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Brands Hatch: Series event summary

Martin nets Euro 100,000 in Brands Hatch Super Final John Martin (Beijing Guoan) netted 100,000 by winning the five-lap dash-for-the-cash Super Final in round 7 of Superleague Formula by Sonangol at Brands Hatch, while the topsy-turvy title...

Martin nets Euro 100,000 in Brands Hatch Super Final

John Martin (Beijing Guoan) netted 100,000 by winning the five-lap dash-for-the-cash Super Final in round 7 of Superleague Formula by Sonangol at Brands Hatch, while the topsy-turvy title fight swung back in favour of Yelmer Buurman (AC Milan).

After winning race 1 in dominant style earlier in the day, Martin finished down in 16th in the reversed-grid second race after losing a front wing during contact in the hectic first few moments, but came back in style in the final event.

Starting second on the grid, Martin got the better of pole man Duncan Tappy (Flamengo) off the line and set fastest lap on his way to another comfortable win and a big prize fund.

Davide Rigon (RSC Anderlecht) kept his championship hopes alive after a spectacular turnaround in fortunes following a practice crash on Saturday which saw him struggle in qualifying and race 1. He bounced back with second in race 2 to earn himself a place in the Super Final and a good start from fourth saw him finish second again and bag a cheque for euro 75,000.

Tappy completed the podium after a strong weekend at his home circuit. Ninth in race 1 and third in race 2 saw him finish the round as the top points scorer and although he was disappointed with a poor start to the Super Final from pole, he could console himself with a prize of euro 50,000.

Buurman finished fourth, one place ahead of Craig Dolby (Tottenham Hotspur) in fifth, crucially meaning the Dutch driver regains his lead at the top of the table by a slender margin of just two points. Alvaro Parente (FC Porto) was sixth after being pushed wide onto the gravel into the second corner.

Earlier race 2 was ended prematurely by a red flag after Chris van der Drift (Olympiacos) suffered a massive accident while challenging for fifth place in the closing stages.

The young New Zealander had driven superbly to climb from 12th on the grid to sixth but as he hit his push-to-pass button on the back straight to move further up the order he went over the right-rear wheel of Julien Jousse's AS Roma car and flipped through the air, hitting the bridge before landing upright in a badly-damaged car.

As the medics attended to him and he was taken to hospital with a suspected broken ankle, Karthikeyan became the 11th different winner in 14 feature races when he was declared the victor after an excellent drive from pole position.

The Indian driver had saved two sets of new tyres after an early race 1 retirement and set a blistering pace after leading into the first corner. He was seven seconds clear after eight laps and following the pit stops had a ten second advantage that he increased still further until the end of the shortened event.

Rigon was second while home hero Tappy fought his way up from tenth on the grid to maintain his record of a podium in each of his three Superleague Formula race weekends this season.

Parente was fourth ahead of Jousse, who dropped out of the podium places in the second half of the race with a continuation of the fuel pressure problems that ruined his first race.

Van der Drift was classified sixth ahead of Spaniards Maria de Villota (Atletico Madrid) and Marcos Martinez (Sevilla) who threw away another chance of a podium with a spin while running second.

In the closing stages of the race, Martinez led an intriguing eight-car battle which included title chasers Buurman and Dolby. The pair fought throughout the second half of the race, with Dolby faster but Buurman resolute in defence. Finishing 12th and 13th meant that Buurman jumped back to the top of the points standings after Dolby had retaken the lead after the first race.

John Martin (Beijing Guoan): "The first race felt so easy but in the second I made a good start and then had nowhere to go and just touched the front end plate on Craig's (Dolby) car and it was enough to break the front wing. It stuck under the car and I thought I was going straight into the wall, but luckily it broke off as I went through the gravel and I was able to get back to the pits to get a new nose box. I absolutely love it here at Brands Hatch, it's one of my favourite circuits in the world, so to win twice is fantastic. I was annoyed to miss pole position on Saturday, but today we've made up for it."

Davide Rigon (RSC Anderlecht): "The weekend started very badly. I crashed the car and it was difficult to have it ready for qualifying. In race 1 it wasn't very good either even though I pushed to the maximum. We had two good sets of tyres for the second race though and I started to be much quicker and I was very happy with second place. In the Super Final, John (Martin) was just a bit faster than me but second again is a great result considering where we were this morning."

Duncan Tappy (Flamengo): "I'm quite shocked to be here (on the Super Final podium) really! I was really down after qualifying because I didn't think I'd got on top of the car and that there was a lot more to come. I was on the phone talking to my engineer at 10.30pm last night thinking about what we could do. The car still didn't feel that great in the first race and we just did what we could to get ninth, but the second race was much better and I just kept pushing and climbing through the field. P3 was the aim and we got it. I'm a bit disappointed with the Super Final, but I've never done a standing start in a Superleague Formula car before. It's something I will need to work on as I'm hoping to be in a lot of Super Finals from now on."

-source: sf

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Series SF
Drivers Davide Rigon , Marcos Martinez , Maria de Villota , Yelmer Buurman , John Martin , Duncan Tappy , Craig Dolby