Ron Simons is a happy Dutchman. After racing everything from single seaters to Group C cars, he thought it would be a good idea to teach others how to do it. First he served as expert instructor for Porsche and Ferrari during the Noughties, and then decided it was time for his own enterprise, opening Ron Simons Racing in 2002. RSRNürburg was his first company, using the Nürburgring circuit in Germany as basis for his track car rentals and driver instruction programmes. For more than a decade now he has hosted several events for brands such as Dunlop, Lotus or Nissan and more than 1,000 people every year use his services. In 2009 he expanded his business, opening RSRSpa at the historic Spa-Francorchamps racetrack, a mere 100km away from Nürburg. Spa and Nürburgring are two fantastic tracks, some will even say the best in the world, but they do have a small problem: they are located in places where the sun doesn’t often make an appearance and snow, ice or heavy rain are not the best elements in which to race performance cars, not least when they are in the hands of fairly inexperienced drivers. And so, RSR is coming south and wants to make Portimão its home during the winter months, allowing customers to keep enjoying their cars when Spa and Nürburgring are next to impossible to drive on. RSRIberia made its début in late November, with a five-day event that began in Portimão and then proceeded to the Ascari Race Resort, near Malaga, Spain. Inside was there to see what the fuss was all about and came away with the distinct feeling that RSRIberia might just be what the Portimão Circuit needs to gain more awareness and make the Algarve a place of excellence for automotive tourism. So what about the cars? Well, Ron brought along some of his, including a 911 Porsche GT3, a Nissan GT-R, a BMW M3 V8, a Porsche Cayman S, a Renault Mégane RS 265 and several Lotus Exige and BMW E46 M3 race cars. Then there were some interesting customer cars, including the ex-Michael Schumacher Mercedes SLS AMG or the two McLaren 12C brought by the McLaren Driving Experience themselves. All in all, RSRIberia had more than 50 cars and 300 people involved in this first event on our peninsula. We spent so much time talking to Ron that we barely had any time to drive. Eventually we chose the new Porsche 911 GT3. We didn’t spend a lot of time at the wheel, but it was enough to see this is the most spectacular model of the current 991 generation. This is a truly fantastic piece of machinery.

The next event will take place in February 2015, with a component aimed at classic car lovers, but meanwhile, with some of the most spectacular cars at our disposal, just a mere phone call away, there are a number of packages on offer, depending on whether you want to rent a car from RSR or bring your own, book a hotel, race on one or both tracks, or simply opt for driver instruction. It’s hoped that Ron and the people at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve can strengthen a partnership that will boost automotive tourism in the region and make the Portimão race track a centre of excellence for driving lovers, offering the best driving courses and track day programmes in Europe.

Author: Inside Carvoeiro

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