A1GP and Albuquerque get among the action at Rally Portugal

A1GP and Filipe Albuquerque Get Among the Action at Rally Portugal Algarve, Portugal --A1GP World Cup of Motorsport and A1 Team Portugal's Filipe Albuquerque made a guest appearance at the opening special stage of the Vodafone Rally of Portugal...

A1GP and Filipe Albuquerque Get Among the Action at Rally Portugal

Algarve, Portugal --A1GP World Cup of Motorsport and A1 Team Portugal's Filipe Albuquerque made a guest appearance at the opening special stage of the Vodafone Rally of Portugal today, the fourth round of the 2009 World Rally Championship. This is the first of several spectacular events involving Albuquerque and the A1GP Powered by Ferrari car he will race in next week's Vodafone A1GP Algarve, Portugal on the 10 -- 12 April.

Fans had their first taste of the A1GP car in action at the Estadio Algarve this afternoon when the 23-year-old drove around the Super Special Stage at Rally Portugal in front of his home fans.

As well as giving fans the chance to get up close to the A1GP car in the exhibition area, A1 Team Portugal's star driver took time out to meet and greet the fans for autographs and photos ahead of his home event next weekend.

"The crowd seemed to enjoy it, said Albuquerque. "They loved the A1GP car -- especially as it's the Portuguese car.I have been to watch the rally here before with friends but this time it was different as I was out on the circuit myself.

"All crowds like to see some burnouts with smoke coming off the tyres and hear the engine noise so it was nice to give them that. I always like to do donuts in the car but it's not as easy as it seems as you need to control the throttle to keep the car in the tight space, but when you do it's a good show. I felt much closer to the people in the stadium so I could interact with them more; the people next to me where signalling for more spins. I couldn't hear them, but I could see on their faces that they were going crazy. I really enjoyed being so close to the fans."

The Vodafone Rally of Portugal, round four of the World Rally Championship, is taking place from 2-5 April 2009.

A new-look Rally Portugal returned to the calendar in 2007, moving from Portugal's west coast to a new host town, Vilamoura, in the Algarve. After taking a year off in 2008, the event has returned to the calendar and will be the first pure gravel rally of the WRC 2009 season

The bulk of the stages are based in the Serra do Caldeirao hills, north of Faro, with drivers tackling a total of 18 stages and a competitive distance of 361.36km over the four-day event. The rally is again based at Estadio Algarve, which houses a Super Special Stage that opened the event this evening and will close it on Sunday afternoon.

Albuquerque will drive the A1GP Powered by Ferrari car on the Super Special Stage for a final time on Sunday 5 April at 12:45.

-credit: a1gp

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About this article
Series A1GP , WRC
Drivers Filipe Albuquerque