Robert Doornbos posted the quickest time for the Netherlands as the Vodafone A1GP Algarve event kicked off at the new Portimao circuit in Portugal.

The Dutchman posted a quickest time of 1min 31.962secs to lead the way ahead of New Zealand's Earl Bamber, who had earlier paced the rookie session during the morning.

"It's a great track here," Doornbos said. "For me, it's not easy to swap cars, especially as I arrived last night from Texas where I was testing on an oval there so this is a completely different car. Every time I have driven the car I have been strong and finished on the podium. This will be my last time in the car this season because I have Indy Car commitments, but I'm looking for a win to leave the team on a high note."

Behind Bamber - who was just 0.068secs away from top spot - Clivio Piccione slotted into third place for Monaco after a late lap which allowed him to get ahead of Formula One test driver Tonio Liuzzi, making his A1 debut this weekend with Team Italy.

Home hero Filipe Albuquerque was fifth while Neel Jani, Andre Lotterer and Nicolas Prost completed the top eight.

Neither Brazil nor Great Britain turned any laps during the season, with Dan Clarke sidelined by technical problems and Gauteng podium finisher Felipe Guimaraes left to watch from the sidelines after a huge accident for Ana Beatriz in the rookie session left the Brazilian car with severe front end damage.

Beatriz was uninjured in the accident.


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