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Sunday, 31 May 2020
Portugese Grand Prix return a step closer? PDF Print E-mail

 F1 AlgarvePortugal's ambition of returning to the Formula One world championship with an all-new circuit at Portimão on the Algarve took another step towards fruition this week with the official presentation of the nascent facility - and the revelation that one F1 team has already booked testing time, despite earthworks still to be completed.



Although the planned 4.7km Autódromo Internacional do Algarve is not due to be ready until October - when it is slated to open with a round of the World Superbike Championship - circuit director Paulo Pinheiro told Reuters at Monday's presentation that one F1 team had already booked the venue for a pre-season test next January, while talks were in progress with other operations. The operators also revealed ambitions to bring A1GP to the tourist region in coming seasons.

“Building works are on schedule," Pinheiro proudly announced at the launch, as he surveyed the latest stage in a seven-year commitment to the project, "In October, the circuit will be completed in order to enable us to inaugurate it with the Superbikes competition. We are also concluding negotiations to host A1GP within our technology park. We are convinced that this project will constitute an asset, not only for the Algarve region, but also for Portugal as a whole.”

The presentation was presided over by Portugal's minister of the economy and innovation, Dr Manuel Pinho, the secretary of state for youth and sport, Dr Laurentino Dias, and the mayor of Portimão, Dr Manuel da Luz, who welcomed the initiative, which all hope will raise the identity and economic prosperity of the Algarve.

“When this project is completed in late October, I'm certain the number of visitors to our country will increase," Pinho commented, "Whereas we recorded a record level of visitors in 2007, this number is certain to increase in the future as a result of this new asset. This project will have a significant impact on the local economy, and therefore also on the national economy.
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