The football club that will move into the Beijing Olympic stadium following the 2008 Olympic Games is the latest team to join the new football-themed motor racing championship, Superleague Formula.
Beijing Guoan Football Club has joined the expanding Superleague Formula grid – becoming the Championship’s first Asian club. Superleague Formula now includes clubs from Europe, the Middle-East, South America and Asia – becoming a truly global competition.
The Chinese squad joins AC Milan, PSV Eindhoven, FC Porto, Olympiacos, Borussia Dortmund, RSC Anderlecht, FC Basel, Flamengo, Galatasaray, Sevilla, Corinthians, Rangers and Al Ain on the Superleague Formula grid.
Founded in 1992, Beijing Guoan is the only Chinese league club based in the Olympic city. Their existing home is the Beijing Fengtai Stadium.
The club finished runner-up in the Chinese league in 1995 and 2007, but has earned three Chinese FA Cup crowns in 1996, 1997, 2003
“Superleague Formula is a good platform for us to communicate with all the top teams in the world and play together with them,” said Li Xiaoming, the General Manager of Guoan FC.
The Beijing Guoan Superleague Formula entry will be run by experienced German race team, Zakspeed. The Peter Zakowski run organisation will also run the Borussia Dortmund Superleague Formula entry.
An ex-Formula 1-entrant, Zakspeed has run factory programmes for Ford, BMW, Mercedes, Opel, Porsche and Dodge in a wide range of motorsport competition.
“As a German team, we were thrilled at the chance to run the Borussia Dortmund car, but we are equally as excited about Beijing Guoan,” said Zakspeed team owner, Peter Zakowski.
“China is an enormous market and the world’s most populous country. From a marketing and sponsorship perspective, the opportunities are truly outstanding.
“The country is beginning to embrace motorsport and they now host Formula 1 and MotoGP events. We are delighted to be representing the Beijing Guoan club and will look forward doing out utmost to put their green and gold colours on the podium.”
The inaugural Superleague Formula Championship will kick off at Donington Park in the UK – recently announced as the new home for the British Formula 1 Grand Prix from 2010.
The first Superleague Formula round will be staged on August 30/31 followed by the Nurburgring in Germany on September 20/21; Zolder (Belgium) October 4/5; Estoril (Portugal) October 18/19; Vallelunga (Italy) November 1/2 and Jerez (Spain) on November 22/23.
All Superleague Formula teams will fight it out for 1 million euro prizemoney at each championship round.
“Our first race is less than two months away and we are delighted to start announcing our final teams for the championship,” Superleague Formula President and CEO, Alex Andreu said.
“We are completing contracts with the final clubs and are looking forward to seeing all the cars on the grid for our group test in Barcelona from July 29 to 31.
“Football is biggest game in the world and we are thrilled to add another club, another country and another continent in welcoming Beijing Guoan.
“China has a population of more than 1.3 billion and the popularity of football is enormous. We have no doubt the Beijing Guoan is going to be one of the most wildly popular in the Superleague Formula championship.”