24 Hours Off-Road 2023: Music, history and adrenaline at the 25th anniversary of the BP Ultimate 24 Hours TT Vila de Fronteira

24 Hours Off-Road 2023: Music, history and adrenaline at the 25th anniversary of the BP Ultimate 24 Hours TT Vila de Fronteira

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A music festival with Xutos & Pontapés as headliners and the launch of the book "Once upon a time in Fronteira: the history and stories of a popular and sporting phenomenon" are two highlights of the program celebrating the 25th anniversary of the BP Ultimate 24 Hours TT Vila de Fronteira. An even bigger party than usual that promises to bring many thousands of spectators to Alentejo town next weekend. On the sporting front, more than 360 drivers will be taking part, representing 112 teams of seven nationalities. The event is organized by the Automóvel Club de Portugal.

In 1998, a unique off-road race in Portugal was born in the town of Fronteira and quickly became one of the most emblematic endurance races in Europe. The BP Ultimate 24 Horas TT Vila de Fronteira celebrates its 25th anniversary with a special program, including the 4 Hours SSV, to be held on Saturday morning, and the 24 Hours TT, scheduled to start at 3pm on Saturday.

The appeal of the event run by the Automóvel Club de Portugal and the municipality of Fronteira continues to attract hundreds of drivers with different types of experience and preparation, from amateurs to established racers. A total of 112 competitors have signed up for the race, divided between the car (79) and SSV (33) races, in a squad of more than 360 drivers from Portugal, France, Belgium, Latvia, Austria, the Netherlands, and Peru.

This fierce competition will be enlivened by a music festival to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the ACP event, with a line-up featuring renowned bands and artists such as Xutos & Pontapés and Quim Barreiros. Fronteira Town Hall has set up a public transport route for the festival. Tickets for the festival are €12 for Friday, €14 for Sunday or €20 for both days. Access to the restaurant and entertainment areas is free.

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French, Belgians and Portuguese among the favorites

The 16.4 kilometers of the Terródromo de Fronteira are usually the stage for a clash between the best Portuguese teams and those from the French Championship, many of them with prototypes specifically built for endurance racing, or with competitive SSVs in the T3 category. In 2022, Frenchman Laurent Poletti took his second victory in the ACP event at the wheel of the MMP prototype shared with Franck Cuisinier, Ronald Basso and Adrien Favarel. Can-Am are also machines to be reckoned with and, last year, the team led by Belgian Sébastien Guyette, which also included Portuguese Marco Pereira, came close to victory, returning in force this year.
There's also a lot of expectation for the new car of the team with the record number of victories in Fronteira, Mário Andrade's team. Andrade Competition's new Proto Clio V6 has been undergoing tests in the weeks leading up to the Alentejo race, trying to gain the reliability that will allow Alexandre Andrade, Cédric Duplé, Yann Morize and Florent Charvot to fight for victory. From distant Latvia came another chronic contender for victory in Fronteira, the Mitsubishi Pajero of Igor Skoks, Rüdolfs Skoks and Arvis Pikis, a trio who won the ACP event in 2017.
It was exactly a decade ago that the last (mostly) Portuguese team won the 24 Hours TT. In 2013, José Pedro Fontes, Miguel Barbosa, António Coimbra and Luís Silva were joined by Nicolas Clerget at the top of the podium. Now, national hopes are pinned on teams like the Reis family, who are once again bringing the spectacular Toyota Hilux V8 driven by the reigning national TT champion, Tiago Reis, accompanied by his father, Avelino, his brother, Edgar, and his brother-in-law, Daniel Silva.
After finishing in the top five in 2022, the teams led by Amândio Alves (MMP) and Jorge Cardoso (Can-Am) could also surprise the favorites this year, although Fronteira is always an unpredictable race, usually decided by the resilience of the drivers and the strength of the mechanics. After all, it's the toughest 1,440 minutes of TT in Portugal.


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For everyone

With very different objectives from the prototype teams and the big machines in the T1 and T3 groups, there are competitors who have already become emblematic in the 24 Hours TT. This is the case with the famous Peugeot 504 Pick-up entered by Joaquim Serrão, one of the most popular cars with the Fronteira public, as well as the Renault 4L from Cadaval, entered by Samuel Lima's team. And Fronteira will once again have an all-female team, made up of Sílvia Reis, Carla Gameiro, Cristela Marto and Paula Marto, a quartet that will once again line up with the little Suzuki Jimny.

BP Ultimate 24 Hours TT Vila de Fronteira schedule

Friday, December 1st
09h30/11h30 - Free practice (all categories)
14h00/17h00 - Timed practice (T1 T2, T3, T4 and Promotion E categories)
15h00/17h00 - Timed practice (other categories)
17h15/18h30 - Free practice for all categories

Saturday, December 2nd
15h00 - Start of the BP Ultimate 24 Hours TT Vila de Fronteira

Sunday, December 3rd
15h00 - Arrival BP Ultimate 24 Hours TT Vila de Fronteira
16h15 - Podium ceremony

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Automatic translation of the original Portuguese version available on
Source of text: ACP Motorsport
Photos: Rally-Raid Network / ImagensDesportivas.

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