Penicuik racing driver Colin Noble clinched a second successive race win in the Michelin Le Mans Cup to finish off his European season on a high.
The result at the Algarve International circuit ensured a second-placed finish for the Ecurie Ecosse team in the Michelin Le Mans Cup standings following a win at Spa-Francorchamps last month with team-mate Alasdair McCaig.
It was also a third podium finish of the season after coming second place at Austria’s Red Bull Ring in July.
McCaig had given Noble a fighting chance with a strong drive in difficult conditions after the first half of the two-hour race in Portimao, with the team in eighth.
Noble (22) moved up the gears and the field to propel himself into the podium places with half an hour remaining.
And with 11 minutes to spare he took the lead and did more than enough to hold on for an impressive victory.
Noble said: “It was another great race for the whole team.
“Alasdair did a brilliant job in tricky conditions at the start and stayed close enough to the leaders to give me a real shot.
“The boys in the pits turned us around really well, another faultless performance from them.
“And then another big chase for a result, it’s hard work but it seems to be becoming a bit of a trademark.
“It’s great to test yourself against team-mates, and top professionals and we do that at every race but in this series, it has so often come down to me, the car, and the clock – a real test of concentration, consistency and speed – to score wins in that situation feels pretty special.”
Noble had little time to reflect on his success as he was straight into the afternoon’s season finale for the European Le Mans Series four-hour race.
Noble secured a second podium appearance of the day, his third of the season with the team, despite a damaged Ligier after a shunt from an out of control LMP2 car midway through.
It also meant they finished fourth in the LMP3 class championship standings and Noble believes they will take a lot from the race.
“That was hard work,” said Noble post-race.
“But I’m very happy with the podium, and with our late-season form.
“You always look back and think about what you could have done better but the reality is that we have taken huge steps forward this year.”
Noble now joins a two-car effort for Ecurie Ecosse/ Nielsen Racing in the Asian Le Mans Series which features races in China, Japan, Thailand and Malaysia and gets underway at the Shanghai International Circuit on November 23.
He said: “I have learned a lot about endurance racing, and have been able to turn that into pace, and results.
“Now I’m looking forward to seeing whether we can convert that experience into wins in Asia over the winter.
“If we can, there’s not just trophies and titles to look forward to, but also the possibility of earning the team an entry to the biggest endurance race in the world, the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2019. That’s quite an incentive.”