The Superleague Formula grid has grown for the second round of the championship with series organisers welcoming the second Spanish club to join the series – Atletico de Madrid.
The red, white and blue squad finished fourth in last year’s La Liga standings and will now expand its range of sporting pursuits by chasing glory in the new football-themed motor racing championship.
With nine La Liga and Copa del Rey titles to its credit, Atletico de Madrid’s chances of Superleague Formula success will now rest with home grown talent.
Born and bred in Madrid, Andy Soucek moves across to the new squad after making his Superleague Formula debut at Donington Park for Brazilian outfit, Corinthians.
The GP2 racer and ex-Spanish Formula 3 champion was unlucky at the opening round – running as high as fourth in the wet second race before suffering a spin in torrential rain.
Like each of the other Superleague Formula clubs, Atletico de Madrid does not have to invest in the championship – in fact, they benefit from sponsorship and television revenues.
Soucek is eagerly awaiting the chance to do battle in Superleague Formula with his home town club.
"I was born and raised in Madrid so it is an honour for me to now drive this car – this is one of the teams close to my home.
"I am really the only driver from Madrid competing on an international level so it really is an ideal situation for me. It was great to drive the Corinthians car at Donington but now this is one of my home teams.
"I was up to fourth place at Donington in the wet race before I had a spin, so I am looking forward to making amends for that.
Hopefully, we will have some dry weather and I can really work on the set-up of the car.
"I'd love to kick off Atletico Madrid's debut with some strong points in both races."
Founded in 1904, Atletico has its sights set on a return to European glory in 2008 – doing battle in the Champions League for the first time in 12 years. The club finished runner-up in the European Cup/Champions League in 1973/74 and also won the UEFA Cup Winner’s Cup in 1961-62.
“Superleague Formula is a great opportunity for our club to expand our brand to a global audience,” Atletico de Madrid President, Enrique Cerezo said.
“We returned to the Champions League this year and our new endeavours in to motorsport will provide our fans with something additional to cheer for.
“This is also a great source of potential income for us. The club does not have to commit any funds to the programme, in fact, we financially benefit. When you look at the programme, it boosts our brand to new fans, we make money and get the chance to see our colours in action at at 300km/h – it really is a fantastic opportunity for our club.
“For us to welcome Andy Soucek as our driver is also a great solution. He has become the #1 Madrid-born driver competing internationally and for our club – the selection was a very easy decision.”
Soucek will not have to move far when he arrives at the Nurburgring this weekend. The Atletico de Madrid Racing Team will be managed by Eurointernational – the same squad that oversees Corinthians’s Superleague Formula efforts.”