IndyCar Stars Head to Portugal
A pair of IndyCar Series regulars will spend this weekend waving the flags of their respective countries in the A1GP race in Portugal.
Marco Andretti will rejoin A1 Team USA for Round 6 of 8 Sunday at Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimao, Portugal, while Robert Doornbos will represent Team Netherlands.
This will be Andretti’s fifth start for Team USA. “We need to get a good result for the team in Portugal,” said Andretti, the third generation IndyCar star for Andretti Green Racing. “We don’t have many chances left this season, so we need to take advantage of each session. Hopefully, we can hit on something right away and build on it instead of fighting out of a hole and trying to play catch-up the rest of the weekend.”
Andretti made his series debut in November 2008 at Chengdu, China, with a 15th-place finish in the Sprint Race and eighth in the Feature Race. Andretti finished third in the 2008 Feature at Sepang, Malaysia – all part of his ongoing road-racing education.
“It’s been huge,” Andretti said of A1GP, “because the main thing is that it’s not just testing race cars, it keeps you race-savvy, as well, because I think a small mistake is definitely magnified in a race. So it keeps you on your toes and it’s a form of training for what we’re doing. These cars are pretty physical, and the road-courses as well. It’s definitely the most physical of all.
“Also, the competition over there is pretty tough. We’re just now getting the hang of this car, unfortunately, towards the end of the season. But we’ve got a couple more chances at it.”
Doornbos, of Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, will be making his third A1GP start in Algarve. He started and finished second in his series debut in the Sprint Race in China in November, when he also set second-fastest race lap. Doornbos started eighth in the Feature, set the fastest race lap but finished 16th. In New Zealand, Doornbos started second and finished third in the Sprint and started second and finished fifth in the Feature.
Doornbos finished 11th in the IndyCar season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday, two spots ahead of Andretti.
– Courtesy A1GP