AC MILAN TAKES SUPERLEAGUE FORMULA SERIES LEAD The Atech Reid-run AC Milan entry of Yelmer Buurman has taken the lead in the Superleague Formula by Sonangol series following a strong showing at Zolder at the weekend. The team was increased to...
AC MILAN TAKES SUPERLEAGUE FORMULA SERIES LEAD
The Atech Reid-run AC Milan entry of Yelmer Buurman has taken the lead in the Superleague Formula by Sonangol series following a strong showing at Zolder at the weekend. The team was increased to five cars at the weekend, with Indian Narain Karthikeyan driving the PSV Eindhoven car, while Andy Soucek has stepped into the Sporting Lisbon car for the remainder of the year.
In Saturday's qualifying group A it was the Liverpool FC car of James Walker that set the team's pace, posting the third quickest time ahead of Buurman, with Soucek in sixth. In Group B, Alvaro Parente (FC Porto) and Karthikeyan both struggled to find the necessary pace and were knocked out of the Quarter Finals.
For the opening race, Walker lined up sixth and enjoyed an early battle with Buurman who started one row behind. A slow pit stop however dropped James down the order and despite catching and passing FC Basel's Max Wissel at the last corner to grab sixth, James was too far back to rejoin the battle.
Dutchman Buurman was chasing a podium finish, after leapfrogging two cars during the pit stop and then a superb move on the championship leading Tottenham Hotspurs car at the chicane elevated him further. With just ten minutes remaining he was right on the tail of the battle for third, however a problem with the down shift caused him to run off road and although he recovered he was too far behind at the flag, finishing fourth.
Andy Soucek made a fabulous debut appearance in the Sporting Lisbon car, with a brilliant display of assertive driving by the Virgin F1 test driver who finished the race in ninth place. Starting from 13th, the Spaniard made up four places despite running on old tyres for much of the race.
PSV driver Karthikeyan finished tenth and set one of the fastest laps in the meantime while FC Porto's Parente was also one of the big movers during race one, moving up five places to take 11th.
Race two proved frustrating for Parente, after a superb run into third place, and pushing for second ended, when the Portuguese driver retired with suspected system pressure failure with just a few minutes remaining. This left Buurman to fly the Atech Reid flag, the new championship leader coming home fifth after an uneventful run to the flag just ahead of Sporting Lisbon's Soucek.
Liverpool FC's James Walker was the unfortunate victim of a start line accident that ultimately ended in retirement for the rapid Jerseyman. Starting from 12th, James made a great start but the car ahead did not, causing the two to collide. Although James struggled on through the race, he later spun out his race over.
Karthikeyan's debut with the team sadly came to an abrupt end after a promising start to the weekend, the former F1 driver crashing out of the second race.
Buurman's results allowed him into the five lap dash-for-cash Super Final, in which he started from the front row. A slow getaway however dropped him down the order but his move to pass FC Basel allowed him to finish fifth and claim two more valuable championship points to put him eight points clear at the top of the table.
The Atech Reid team will be back on track in two weeks time at the UK rounds at Brands Hatch, Kent over the Bank Holiday weekend July 31/August 1.
-source: atech gp