SF

: Series Jerez qualifying report

LIVERPOOL STAYS IN THE TITLE FIGHT AS BEIJING FALTERS IN QUALIFYING Liverpool FC Superleague Formula driver Adrian Valles has kept the Reds in the championship hunt after scoring the pole position for the final round of the championship in...

LIVERPOOL STAYS IN THE TITLE FIGHT AS BEIJING FALTERS IN QUALIFYING

Liverpool FC Superleague Formula driver Adrian Valles has kept the Reds in the championship hunt after scoring the pole position for the final round of the championship in Jerez, Spain today.

Valles and the Liverpool squad are 62 points behind championship leader Beijing Guoan but their driver Davide Rigon spun early in the qualifying session and will now start from the back row of the grid in tomorrow's first race.

To get the chance to taste championship glory, Liverpool must win both races and hope that Beijing finished worse than 9th in both events.

With the second race staged as a complete reverse grid event, Beijing's poor qualifying performance may not be as big a problem. Valles has his sights set on scoring 50 points from each of the two races - the second event a tougher challenge as the race one winner will start from the back of the grid in race two.

Liverpool earned the pole position after defeating AS Roma's Franck Perera in the shoot-out. The Reds other main rival - PSV Eindhoven - also endured a tough qualifying performance to be 14th fastest.

FC Porto continued its strong form after winning at Vallelunga to qualify third in the shoot-out with Tristan Gommendy while Atletico Madrid earned the honour of the top Spanish club with Andy Soucek starting fourth tomorrow - his best effort in the championship to date.

Robert Doornbos and AC Milan continued their consistent qualifying efforts - making the shoot out for the sixth consecutive event - the only club to earn that honour. Doornbos will start sixth tomorrow

Local favourite Sevilla FC bounced back after losing the front wing in the timed session to sneak into the shootout on the final lap. The team replaced the front wing on Borja Garcia's car and he was able to displace Tottenham Hotspur at the chequered flag. Sevilla will start 7th tomorrow.

Tomorrow's two final 2008 Superleague Formula races will be staged at 11.00am and 2.00pm.

Adrian Valles (Liverpool FC)

"I did what I had to do and pushed on the limit every time I was on the track. We had some problems this morning when the car wasn't really good but we managed to turn it around.

"The car is good now and we have a lot of possibilities for tomorrow considering Beijing had a problem in qualifying and spun off.

"I've got the pole and now I have to win the race and score as many points as I can - the rest is not up to me.

"I'm really happy to get pole position, especially at my home race - it's not home for Liverpool but personally I have many fans coming here so I hope I can do a really good job tomorrow."

Franck Perera (AS Roma)

"It is good to be in the first row again. I raced here quite a long time ago but in practice we worked hard to try to find the right set-up.

"We have been strong in each practice and I knew that if I ended up running against Liverpool in the shoot-out it was going to be tough because he is a little bit faster.

"It is good to be in the first row and the race is quite long and I will certainly be out for the win.

"I came close to winning two times before in Estoril and Vallelunga so we will see tomorrow. I had a problem with a pit stop in Portugual and then had contact with BVB in Italy and also made a mistake on my final lap. But here I think we are very competitive and I am looking forward to tomorrow."

Tristan Gommendy (FC Porto)

"I had a good car today. It is a pleasure to get onto the second row of the grid and tomorrow I think anything is possible.

"Last time out I started eighth and won the race so anything is possible form third.

"The team did a good job and Adrian was very strong as well.

"The reaction from the Porto fans after the win was just crazy.

"Everybody was crying afterwards and it was nice because the club has really supported me all year and it was very rewarding to give them a victory."

Andy Soucek (Atletico Madrid)

"It is the best qualifying I have had all year because it was the first time we haven't had any problems.

"I still had a few problems with the gearbox so I am not really 100 per cent happy.

"Fourth is great but I was expecting to be a little higher after being second and third in practice.

"I'm still pleased and I think we can do a good job tomorrow.

"I think it can be a good weekend and I am very pleased to race here at home. It is nice to have both Spanish teams running here in Jerez."

-credit: sf

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Series SF
Drivers Davide Rigon , Robert Doornbos , Tristan Gommendy , Adrian Valles , Borja Garcia , Andy Soucek , Franck Perera