Navarra: Five drivers, one Superleague Formula champion After 16 different winners from 11 rounds across seven months, it all comes down to this: the Superleague Formula by Sonangol season finale in Navarra where one man will walk away the 2010...
Navarra: Five drivers, one Superleague Formula champion
After 16 different winners from 11 rounds across seven months, it all comes down to this: the Superleague Formula by Sonangol season finale in Navarra where one man will walk away the 2010 series champion.
The only question remaining is who will pick up the €1million winner's cheque? Five drivers travel to the Spanish showdown still in with a chance of this year's crown, the top four of which are separated by just 19 points.
Catch me if you can - Davide Rigon, RSC Anderlecht (635 points): Experience of winning the series' inaugural championship in 2008 should offer Rigon an edge at Navarra. That he's so far cashed nearly double the prize money of his nearest challenger also points to the sort of mistake-free, consistent performances that have helped him recover from a slow start to the season. Silverstone aside, the Italian has enjoyed a fairly trouble-free 2010 campaign but with only a seven-point cushion going into the final three races, even the slightest slip-up could prove costly.
The form man - Max Wissel, FC Basel (-7 points): No one has been more prolific during the last two championship rounds than Wissel whose staggering 91-point haul at Ordos helped him move to within touching distance of Rigon. That he's been a fixture in all-but two of this year's Super Finals is also testament to his consistency, although it's outright speed he'll need at Navarra if the German is to clinch the title he's been chasing for three years.
Mr Confidence - Craig Dolby, Tottenham Hotspur (-19 points): Quick out the blocks, Dolby amassed a 64-point advantage over his closest rival at the quarter-distance mark, only for mid-season mishaps to undo the early good work. He was a man reborn around Beijing's city streets though where he was the only one of this season's title contenders to really push the limits on his way to race one victory. Quick to learn new circuits and an eye for the audacious passing manoeuvre make the Briton a serious threat in Navarra.
Quiet but effective - Ben Hanley, Olympiacos (-19 points): When Chris van der Drift suffered his season-ending accident at Brands Hatch, most assumed the Greek club would slip out of the championship chase. Not a bit of it. In fact, under the guidance of Hanley and Neel Jani, Olympiacos has inched ever-closer to the top spot. And with two podiums and a victory under his belt already, the Briton should pose a significant threat again in Spain.
The outsider - Yelmer Buurman, AC Milan (-46 points): The only man capable of carrying the fight to Craig Dolby at the start of the year led the standings post-Adria before dreadful luck at both Portimao and Ordos saw him slip 46 points adrift of the summit. Mathematically still in with a chance, the rapid Dutchman needs others to slip up if he's to steal the title at the final whistle.
Aside from this weekend's title fight, a number of familiar faces will return to the paddock in Navarra, including 2009 race winner Esteban Guerrieri who makes a one-off appearance for PSV Eindhoven. Maria de Villota also stages her championship comeback on home turf with Atletico Madrid after recovering from a neck injury, Galatasaray will be in the capable hands of Celso Miguez, while Julien Jousse is replaced at AS Roma by Maxi Cortes.
Robin Webb, Competitions Director: "It's looking quite interesting, isn't it?! Davide is cool, as always, but perhaps he's just started to get some of those little car problems Anderlecht has so far avoided and others have had. You can be sure the team will be pulling the car apart and rebuilding it by hand before Navarra. I think Craig is now back on fire after finding some settings on the car he likes. Maybe he drifted off and has come back. He's clearly good at new places and Navarra will be new for all of us, which might work in his favour. My tip though would be Max. He's got the momentum and is only seven points behind. Having said that there's 106 available so who knows, anything could happen."