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Bortolotti enjoys Portimao outing.

New Italian F3 champion Mirko Bortolotti may be debating his future career path as he chases the finance to progress, but was determined to put that aside as he got the chance to test an A1 Grand Prix machine last weekend.

While obviously keen to know of any opportunities to race the A1 Team Italy machine in future, Bortolotti made his debut at the wheel of the series' test and development car as A1GP got the second half of season four underway with an outing at the new Portimao circuit in southern Portugal.

Stepping up from F3, the A1GP car was the most powerful single-seater that Bortolotti had sampled, but the Italian quickly got to grips with it as he shared track time with regular A1GP test driver Andrea Bertolini over the three days.

“It was the first time I had tested an A1GP car and I loved it - it is absolutely great," he enthused, "We did a lot of laps, despite rain in the morning, and I hope I can get another chance to test the car.”

The Portimao facility also came in for praise from the Italian, who echoed the rave reviews passed by several Formula One teams who tested there at the end of 2008. Construction on the new track finished three months ago and, while various test sessions have taken place, A1GP will stage the circuit's first international car race on 12 April.

“The track is fantastic but very tricky," Bortolotti reported, "We were here to test several new compounds and we have made a very good progress. I am sure that the work that we have done will help the development of the car a lot.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mirko Bortolotti celebrates landing the 2008 Italian F3 title at Vallelunga   [pic credit: FotoSpeedy]
Earl Bamber at the Portimao circuit [Pic credit: A1GP]

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