Borussia Dortmund joins Superleague
German club Borussia Dortmund is the latest football team to join Superleague Formula – the new motor racing championship that combines the passion of international football with the excitement of top-class motorsport.
The former Champions League winners join AC Milan, PSV Eindhoven, Olympiacos and FC Porto in the championship which will kick off in August next year.
The striking yellow and black livery of the German club's entry was unveiled in Dortmund this afternoon by club coach Thomas Doll, captain Christian Wörns plus leading players including Tinga, Sebastian Kehl and Roman Weidenfeller on the eve of Borussia Dortmund's season opening festivities at Signal Iduna Park.
More than 30,000 fans are expected to see the club's colors adorning the 750-horsepower single seater racecar at the free public event tomorrow at the venue that hosted a semi-final of last year's World Cup.
The public open day precedes the club's friendly against AC Roma on Sunday.
Launched in April this year, Superleague Formula will feature more than 20 of world football's leading rivals doing battle on top class race tracks throughout Europe.
For its debut season, six championship rounds will be staged with each race weekend featuring two races – one with a complete reverse grid.
Despite enduring a tough 2006/07 season, Borussia Dortmund is one of Germany's most successful clubs with six German championships to its credit – the most recent being in 2002. The club won the UEFA Championship League in 1997 (one of only three German clubs to achieve the honor) and the Cup Winners Cup in 1966.
Borussia Dortmund also won the DFB Pokal (German Cup) on two occasions in 1965 and 1989.
Club CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke was joined at the unveiling by Superleague Formula President and CEO Alex Andreu.
"We are proud to be the first German club joining Superleague Formula and to have our colors involved in competition against the biggest football clubs in the world – but now, on the race track," Watzke said.
"Football and motorsport are very well suited."
Borussia Dortmund-goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller is excited by the idea: "Both sports are quick, spectacular and dynamic. Our car looks great and if it goes as well as it looks then we'll have lots of success".
The Superleague Formula championship will feature high performance single seater cars built by Panoz/Elan Motorsports in the US. The 750-horsepower V-12 engines are being developed by MCT in the UK.
"We are delighted to welcome Borussia Dortmund to the championship and thrilled to add another country of football fans to the Superleague Formula family," Andreu said.
"Germans are very passionate about football and motorsport and having Borussia Dortmund as part of the championship is a perfect addition. Signal Iduna Park is the largest football stadium in Germany and the club has an incredible amount of season-ticket holders.
"I am certain the support for the striking yellow and black Borussia Dortmund car is going to be very strong."
With five clubs already signed to the join the championship, Superleague Formula officials believe the confirmed grid is set to grow quickly in the upcoming months.
"We are at a very advanced stage of contract negotiations with many of our target clubs and hope to make further announcements very soon," Andreu said.
"With clubs from Italy, Portugal, Greece, the Netherlands and now Germany secured, we expect this list of countries to grow quite quickly."