Having somewhat dominated the British Formula Three International Series this year, newly crowned champion Alvaro Parente found the competition a little tougher in the first ever A1 Grand Prix race at Brands Hatch, racing for Team Portugal.

Parente and Portugal came to A1 GP as an outside bet for a win, while they are even one of the favourites for a title victory, particularly as former Formula One driver and current FIA GT star Pedro Lamy will be sharing the car at certain points in the season. The practice sessions boded well for the team, but in the two races things didn't quite come off, and the second race saw a podium podium place disappear.

As if the driving strength wasn't enough, Team Portugal also calls on the expertise of Carlin Motorsport for spanner-wielding duties.

Nonetheless, eighth place was the best that Parente could manage, even if he is convinced that he would have been able to grab a podium in the second race, had a mechanical problem not intervened. The Portuguese driver is also determined to get more miles in the car and gain more experience.

"There are just a few things we are going to try and improve in the car and myself, but the car would have been a good weekend if we were able to finish the second race", Parente told Crash.net Radio . "We were lying fourth and right on top of third, so there could have been a potential podium."

Despite the rather underwhelming debut for the team, Parente and Portugal go into the next round in Germany hoping for an improvement, even if they are not familiar with the twisty layout of the Lausitzring.

"I do not know the track but I am looking forward to the race because I really want to get good results and show what I can do."

Beyond Germany the team will be chasing a good result at the third round of the championship, which will be held at the Estoril circuit, in Portugal although it has yet to be announced whether Parente will continue driving or Lamy will take over.



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