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Tags:   Cars,   Favourite,   Sports,   Autos

By The Swag Team   -  January 30, 2015

Car enthusiast and racing driver MAURO PORTELLI tells SWAG all about his love of fast, noisy cars, which he inherited from his father Manuel. Check out Alfa Romeo fanatic Manuel's SWAG interview here.


What was your very first car?


My very first car was an Alfa Romeo 33 which I still cherish to this day. There are many special memories associated with this car, from the day my father bought it brand new way back in 1993, till today, each time I take it out for a spin.


What do you drive at the moment?


I have a new Abarth 500 which I drive on a regular basis and the Alfa 33 for sunny Sunday drives. 


What kind of cars have you owned in the past?


I'm only 23 years old, so I did not need to sell any cars yet. 


What cars do you plan on owning in the future?


I plan on buying an Alfa Brera S if I find the right spec, but that is a plan for later on this year.  Of course I'd like to own all my dream cars one day... my favourite has to be the Lamborghini Aventador 50th anniversary.


Do you have a favourite TV or film car?


I'm not really into movies, but the Lamborghini Countach from the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ made me daydream...


If you could own a road car currently available for sale, what would it be? And what about classics?


A Maserati Granturismo, if funds permitted of course. A reasonably-priced road car would be the Brera S I spoke about earlier. My dream classics are the Alfa GTAM, Lancia Stratos and the legendry Ferrari 250 GTO.  


What’s the best car you’ve ever driven?


The Ferrari 458 Speciale by far. The noise it makes, the power and its uniqueness of the speciale model made the drive an unforgettable one.


What have been your best and worst moments when driving?


The best moment has to be when I raced on the Silverstone National circuit. The worst was when my car broke down in the middle of the night on the A1 highway off Naples, Italy.


How are you at car maintenance?


I do basic services and routine checks but nothing too complicated.


Have you ever restored an old car?


When I was young, my father and I started a light restoration on an Alfa Spider 1972.  Unfortunately we sold it before completing the full restoration we originally had planned.


What is your first memory of watching motor racing?


My father used to take me to watch hill climbs in Mellieha and Mtahleb. I remember thinking that the drivers racing up those twisty hills, taking their cars to their limits, were heroes.  Watching them race after race made me want to take part and become a racing driver one day.


When did you start racing?


I started racing at the first opportunity I had at 18. I started in the National Hill Climb Championship here in Malta. I have also raced in the UK and in Sicily many times.  


Who is your favourite racing driver?


Without any doubt - Ayrton Senna. He had a sixth sense for racing that no other driver has ever had.    


What is your favourite racing circuit?


The Nurburgring in Germany. It’s the most challenging circuit in the world.


What advice would you give to someone who is looking to buy a car?


I don't really look out for fuel economy, reliability and such things, so I'm probably the worst person to give advice...  


Do you have any favourite driving songs? 


Moby's Porcelain is the best driving song for me. 


What’s on your car stereo at the moment?


Daft Punk classics, Oasis and Coldplay.


Is there a famous road in the world that you dream of driving along one day?


The twisty Alps mountain roads in Switzerland.


Who would be your dream passengers on a long journey – dead or alive?


Senna on a race track and Kate Moss on a long journey.


How would you like to see the motor industry develop – keeping environmental and other world problems in mind?


Commercial vehicles, city cars and utility cars should develop using a cleaner system such as LPG or electric, but I really do hope that sports cars, supercars and race cars are left noisy, fun and powerful.


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