The Algarve International Autodrome has competition

Six dozen “machines” brought speed to Mexilhoeira Grande…but this time the racecourse was another

The frenzy was the usual in this type of evidence. The pilots talked among themselves and with those who passed through the paddock, the results of the free practice sessions were discussed, the machines were tuned, the strategy was studied, the public was in a frenzy. GNR and Firemen at the ready, Commissioners at their places, car 00 ready to enter the track.

All of this took place this afternoon in Mexilhoeira Grande, the parish where the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve is located. But this was not happening at the AIA: it was in the streets of the village, where the 2nd Rolling Cart Race was held.

The race was completely eco-race: the cars were built by recycling and using a wide variety of materials, without CO2 emissions and without using fossil fuels - only and only the force of gravity provided by the descent from Largo da Igreja almost to the exit the village to the EN 125.

The race had everything that is usual to see at the Autódromo do Algarve, such as crashes, jumping wheels, trips to the protection rails (in this case, the sidewalks and tires), chassis breaks and chilling overtakings.

With 60 entries, the cars in competition were of the most varied shapes and forms, with a common characteristic: they had to have bearings, iron in contact with the asphalt.

And there was everything: with and without sponsorship, with kids and grown-ups, SUVs that took the whole family, all-female teams, a car built in cork, a bed, a plow, an ironing board, one that carried a barrel of beer (and I took imperials!), another celebrating 10 years of the Portimão Museum, the Flintstones car and lots and lots of imagination and desire to participate and have fun.

Formula 1 hasn't come yet, but Mexilhoeira Grande increasingly demonstrates that it has a diversified strategy for the automobile modalities.

NOTE: A scribe's dream: an international Bearing Cart championship to be disputed on the finish line of the Algarve International Autodrome.


Text and photos: Jose Brito