lead, moving up to P8 overall.
Gustavo jumped in for the final leg of the race, bringing the car home in P7 overall and 2nd place in class, claiming the 25 crew’s fifth podium finish of the season and extending their lead in the championship.
With only one more race left on the 2021 ELMS calendar, Rui and his team are now 24 points ahead of the runner-up, which means that thanks to their consistent performance all year, all they need to do is to bring the car home in Portimao to be crowned champions.
Rui Andrade: Unfortunately today P2 was the best we could do. We had a car to win, we were in the lead, but we received a stop and go penalty which made us lose a position, but we still extended our championship lead and we only need one point in Portimao to win the title. Big thanks to G-Drive and my teammates John and Gustavo for the hard work. Let’s finish this season on a high!
The final round of the 2021 ELMS championship will take place on October 24 in Portimao, Portugal.