Virage’s venture into the world of Formula racing with the young Argentinean talent, Francisco Soldavini, took center stage at the fourth round of the Ultimate Cup Series hosted at the Autodromo do Estoril.
Team Virage showcased its versatility by competing as usual in the prototype category with its LMP3 car while introducing a thrilling addition to its lineup—the F3R category. Behind the wheel of the Tatuus-Alpine F318, adorned with the number 24, the 16-year-old prodigy, Soldavini, made an unforgettable debut.
During the qualifying session, Soldavini displayed his prowess by securing a second-place starting position for the three races scheduled for the following day. On Saturday, the young sensation emerged as a standout performer, securing a first-place finish in the initial race under the rain, and an impressive third-place finish in the subsequent two races.
However, the excitement on Saturday extended beyond the Formula category. The Ligier-Nissan car achieved pole position for the next day’s 4 Hours of Estoril race. The Portuguese circuit witnessed a remarkable performance by Virage’s trio of drivers—George King, Viacheslav Gutak, and Manuel Espirito Santo. Manuel, in particular, left his mark by setting a new track record in Q3.
The pivotal race day proved to be a nerve-wracking affair for Team Virage. King and Gutak were the initial drivers in the car, leaving the #14 in a commendable second place. When Manuel took the wheel, he astounded everyone with a masterful comeback, erasing a 20-second gap in just a few laps and clinching first place by a mere 0.143 seconds ahead of the second-place contender.
Undoubtedly, it was a weekend of celebration for Team Virage — a momentous occasion that will forever be etched in the team’s collective memory.