“IT WOULD BE GREAT TO HAVE A PORTUGUESE DRIVER IN OUR PORTUGUESE TEAM…”
Stewart Cox was the Jordan GP’s No 1 mechanical 10 year. Then, when, in Portugal, everyone thought about the crisis, he saw an opportunity:
Our Sun, the way we welcome people, the two permanent race tracks not far from each other and our proximity to Spain (and its permanent structures dedicated to motorsport), were reasons that justified to make a team based in Portugal (Albufeira) — the Algarve Pro Racing team.
With about 6 years, the Algarve Pro Racing is best known for testing and training which provides worldwide pilots. It also helps to make dreams come true, as was the case of hexa British Olympic Medalist Sir Chris Hoy.
JLpress: This year the team started the ELMS Championship with a trio of young drivers and, in the case of Chris Hoy and Parth Ghorpade, inexperienced. In Austria, the participation of Jonathan Hirschi made all the difference.
Is this the bet for the rest of the championship, or do you intend to move back the line-up of drivers?
SC: In the next race we hope the line up will be Andrea Pizzitola Jonathan Hirschi and Andrea Roda for Spa Michael will be back in the car instead of Roda.
JLpress: What do you think is better: to train drivers and make a team from them, or join two to three drivers of the first line and take advantage of their know-how to make the team grow?
SC: The more testing a driver does the better he gets and as we have gentleman drivers that want to learn the young guys get more cheap mileage practise practise practise.
JLpress: Once you thought about Filipe Albuquerque in the team, didn’t you? This is a real possibility? Are you looking for a Portuguese driver to the team?
SC: It would be great to have a Portuguese driver in our Portuguese team and I think its only a question of time. We have a young karter in mind, Frederico Peters.
JLpress: Algarve Pro Racing Team finished the 24 hours of Le Mans in the top 15 of LMP2. With the line-up involved, this was a predictable outcome or it exceeded your expectations?
SC: We were hoping for a top 10 in class as our pace was pretty good but during the night a Porsche GTLM car blew up and dropped oil in the middle of the Porsche curves of all places and Andrea was the first car to hit the oil and he went off hit the wall and we lost four laps fixing the car but that is Le Mans.
JLpress: What about future goals? Do you intend to consolidate the ELMS? Do you have the WEC in mind? Which other championships may be involved?
SC: We will compete in this years ALMS championship with 2 pros and Michael and with a pro line up next year in ELMS, Michael will run in Le Mans and do as much testing as possible in the new car with a view of doing ALMS and WEC in 2018.