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1980, Vila Real

Text: Luís Cardoso

Photos: Auto Mundo

Detail of the race grid 350cc Racing + Superprodução

In 1980, was disputed "VI Circuito Internacional de Motos de Vila Real"!

After the 1978 edition, with only national riders, and 1979, this one already international, this edition, 1980, unequivocally demonstrated the will, of those responsible for the direction of the CAVR (Clube Automóvel de Vila Real) to put the capital transmontana on the map of motorcycling beyond borders.

In this embodiment, in addition to all the others involved, it is fair to mention the now deceased Costa Paulo, a character that is not always, almost never, consensual, but who, nevertheless, has a significant part of the merit of this revival of the "Circuito Internacional de Vila Real"!

As often happens in Vila Real during the summer, the heat was present.

This edition consisted of three races, two of the National Championship, one for the 50cc Racing class and another which, as was usual at the time, combined 350cc Racing with Superprodução (a class sub-divided between motorcycles smaller than 750cc and larger to 750cc, intended for motorcycles close to the series ones), the strong point was the 250cc Internacional race.

As notes in the margin: - it was the first time that a chicane was used at the entrance to the iron bridge, the intention was to reduce the entrance speed and this measure came about as a result of the serious accident that Ángel Nieto suffered at that location in the previous edition, 1979; - Sá Carneiro, at that time, Prime Minister of Portugal, together with his entourage, attended this edition at the invitation of the CAVR with the intention of obtaining the status of public utility. Later this condition would be recognized, but, due to the tragic disappearance of Sá Carneiro, by Pinto Balsemão, the 1st Minister who succeeded him; - Jorge Viegas, today president of the FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) - the body that oversees sport motorcycling at an international level -, would have his last sporting participation in this edition.

50cc Racing

José Pereira in action!

As far as 50cc Racing is concerned, Sande e Silva dominated the training sessions followed by José Pereira, Costa Paulo and Fernando Leite Ribeiro, the latter on a homemade motorcycle (a hybrid ZUNDAPP/KREIDLER VAN VEEN) against the most powerful KREIDLER VAN VEEN of the first three . In the race, José Pereira imposed himself with authority against an impotent Sande e Silva who finished second, more than 16 seconds away, it should also be noted that the best lap was in possession of Pereira at an average of 121.60 km /H! Costa Paulo withdrew with mechanical problems and Tózé Monteiro would get the third position, after, due to problems during training, having left the last position of the starting grid! In the following positions ended, in that order, Joaquim Bessa, Orlando Ferreira and Tomás Mello Breyner.

Final classification:

1º José Pereira, KREIDLER/Racing Vicente; 2º Sande e Silva, KREIDLER/Motomoda; 3º Tozé Monteiro, KREIDLER/Mavi; 4º Joaquim Bessa, KREIDLER/Hendu; 5º Orlando Ferreira, KREIDLER; 6º Tomás Mello Breyner, DERBI...

Sande e Silva (3) and Tózé Monteiro (1)

350cc Racing + Superprodução Classe 1 e 2

Contente Fernandes, left, e António Teixeira, right

In practice for 350cc Racing and Superprodução, Contente Fernandes prevailed in the general classification and in his class, while António Teixeira equally dominated the class of series-derived motorcycles. It should be noted that among the 350cc Racing, several riders lined up with 250cc motorcycles due to the fact that they had cumulatively raced in the 250cc International race, in fact the difference in performance between the 250cc and 350cc was very small. In the race, in 350cc Racing, Contente Fernandes had a great fight with João Farinha where, despite the changes of position, the Team MOTOMODA rider prevailed, Manuel Santos, who could also have had a say in this dispute, withdrew with mechanical problems. Among the Superprodução António Teixeira, third overall, won the biggest class closely followed by Ricardo Severino while Joaquim Rasquinho prevailed in Class 1. Two people from Vila Real participated in this race in Superproduction Class 1, Manuel Costa in a small SUZUKI GT 125 and Germano Mesquita, the late "Maninho" with a KAWASAKI 400 S3.

Final classification:

1º Contente Fernandes, YAMAHA/Motomoda - 350 Rac; 2º João Farinha, YAMAHA - 350 Rac; 3º António Teixeira, HONDA - SP Cl 2; 4º Ricardo Severino, HONDA - SP Cl 2; 5º Manuel João, HONDA - SP Cl2; 6º Hércules Júnior, KAWASAKI - SP Cl 2, 7º Joaquim Rasquinho, KAWASAKI - SP Cl 1, 8º Jorge Fragoso, YAMAHA - 350 Rac, 9º Armando Clemente, HONDA - 350 Rac, 10º Jorge Viegas, BIMOTA - 350 Rac, 11º José Mota, KAWASAKI - SP Cl 2, 12º Fernando Sousa, SUZUKI - SP Cl 1, 13º Manuel Costa, SUZUKI - SP Cl 1 e 14º Germano Mesquita, KAWASAKI - SP Cl 1

João Farinha


Jorge Viegas' last race

Jorge Viegas, today president of the FIM, ended his racing career in this edition of the Circuito de Vila Real. In the years that followed, Jorge was always a very active player in improving the conditions for motorcycling in Portugal, through journalism and, later, leading the movement that gave rise to the FNM (today FMP). It was in the capacity of President of the Board of that organization that he would join the staff of the FIM that today, in the 2nd mandate, he leads. We lost a driver and gained a leader at the highest level. I asked Jorge for the photographs of his last race, which I present here and a few lines about the reasons for his retirement as a pilot: "On the 20th of July 1980 I did my last race. I had crashed a little while before at the Estoril Autodrome and my wife was 7 months pregnant…I almost lost my eldest daughter Catarina (now a great neurosurgeon! ), so my mind was no longer in the competition. I decided to dedicate myself to other areas of Motorcycling…and I didn't get hurt!" Thank you Jorge!


250cc Internacional

Olivier Bourdil

The 250cc non-championship race was the highlight of this event. There were several foreign riders who traveled to the capital of Trás-os-Montes to face a handful of Portuguese. Probably, due to Ángel Nieto's serious accident in the previous edition, the Spanish riders were absent. Two French girls, Sarah Gilles and Patrice le Benz were present at this race, a particularity that created interest due to the fact that it was unusual, both usually competed, in France, in the 125cc class, which is why this was their debut on this circuit and in this class. In practice, which took place with a delay due to the train passing and the fact that, at this time, there were two level crossings on the circuit, John Wedeen (United Kingdom) set the best time followed by Olivier Bourdil (France), Dirk du Ploy (South Africa) and Olivier Liégeois (Belgium), while Contente Fernandes occupied the immediate position (5th) on the starting grid. In the race: Bourdil, who had a bad start, passed seventh on the first lap, managed to take the lead on the fourth lap, where he would finish; Wedeen, the first leader, gradually lost contact and in the end he would leave the second position, by a small difference, to Liégeois who, during the race, set the circuit record with a time of 2m52:28 at an average of 144, 70km/h; du Ploy and Jean Albera (France) occupied the next positions, ahead of the winner of the 1979 edition, the Dutchman Henk Kiewiet. Among the Portuguese representation: Contente Fernandes had a meritorious performance, unfortunately he was forced to retire, a punctured piston, on the seventh lap when he occupied the sixth position; after João Farinha's bike started to have mechanical problems, Jorge Fragoso, who finished eighth, was thus our best representative ahead of Jorge Viegas who, throughout the race, showed his lack of concentration, due to the particularity that his personal life was going through and which led him to abandon his racing career. As expected, the French women found it difficult to assimilate both the class and the circuit at the same time and ended up in 11th and 12th positions, although at one stage of the race, Sarah Gilles occupied a position ahead of Viegas and Clemente, who used a very old HONDA uncompetitive compared to TZ.

Final classification:

1º Olivier Bourdil, YAMAHA - France; 2º Olivier Liégeois, YAMAHA - Belgium; 3º John Wedeen , YAMAHA - United Kingdom; 4º Dirk du Ploy, YAMAHA - South Africa; 5º Jean Albera, YAMAHA - France; 6º Henk Kiewiet, YAMAHA - Netherlands, 7º Michel Rostal, YAMAHA - France, 8º Jorge Fragoso, YAMAHA - Portugal, 9º Jorge Viegas, BIMOTA - Portugal, 10º Armando Clemente, HONDA - Portugal, 11º Sarah Gilles, YAMAHA - France, 12º Patrice le Benz, YAMAHA - France e 13º João Farinha, YAMAHA - Portugal

John Wedeen



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