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DATE News (chronologically)
02/18/09
a1gp
Portugal's championship plan  Filipe Albuquerque believes A1 Team Portugal just needs to slightly improve in qualifying if it is to get on terms with championship frontrunners Ireland and Switzerland this season.

Portugal dropped to third in the overall standings after Taupo, just three points behind second-placed Switzerland, but Albuquerque reckons that if he can make up a small gap in qualifying, the team will be able to challenge for regular race victories.

He also thinks that it bodes well for new circuit Kyalami this weekend, that his and the team’s maiden victory was scored at a track that A1GP had never visited before (Chengdu).

“For Taupo there was a small gap to Adam Carroll in qualifying but in the race it was the best pace I had,” Albuquerque told A1GP.com.

“We got the fastest lap. In Sepang, I didn’t have that race pace, but in Taupo I was much closer. I go optimistically to Kyalami because it is going to be a track that no one knows, like Chengdu. Everyone was equal then and we won the Feature race.

“We analyzed qualifying carefully before we came to Taupo and we made a step forward. In Sepang I didn’t think we had the pace but in Taupo we were one of the guys to beat.

“The top three are all so close that there is no getting away from anyone, so we all need to be on our best performances everyday. A small mistake will drop you back and will make all the difference.

“It is going to be a hard championship.”

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