Adria: Series race report

Rigon claims euro 100,000 as Dolby regains points lead Davide Rigon (RSC Anderlecht) completed a near perfect Superleague Formula by Sonangol weekend by adding Super Final victory and a cheque for euro 100,000 to his race 1 triumph in his home...

Rigon claims euro 100,000 as Dolby regains points lead

Davide Rigon (RSC Anderlecht) completed a near perfect Superleague Formula by Sonangol weekend by adding Super Final victory and a cheque for euro 100,000 to his race 1 triumph in his home round at Adria.

The Italian driver not only brought his season's winnings to euro 525,000, more than any other driver, but also pulled himself back into the title fight at the top of the League Table.

However it's Craig Dolby (Tottenham Hotspur) who now tops the standings, despite missing out on the six-car Super Final. Regardless of that disappointment, his second place finish in race 2 was enough to see him climb above previous leader Yelmer Buurman (AC Milan), who came home fourth. He now leads by three points from his Dutch rival, with Rigon just nine further back in third.

Rigon's Super Final victory came despite intense pressure from Max Wissel (FC Basel) in the five-lap, dash-for-the-cash race, after the German driver made a stellar start to jump from third to second ahead of John Martin (Beijing Guoan).

Wissel, on new tyres, then put Rigon, who was using worn rubber, under enormous pressure for the first two laps but just couldn't find a way through and was forced to settle for his euro 75,000 reward for second place.

In the closing stages he actually came under huge pressure from one of the weekend's most impressive performers, Superleague Formula rookie Ben Hanley (Olympiacos). The British driver, also on new tyres, immediately jumped Marcos Martinez (Sevilla) at the start and was right on Wissel's gearbox as the chequered flag flew. He collected euro 50,000 for finishing third.

John Martin (Beijing Guoan) was fourth ahead of Martinez and Frederic Vervisch (Liverpool) who also impressed on his debut weekend in the series.

Earlier, in race 2, Martinez scored a fine maiden Superleague Formula victory with a faultless drive in the fully-reversed grid event to become this season's 12th different winner so far.

Having struggled with a misfire in the first race, finishing down in 14th place, Martinez was handed a front row start in race 2 and immediately capitalised by beating pole sitter Celso Miguez (Olympique Lyonnais) into the first corner at the start.

He pulled out a seven-second lead as the pit window opened after 15 minutes and rejoined from his stop with that advantage only slightly narrowed. He was then able to maintain a healthy gap back to Dolby to take the win.

Dolby, who held third off the line at the start, was handed second place early on when Miguez slowed dramatically with gearbox troubles that would ultimately end his race, but couldn't get close to Martinez despite a hard charge after his pit stop.

Duncan Tappy (Flamengo) completed the podium finishers, extending his record of having finished in the top three in at least one race of each round he's contested this season.

Buurman battled to fourth position to limit his losses to Dolby in the standings, but only after fighting off attacks from Robert Doornbos (Corinthians) and Vervisch.

Vervisch was one of the most entertaining drivers on the grid, passing Doornbos around the outside of turn 1 in what was the move of the weekend and then getting by Buurman too, only to cede the position before the end of the race, settling for fifth.

Wissel finished behind Doornbos in seventh while the first three finishers from race 1, Rigon, Martin and Hanley, fought from the back of the grid to complete the top ten.

Alvaro Parente (FC Porto) was a disappointed 11th despite a fine drive. The Portuguese driver made several places at the start and then gained more when he gambled on a late pit stop to jump him through the field. Unfortunately just as he was pushing Tappy for third he received the news that he would have to serve a stop/go penalty for a pit lane infringement after his team didn't change his tyres.

Davide Rigon (RSC Anderlecht): "This weekend has been fantastic for us and I'd like to say thank you very much to the team. The Super Final was really difficult as the others were on new tyres and I wasn't. Max (Wissel) was very quick but my car was great. If the car continues to work like this and I don't make any mistakes then we really have a chance to win the championship."

Max Wissel (FC Basel): "I expected to win the Super Final on new tyres but I only really had one lap to overtake Davide and he did a great job to defend from me. euro 75,000 is not bad though! We'll still do our best to close the gap to the leaders (in the championship). We have a brilliant team, a fantastic car and hopefully we'll have more weekends like this."

Ben Hanley (Olympiacos): "We couldn't ask for much more from this weekend other than perhaps a win! We took a gamble in race 2 by running our qualifying set-up but we got through it to make the Super Final. This is a good result for Olympiacos and we've scored good points. Realistically I didn't expect things to go this well, but I definitely wanted to make an impression."

-source: Superleague Formula

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series SF
Drivers Davide Rigon , Robert Doornbos , Alvaro Parente , Marcos Martinez , Celso Miguez , Yelmer Buurman , John Martin , Duncan Tappy , Ben Hanley , Max Wissel , Craig Dolby