Next Sunday, 13th of June, Fabio Scherer will compete in the second round of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) in Portimão. After the commanding victory at the opening race in Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, at the beginning of May, Scherer and his team United Autosports also want to fight for victory in LMP2 in Portugal.

For Scherer there is one change within the team compared to the first race in Belgium. Instead of Filipe Albuquerque, who is on duty at IMSA in the USA, Paul di Resta will take the wheel as a substitute driver. The Scot is a familiar face at United Autosports. From 2018 to 2020, the former Formula 1 driver and DTM champion drove for Zak Brown and Richard Dean’s team. Despite di Resta’s experience, it will be an adjustment for Scherer to have a new team-mate alongside him at the second race.

“It’s obviously a pity that Filipe is missing his home race,” says Scherer. “He would certainly have helped us a lot on his home track in Portimão with his experience. But I’m also looking forward to working with Paul. He scored four wins for United Autosports last season and knows the team inside out. I’m convinced we’ll benefit from his experience.”

Scherer knows the 4.692-kilometre circuit of Portimão in the Algarve from Formula 3 testing. The Lucerne-born driver, who will be celebrating his 22nd birthday on race day, has not yet driven a race on the track, which also hosted a Formula 1 Grand Prix recently. “Portimão is a great racetrack,” says Scherer. “I like the corners there. It has an old-style character and is very varied and interesting.”

Despite the proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, it is expected to be up to 30 degrees on race weekend. That means extra strain for drivers and material. “It will certainly be very physically demanding,” says Scherer. “Especially because the race lasts eight hours, two hours longer than in Spa. Due to the shorter track than in Belgium, there will also be more lapping during the race. So this is another challenge. In addition I will drive two stints.”

In terms of endurance, however, Scherer is not worried. “With a view to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in August, I have already adjusted my training schedule. My physio Marc Leuenberger and I have been working a lot on endurance in longer training sessions lately. I see a bigger issue for Portimão when we talk about the tyres. They will degrade faster in this heat than in Spa.”

The first free practice session will take place on Friday, 11th June, at 3.15 pm. Scherer and his team will then have two more practice sessions on Saturday, 12th June. One at 9.35 am, the second at 2pm. Qualifying is scheduled from 6 pm. The start of the race is on Sunday, 13th June, at 11 am.

The race can be followed live on ORF Sport+. Eurosport 2 will also broadcast from Portimão. The WEC app with live streaming is also recommended. Another good clue is the French TV channel of “L’Equipe”, which also offers a live broadcast with a lot of additional information.

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