GP2

Portimao: Series preview

New venue for new Champion The 2009 GP2 Series wraps up this weekend at Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal Last week in Monza Nico Hulkenberg was crowned the fifth GP2 Series Champion and became the first driver to...

New venue for new Champion

The 2009 GP2 Series wraps up this weekend at Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal

Last week in Monza Nico Hulkenberg was crowned the fifth GP2 Series Champion and became the first driver to claim the title before the final round of the season. Although Vitaly Petrov put in a good fight, there was almost nothing he could do to stop Hulkenberg from securing the title.

But there is still one crown to be claimed: the Teams' Championship and the battle between Series leaders ART Grand Prix and 2008 Champions Barwa Addax Team is still raging. As the points gap is only thirteen, both Hulkenberg and Petrov - along with their teammate Pastor Maldonado and Davide Valsecchi - will have to keep pushing and help their respective squad to come victor from this ultimate challenge of the 2009 season.

The Teams' showdown will take place this weekend in Portimao, Portugal. This is the only stand- alone event of the season and GP2 is visiting this venue for the first time. On Friday morning, two practice sessions will take place. The Algarve track is one of the shortest circuits of the calendar. The beautiful layout is a succession of many elevation changes requiring high traction along with an uneven track surface which will put the aerodynamics set ups to the test, but the many slow corners offer numerous overtaking spots.

Local hero Alvaro Parente at the wheel of Portuguese squad Ocean Racing Technology cannot wait for this last round: "The track looks challenging, with lots of blind corners - it's really technical, and I think it will be one of the hardest tracks on the calendar. The last corner is really fast - I think a GP2 car will be interesting around that corner - so you might be able to make an overtaking move into the first braking area. I can't really compare it to any other tracks - it is undulating like Spa, it has blind corners like Valencia, except that there are no walls. It's very wide and it looks smooth. I can't really think of a track to compare it to. I'm really looking forward to it - racing at your home track you have the same motivation and put in the same hard work, but it's nice to have more people cheering for you!"

-credit: gp2

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Davide Valsecchi , Nico Hulkenberg
Teams ART Grand Prix