on Perera’s debut
AS Roma fans had something to cheer about this weekend when Superleague Formula rookie Franck Perera scored the team’s first pole position at the Estoril circuit in Portugal after a nail biting final qualifying against fellow Italian team AC Milan, and finished the first race on the podium in third position.
Perera stepped into the Fisichella Motor Sport International run AS Roma car for the first time in Saturday morning practice and then stunned the field by converting his performance into a brilliant pole position in the qualifying shoot-out. In the Group A qualifying session he was fastest, going on to defeat Corinthian’s Antonio Pizziona in the quarter final and Liverpool FC’s Adrian Valles in the semi-final. He went up against Robert Doornbos in the AC Milan car in the final and took the pole.
In Sunday’s first 45-minute race, AS Roma’s Perera maintained the lead after the rolling start at the Portuguese circuit and built up a lead of around a second over AC Milan and Liverpool FC. Perera dashed into the pits on lap nine after the window opened for the compulsory stops. Unfortunately Liverpool’s Valles emerged from the pits ahead of AS Roma as Perera’s crew suffered a sticking rear wheel in the stop. Two laps later AC Milan’s Doornbos made his stop and emerged between Liverpool and AS Roma, demoting Perera to third. The top three maintained position until the chequered flag, seeing Perera take to the podium for AS Roma on his debut for the team.
The second 45-minute race featured a complete reverse grid, and therefore AS Roma began from 16th position. Unfortunately, Perera’s race was short-lived after there was contact on lap five between the AS Roma and Liverpool cars, causing Perera to retire from the race.
AS Roma will be competing in front of its home fans at the penultimate race weekend of the Superleague Formula, which will take place at the Vallelunga Circuit in Italy on 1-2 November.
Franck Perera : “I was really happy with the pole in qualifying as I only arrived to Estoril to make the seat on Friday. It is an honour for me to drive for AS Roma as I lived in Italy for six years and it is good to work with Italian people. The car was very good in the practice sessions and qualifying and it was very exciting after two years racing in America to come back and race in Europe again. As for the race, it was good to get a podium on my first time with the team, but when you start on the front row of the grid you want to go for the win. We had a good car in the beginning and I was able to open up a huge gap but, unfortunately, we had a problem during the pitstop so we lost the lead. After that I tried to catch Robert and Adrian but it was difficult to overtake and I was unable to pass them. It was a pity because I think we had the fastest car, but it is still a good result for myself and AS Roma.”Click here for the Official Fisichella Motorsport web site - designed and built by Racecar