Portugal Scores First Win in A1 GP

After 53 races and 6 drivers inside the A1 GP World Cup of Motorsport, Team Portugal have finally done it. Filipe Albuquerque held on to the lead in the dying laps of the Feature Race and resisted some intense attacking from Team Ireland's Adam Carroll to bring his country its first win in the A1 GP.

Albuquerque started the race from 3rd place but quickly got into the 2nd place thanks to a better start than Carroll. The Portuguese driver got closer and closer to Team Great Britain's Danny Watts and managed to pass the leading car after the first pit stops. When returning to the track and leading the race, Albuquerque kept his cool and maintained a constant 2-second lead over its closest rival, Carroll.

While the Portuguese driver managed to maintain his 1st place after the second pit stop, Watts lost yet another place at the pits and was passed by Carroll for 2nd. From that point on – with Albuquerque doing the race of his life – it was pretty clear that only an on-track incident would bring Carroll closer and ready co challenge for 1st place. And the incident came 6 laps before the finish line.

While trying to overtake the Team Australia' John Martin, Team France's Nicolas Prost spun off into the gravel and brought in the safety car. After the restart, Carroll tried his best to score Team Ireland's first win this season but his efforts were matched by a very determined Albuquerque. In the end, Team Portugal managed to cross the finish line in 1st place, followed by Team Ireland and Team Great Britain.

“It was fantastic. I started very well and then climbed to second. I always kept a constant distance to the leader, trying to make the most of the pit stops. After the first exchange of tires we went into the lead and got some advantage. Except that after the second change of tires, the new rubber did not work so well and Ireland got closer to us. I had to take some precautions, but in the end we have run the same pace and managed to secure the victory. It is an extraordinary win and, after the problems we had in Zandvoort, the entire team is to be congratulated,” admitted Albuquerque after the race.

The second race at Chengdu also marked the first point for Marco Andretti for A1 Team USA. The Andretti Green Racing driver finished the Feature Race in 8th place, less than half-of-second behind Team Monaco's Clivio Piccione.
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