SF

Ordos: Series preview

Rigon out front as Superleague Formula heads to China Just three years since its inaugural race, Superleague Formula by Sonangol will make its first appearance outside of Europe this weekend when the championship travels to Ordos International...

Rigon out front as Superleague Formula heads to China

Just three years since its inaugural race, Superleague Formula by Sonangol will make its first appearance outside of Europe this weekend when the championship travels to Ordos International Circuit in China.

Superleague Formula will be the first international series to compete at the all-new 2.331-mile, 18-turn circuit, ensuring that this year's championship protagonists will each be as inexperienced as the next.

Davide Rigon (RSC Anderlecht) makes the trip to Inner Mongolia riding the crest of a wave after snatching the championship lead from Craig Dolby (Tottenham Hotspur) last time out at Portimao. But the Italian knows anything less than another excellent weekend could cost him dearly.

Just ask fellow championship protagonist Yelmer Buurman (AC Milan) who slipped 43-points adrift of top spot following a disastrous weekend on the Algarve. So disappointing was it in fact that Max Wissel (FC Basel) has replaced the Dutchman in third, albeit by just four points.

Olympiacos meanwhile also remain a threat thanks to the performance of their latest supersub Neel Jani who won race two in Portugal while deputising for Chris van der Drift. The task of bridging their gap to Rigon this weekend falls to familiar face Ben Hanley who notched up podiums for the Greek side at Adria in September.

One man who knows all about winning will make his long-awaited return to the series this weekend. Reigning champion Adrian Valles didn't have an opportunity to defend his crown this year but should be a front-runner again over the remaining three races with Sporting Lisbon.

In other changes, GP2 race-winner Giacomo Ricci will make his Superleague Formula debut with Galatasaray, Andy Soucek moves across to Flamengo and Franck Perera returns with Bordeaux.

Robin Webb, Competitions Director: "Our first event outside Europe has attracted perhaps the most competitive grid of the season. I'm sure Adrian will be desperate to make an impact on his return while Esteban, who has performed miracles in Formula Renault 3.5 this year, will be another serious threat.

"For what's still a young championship, I've been delighted with how everything has come together so smoothly. Ordos is looking fantastic and we're very proud to be the first international series to visit such a modern new facility. Asia is a very important market for Superleague Formula and I'm sure there will be plenty of fans there to cheer on Beijing Guoan who, in the hands of John Martin, have been especially strong in the last two rounds."

Catch all three races from Ordos live on the Superleague Formula website.

-source: sf

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Series SF
Drivers Davide Rigon , Neel Jani , Adrian Valles , Yelmer Buurman , Andy Soucek , Chris van der Drift , Giacomo Ricci , Ben Hanley , Max Wissel , Craig Dolby , Franck Perera