The Visit Angola Ambassador made a fantastic start to his maiden LMP2 season in the Asian Le Mans Series in February with G-Drive Racing and carried the momentum forward to the European continent.
This season Rui is sharing the #25 G-Drive Aurus 01 with teammate John Falb and IndyCar and F1 reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi. The weekend did not start as hoped due to something straight out of a movie, involving the infamous Evergreen container vessel mishap in the Suez Canal, with the car not arriving at the track for the pre-season test days on Monday and Tuesday. Fortunately, the story ended on a positive note with the car ready and prepared just in time for the race weekend.
Starting on the backfoot, the team had a lot of catching up to do but the #25 squad quickly found the rhythm. Fittipaldi took the wheel for qualifying and put the car on the fifth row of the grid with the third-best time in PRO-AM.
John Falb was the man to start the race, doing a faultless job defending from the pressure behind and handing the car to Rui in P7 with 2hrs 40mins left on the clock. The young Angolan made no mistakes, completing a perfect stint in what was only his fifth ever race in an LMP2 car in a highly competitive field, fending off seasoned professionals.
Fittipaldi completed the final leg of the race and brought it home P7 overall, claiming second place in the PRO-AM class.
I’m so happy to start our season with a P2 in Pro-AM, “- said Andrade. “It’s been a very difficult week but everyone in the team kept their heads down and this result would not have been possible without all of their hard work. Thanks to my partners and to all my fellow Angolans for the support. I’m already looking forward to round two.”
The next round of the 2021 ELMS season will take place at the Red Bull Ring in Austria on May 14-16, but first Rui will make his FIA WEC debut at the 6H of Spa-Francorchamps next week (1st May).