Albuquerque rates Algarve circuit
A1 Team Portugal racer Filipe Albuquerque reckons the new Poritmao circuit in the Algarve will prove a strong test for drivers when A1GP visits it for the tenth round of the 2008/09 season.
The Autodromo International do Algarve has just been announced as one of at least three new venues on the schedule for the coming season. The circuit is currently under construction and is due for completion in October. A1GP visits the track six months later, on April 12, 2009.
Albuquerque visited the construction site last week, and having seen the track layout taking shape first hand, the 22-year-old is very excited about the prospect of racing on a challenging circuit in the new A1GP Powered by Ferrari Car.
“It looks amazing,” Albuquerque enthused. “You can see the where the track will be because it is already marked out. I went round with a construction engineer and I realized how up and down hill it is – there are lots of elevation changes.
“The track also looks like it is going to be very, very wide, which will be good for overtaking. There are a few parts that look pretty nice to drive, too. After the main straight there is a big downhill drop and then a right-hand turn, which looks like it will be amazing. It could be a real challenge to drive under braking.
“There is another corner where the track drops down before a fast left corner, which, for sure, will be taken in fifth gear. It’s going to be great to see when it is finally built.”
Albuquerque, who is likely to be the team’s main driver for next season after a strong end to 2007/08, is also excited by the prospect of having a home race. A1GP Algarve, Portugal will be the first event in Portugal for more than three years.
“It will be very good for A1GP to have a race in Portugal,” he added. “More and more people have been getting into the sport here because we have been performing and getting the results. It is going to be great for me to have people looking and cheering for me.”