Recently-crowned World Series by Renault Champion Alvaro Parente will get his big break next month, when he climbs behind the wheel of a Renault Formula 1 car for the first time.

The Portugese ace - who triumphed twice and achieved five rostrum finishes en route to the WS spoils this year at the end of a season-long scrap with British rival Ben Hanley - will follow in the wheeltracks of past champions Robert Kubica and Alx Danielsson by test-driving the R?gie's R27 as a prize for lifting the laurels.

"It's a dream come true," the 23-year-old enthused upon hearing the news whilst completing the development at Jerez of the new Formula Renault 3.5 machine, which will make its track debut in World Series by Renault 2008. "My aim has always been to drive an F1 car one day.

"I knew that winning the title would lead to a test with the ING Renault F1 Team, but still, it was as though Christmas had come early when they gave me the date! For the next month I'll be focussing all my attention on this - it's a very important moment in my career. I'm going to step up my physical training programme so that I'm 100 per cent ready."

The date of Parente's try-out will be 17 January, at the same Jerez circuit in southern Spain. In anticipation of this, he will travel to the Enstone plant in early January to meet the team, get his seat moulded and attend technical briefings.

He will be inducted into the ING Renault F1 Team from 14 January, which will give him the chance to immerse himself fully in the Anglo-French outfit's working methods ahead of the big occasion.

"I think there will be a lot to take in over the first three days," the former British F3 race-winner acknowledged, "as I watch the team and the drivers at work. It's no accident that ING Renault F1 Team and Fernando Alonso won the world championship two years running! Working with such a successful team can only have a beneficial effect on the rest of my career."

What's more, despite the enormity of the occasion, Parente is determined to keep his nerves under control, much as he did during his title-deciding WS showdown with Hanley at Barcelona just under two months ago.

"I've always taken a calm, measured approach to things," he underlined, "and that has served me well throughout my career. I'll be looking to make the best possible job of things for Renault at Jerez.

"With the restrictions on private testing, every kilometre counts for the F1 team, so I'll be doing my best to help the team by sticking closely to whatever test programme they decide to give me. My aims for the day will be to have fun and to do a good job."

 

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