Nelson Piquet Jr will be looking to extend Brazil's lead in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport as the series heads to Estoril for the final race of the European leg of the season this weekend.

Brazil lead France and New Zealand by a point going into the third meeting, thanks in no small part to Piquet's dominant display at Brands Hatch in the season opener when he secured a double victory. Having also taken a podium finish in the last meeting at EuroSpeedway, Piquet heads to Portugal in confident mood and - despite not competing at Estoril before - he said he was confident of extending his nations championship advantage.

"It has been a good start to the season for us," He said. "Brands Hatch was obviously fantastic, everything went perfectly for us. EuroSpeedway was a little difficult, we had a few problems and neither I nor the team knew it too well. Now we move to Estoril and this is a circuit that we are familiar with, although I have never raced there, and we are confident it is going to be a good weekend. I am well prepared for it, and I hope that by the end of the weekend we will have made our advantage better in the championship."

Team principal Emerson Fittipaldi was equally confident of a strong weekend at the Portuguese circuit.

"I'm very confident of our chances of winning in Portugal," he said. "Nelson has been always fast and racing at Estoril is like racing at home. Beyond the food, the language, the architecture and everything else that is familiar to us, our CEO (Luis Vicente) is Portuguese and we have great friends here. The crowd will support Nelsinho, and this is important in a competition like this, the World Cup of Motorsport."

Cristiano Rocha will take on reserve driver duties this weekend in Portugal as he continues to try and rebuild his motorsport career. The 22-year-old won five Brazilian karting championships before moving into car racing, scoring three podiums in the 2004 Superfund Euro 3000 before funding issues saw him spend more of the past year on the sidelines - his most recent track outing back in September resulting in a third place finishing for Durango in the Italian F3000 series at Monza.

"I'm happy to be a part of the team representing Brasil this weekend," Rocha said. "It's a good opportunity for my career and I am prepared for whatever I might need to do - it's great that the team trust me to do this. I am very happy to be invited because it came about after my last race at Monza, after I hadn't raced for a year, so some really positive things are happening at the moment."

 

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