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Assen: Series preview

Superleague Formula by Sonangol rolls into Assen for round two Superleague Formula by Sonangol heads into something of the unknown at TT Circuit Assen on May 15/16 where championship leaders Tottenham Hotspur and driver Craig Dolby will be out...

Superleague Formula by Sonangol rolls into Assen for round two

Superleague Formula by Sonangol heads into something of the unknown at TT Circuit Assen on May 15/16 where championship leaders Tottenham Hotspur and driver Craig Dolby will be out to extend their lead at the top of the standings.

Better known as the cathedral of motorcycling, the 2.830 mile circuit located in north eastern Holland should prove a real challenge for the championship's V12-powered 750bhp single seaters thanks to it being specifically designed with motorbikes in mind.

But that's not the only reason why Assen could turn the form book upside down. Very few of Superleague Formula's drivers have any prior experience of the Dutch venue, and with only two 50 minute practice sessions under their belts ahead of Saturday's all-important qualifying session, it will be those who get up to speed quickest that reap the greatest rewards.

One man to keep an eye on will undoubtedly be Sebastien Bourdais. The Olympique Lyonnais driver was on fine form at Silverstone last time out, winning the second race after a pit stop drama cost him a potential podium in the first. What is more, the Frenchman still holds the outright lap record for Assen, claiming pole position with a time of 1m18.756s when the Champ Car World Series visited in 2007.

Home fans too will have something to shout about with no less than three Dutch drivers and one Eredivisie club - PSV Eindhoven - in the mix. Indeed, AC Milan's Yelmer Buurman and Olympiacos' Chris van der Drift both enjoyed strong outings at Silverstone, the latter wrapping up podiums in both race's two and three, as well as accepting a cheque for €50,000 for his Super Final exploits.

Former F1-driver Robert Doornbos meanwhile will be hoping for improved luck on home soil with Corinthians after enduring a difficult return to the championship in Britain. Indian Narain Karthikeyan is another who will be eager to put a disappointing opening round weekend behind him when he again takes the wheel for PSV.

Chris van der Drift, Olympiacos:"The first race at Silverstone was a real test for us, but we still managed to finish second in race two and third in the Super Final. At Silverstone, everybody was not completely prepared, so nobody really knows where they stand yet. In any case we are not far from the front, so a top six finish should be possible in Assen."

Yelmer Buurman, AC Milan:"It was a very long time ago when I last raced at Assen, in 2004 when I was still driving in Formula Renault. It was a really great track then but has changed a lot since, so I will have to get used to it once again. We need to wait and see how we all compare to each other of course, but I really hope to score a podium. However, this is a really competitive grid and it will definitely not be easy!"

Robert Doornbos, Corinthians: "I drove in a Champ Car race at Assen in 2007 and it's a really cool circuit. The track is very fast and you notice because of the slopes in the corners that it's a motorcycle track. I am looking forward to the Superleague Formula Grand Prix Assen race and hope we will be able to make it one big party."

-source: sf

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Series SF
Drivers Narain Karthikeyan , Sébastien Bourdais , Robert Doornbos , Yelmer Buurman , Chris van der Drift , Craig Dolby