BORUSSIA DORTMUND ROOKIE STUNS WITH ZOLDER POLE AHEAD OF RSC ANDERLECHT Rookie Borussia Dortmund driver Paul Meijer stunned his Superleague Formula opposition after clinching pole position over RSC Anderlecht driver Craig Dolby in a dramatic ...
BORUSSIA DORTMUND ROOKIE STUNS WITH ZOLDER POLE AHEAD OF RSC ANDERLECHT
Rookie Borussia Dortmund driver Paul Meijer stunned his Superleague Formula opposition after clinching pole position over RSC Anderlecht driver Craig Dolby in a dramatic shoot-out at Zolder in Belgium today.
Meijer stepped aboard the BVB car for the first time this morning and snuck into the shoot-out portion of qualifying after finishing fourth fastest in the Group A session by only .065 of a second.
The Dutch Formula Renault ace then charged past Spanish clubs Atletico Madrid (Andy Soucek) and Sevilla FC (Borja Garcia) in his Quarter and Semi Finals to qualifying for the pole shoot-out.
Nurburgring dual-runner up star Craig Dolby from local Belgian club RSC Anderlecht had a similar battle, just making the shoot-out with a single flying lap in qualifying.
Dolby's Anderlecht car had suffered a driveshaft problem and the young Brit was able to squeeze one flying lap in before the chequered flag of the Group B session.
Dolby then defeated AC Milan's Robert Doornbos and Liverpool FC's Adrian Valles to earn a shot at challenging for pole.
Fresh from his visit to RSC Anderlecht's 2-1 victory over Excelsior Mouscron last night, Dolby led the off on the pole shootout but pushed too hard in turn two, suffered understeer and subsequently spun - leaving Meijer to motor past to earn his and Borussia Dortmund's first ever pole position in Superleague Formula.
Dolby will be out to make amends in tomorrow's opening race when the entire RSC Anderlecht football playing squad on site to view his efforts.
Valles and Garcia will lead an all Spanish driver second row tomorrow for the first race for Liverpool and Sevilla FCs. Championship leader Beijing Guoan (Davide Rigon) will start from the third row of the grid in position 5 ahead of FC Porto's Tristan Gommendy.
While Meijer was celebrating his Superleague Formula debut, Al-Ain rookie, Belgian Bertrand Baguette was not as fortunate, recording a time that will place him on the back row of the grid.
His garage neighbour Yelmer Buurman also suffered a disappointing day for PSV Eindhoven - also struggling in the 15 minute qualifying - both cars suffering rear upright bearing issues.
Tomorrow's first race will kick off at 11.00am with the second reverse grid event scheduled for 2.00pm. Both races are run to 44 minutes, plus 1 lap.
PAUL MEIJER (Borussia Dortmund)
"It was a very exciting qualifying. I didn't really know what to expect this morning. I arrived yesterday afternoon after I got asked the night before whether I wanted to drive. Tom Coronel knows the team well and he gave me a good recommendation. Yesteday I had a seat made, this morning I drove the car for the first time and now I am on pole.
"When I first drove the car this morning the horsepower was incredible - 750 horsepower, I had never driven a car like that. It was a great feeling and an amazing car but I struggled a little bit when the track was wet but now I am gaining time every time I drive the car.
"When I saw Craig spin I would be lying if I had said 'oh, that's a shame' because obviously it is very good for me. It's not the way I wanted to win the pole but it is very good for me and Borussia Dortmund."
CRAIG DOLBY (RSC Anderlecht)
"My Anderlecht team got my car back going again two minutes before the end of the session and I really didn't know what to expect because I hadn't driven the car here in the dry as yet.
"I just had to go for it - I made a couple of mistakes because I didn't know where all the braking markers were. Fortunately, it was still enough to get me into the shoot-out.
"I had suffered a broken driveshaft in the morning session before the track was dry.
"I kept shocking myself and getting through in the quarter and semi finals and then I pushed a little bit too hard in the pole shootout."
ADRIAN VALLES (Liverpool)
"It is quite a narrow track and it is really difficult to overtake here. If it is rainy it is going to be tricky because if you are behind somebody you can't see anything because the tarmac here takes a lot to dry out.
"It is going to be tough, but this morning we were really strong and I am really pleased with the car and the team.
"I think we have a really good chance to challenge for the win because the car is strong in both the wet and the dry."
BORJA GARCIA (Sevilla FC)
"The important thing to consider tomorrow is the weather - it looks like we are going to get some rain. I think my car and my team are really good and we were quite fast in the wet and during the dry qualifying session.
"The weather for me is ok. I am now third in the championship and I have qualified in front of Beijing and PSV Eindhoven so hopefully I can gain another win tomorrow.
"My car was good at Donington in the wet, but here is another track and another set-up - we will have to wait and see. I don't care either way what happens with the weather."