The new football-themed motor racing championship, Superleague Formula, heads to Germany for the first time this weekend when 17 of the biggest names in football do battle at the famous Nurburgring Grand Prix circuit.
Chinese club Beijing Guoan and two-time UEFA Cup winners, Spanish club, Sevilla FC kicked off the Superleague Formula season with race victories at Donington Park.
German fans will be focussed on the progress of Borussia Dortmund driver, Nelson Philippe. The ex-Champ Car World Series winner was unlucky not to score a podium finish on debut at Donington Park, being passed by Liverpool FC’s Adrian Valles in the closing minutes of the reverse grid race.
Brazilian club Corinthians will now have home grown talent aboard its black and white 750 horsepower, V12-powered machine. Ex-Formula 1 driver Antonio Pizzonia will drive the Corinthians car, returning to the race venue where he scored his first Formula 1 points for Williams.
In other transfer news, British driver James Walker will represent Rangers this weekend. Walker moves across “on loan” after undertaking the initial shakedown for Liverpool FC. Walker takes over the seat from Glasgow’s Ryan Dalziel who is unable to compete this weekend due to an existing Grand-Am sportscar commitment in the US.
This weekend’s second round of the Superleague Formula championship will also feature compulsory pit-stops for the first time. Each race will be 44 minutes, plus 1 lap. All teams must make their pit stops between lap 8 and 20.
DRIVER QUOTESAntonio Pizzonia - Corinthians “I am extremely happy to drive for Corinthians in Superleague Formula and really looking forward to my first race at the Nurburgring. “I think the format and the whole concept for the championship is excellent and I am very confident we can be very competitive. I have raced at the Nurburgring before and can’t wait to try the Corinthians car there. I was really surprised at the reaction from the fans, it really has been amazing. I will certainly have a lot of supporters following my every lap.”
Nelson Philippe – Borussia Dortmund “I’m really looking forward to the Nurburgring event, it is going to be great for the BVB fans and. My car is also prepared by the Borussia Dortmund Racing Team which is just down the road at Zakspeed. They have a lot of local knowledge from this track so that is going to be extremely beneficial for us “My brother has raced here a couple of times in the past so I am going to give him a call to pick his brains to find out any hints he may offer. “I’m really looking forward to putting on a good performance for the Borussia Dortmund fans – we were very unlucky not to score a podium at the first weekend and it will be great to score for them at the Nurburgring.”
Borja Garcia – Sevilla FC “I am really looking forward to the Nurburgring. I have been working very hard off track, training every day for three hours and really watching what I eat. I will be arriving at the track on Thursday and start preparing for the weekend with my engineers. The Superleague Formula car is new for everybody and we still have a lot of development potential to unleash. I am really confident we will be very competitive again this weekend.”
Robert Doornbos – AC Milan “For us, the championship starts at the Nurburgring. AC Milan had terrible luck at Donington Park but the guys have been working exceptionally hard to ensure we are well prepared for this weekend. “I am really looking forward to racing at the ‘ Ring as well. The last time I race there I finished second in Formula 3000 in 2004 behind Enrico Toccacelo. Our aim is to ensure we reverse that this time – especially since Enrico is now racing for AS Roma.”
Davide Rigon – Beijing Guoan “I will be out to defend my championship lead this weekend. I am really not sure what to expect in regards to the weather but I am very prepared for this race. “Every team in Superleague Formula should be much better prepared so I am expecting the competition to be a lot tougher. We introduced a lot of people to the Beijing Guoan football club at Donington and now I want to tell the German fans about my club. I drove at the Nurburgring last year, but only on the short circuit. This will be my first time on the Grand Prix circuit.”