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A1 Team Portugal has taken the bold step of replacing its lead driver for the rest of the season - with Filipe Albuquerque being called up to race instead of Joao Urbano. Portugal rests 17th in the championship having scored just five points, and the team hopes that Albuquerque's call-up will help vault it up the final standings.
Albuquerque has significant success in junior formula, having won the Formula Renault Eurocup in 2006 and also being a winner in World Series by Renault.
The team has said he will be part of the squad until the end of the 2008/09 season. 'It is an enormous pleasure to become a member of A1 Team Portugal,' Albuquerque said. 'With only four races remaining, I'll do my best, hoping to deliver honour to my country.'
Urbano's best showing this season was in Taupo, where he finished eighth in the Sprint race and ran as high as fourth in the Feature race. However, his chances of a strong finish ended after a drive-through penalty for a pit entry line violation.
Urbano has been invited to remain a part of the team, and like Albuquerque, is set to remain until the end of next season at least.
'It has always been our desire to have Filipe onboard. He is one of Portugal's greatest talents and has huge potential,' said team principal, Luis Vicente. 'From now on we'll be able to count on the services of two young and fast drivers and from a continuity perspective, this will hopefully guarantee the stability that will allow us to achieve the results we can, and should, attain.'
The team also said that the move does not affect its recently announced young driver programme, with youngsters Bruno Serra and Goncalo Araujo set to participate in rookie sessions later this season. Albuquerque will take part in the rookie session in Durban.
A1 Team Portugal
|A1 Team Portugal|
|2 May '09||Switzerland and Portugal not giving up|
|9 Apr '09||No pressure at home GP for Albuquerque|
|9 Nov '08||Portugal takes first A1GP win|
|3 Jul '08||Team Portugal signs Albuquerque|
|A1GP: South Africa 2007-2008|
|26 Feb '08||A1 Team Germany chastises decision|
|25 Feb '08||Zaugg apologizes to Bleekemolen|
|24 Feb '08||France slips behind, but still in the hunt|
|24 Feb '08||Netherlands salvages points despite two shunts|
|18 Feb '08||Portugal changes lead driver|
|24 Sep '07||Albuquerque to replace Zaugg for Valencia race|
|14 Jul '07||Albuquerque hits the jackpot!|
|8 Jul '07||Disappointing race for Racing Engineering drivers|
|27 Apr '12||A1GP set for revival|
|30 Apr '10||Carroll to join Andretti in second half of season|
|22 Mar '10||Doornbos and Karthikeyan confirmed in Superleague|
|18 Mar '10||Indian Sureshwaren signs for first F2 season|
|More Filipe Albuquerque photos|