DSC: The Peru 6 Hours

This weekend, much of the sportscar and GT world will be fixated on the Bathurst 12 Hour, but it’s not the only enduro taking place across the globe.

We at DSC all enjoy the quirky cars and races that you’ll only find in our part of the sport; which is exactly why when ELMS and VLN driver George Richardson mentioned in passing to us that he was competing in the Peru 6 Hours, we were immediately intrigued.

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The 6 Hours of Peru is in its 35th year this year, and while outside of its native country it’s been pretty much under the radar the entire time, to the motorsport community in Peru, it’s a big deal and it’s only getting bigger.

Around 10,000 fans are expected to turn up at the 1.5-mile Autodromo La Chutana circuit to see an enormous entry of 55 GT, touring cars and track day specials compete for six hours. The traffic levels therefore make the Nürburgring 24 look like the Malaysian Grand Prix in comparison.

In worldwide terms though, it’s a very grassroots affair. But that’s to be expected in an emerging market like Peru.

Nevertheless, the circuit its held on is run professional. The track according to Richardson is comparable to Brands Hatch.

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“It’s surprisingly well kept,” explained Richardson. “And it has to be. It’s like Brands without the undulations, so they have a lot of issues with sand getting on the track. I’ve done two test days so far and had some time on the sim to get used to it, so I’m hoping come raceday I won’t run into any surprises.

“I must admit too that I’m looking forward to seeing what the driving talent is like. There’s an Audi LMS GT3 in my class, as well as a Ferrari 430 Challenge car, so I imagine it’ll be tough as a newcomer going against the guys at the head of the field.”

At the event, Richardson is somewhat of a trailblazer this year, becoming the first British driver to compete in the event. Usually, the race – which is broadcast and covered in depth across the country on terrestrial TV – is made up almost solely of South-American driving talent; it’s very rare to spot anyone who isn’t Peruvian or Argentinian driving on the entry list.

“I’m actually really proud to be the first British driver to compete there,” he said. “It would be great to go out and win it first time too. I have to thank Ricardo Flores Jnr for the opportunity”

In the race, Richardson will be driving for Yokohama Peru, a team that won the race back in 2013 with his teammate for the event Flores Jnr.

And the car? It’s a Hyundai Genesis over a well developed american chasis, with 550HP, a sequential gearbox and no driving aids. That pitted against a 458 and R8 will be at the very least a fun challenge for Richardson, who is used to driving Ferrari 458 GTEs and 458 GT3s on a regular basis on tracks like the Nurburgring.

“The car is quite heavy and has a lot of power, but the brakes are good thankfully!”

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“I drove with Ricardo in the Dubai 24 Hours in a Sorg Rennsport BMW, and he asked me if I wanted to come and drive with him after Dubai. After hearing about it, I couldn’t refuse!

“The race is a very big deal for him and his family so I’m honoured to be a part of it. We have been part of a huge media push most notably with a feature in the equivalent of The Times here in Peru”

“It’s just one of those quirky races, and that prospect excites me. I think at the rate it’s growing too, it could eventually turn into something relevant internationally.”

“And who knows? In five years time maybe I won’t be the only Brit on the grid…”

Read the original article on DailySportsCar