Portugal team debuts new Superleague car
Portuguese club FC Porto has kicked off the debut year of Superleague Formula by unveiling their fire breathing blue and white 750 horsepower racer at Dragon Stadium today.
The FC Porto car is unveiled
Announced as one of the original four clubs in the championship in April last year, the Jesualdo Ferreira-coached squad came face to face today with their own blue and white Dragon which actually does breath fire.
Powered by the Menard Competition Technologies V12 engine, the car was unveiled by the players for the local media at the club's home ground – the state-of-the-art venue which hosted the opening game of the Euro 2004 championship.
With the first race scheduled to kick off at Donington Park in England in August this year, Superleague Formula has now reached the half way mark in filling the grid.
FC Porto joins AC Milan, PSV Eindhoven, Olympiacos, Borussia Dortmund, RSC Anderlecht, Flamengo, FC Basel and Galtasaray SK.
With nine clubs already on board, a Brazilian-based team has also been signed and will be the next club officially confirmed. Superleague Formula has also agreed terms with additional clubs from the UK, Spain, France, Mexico, Korea, Portugal and the United Arab Emirates and these are scheduled to be announced during the coming weeks.
FC Porto fans will now get their chance to see the car this Saturday night when the 22-time Portuguese champions take on SC Braga at "Estádio do Dragão".
"I’m sure the F.C. Porto fans will closely follow Superleague Formula, a competition that will gather some of the best football clubs on the race track," said Pinto da Costa, FC Porto’s President.
"These races will be very important to reinforce the global impact of FC Porto, which is already represented across five continents, and which will now have a new focus of interest for its worldwide fans, as Superleague Formula will be a global-spanning event with races at different venues.
"We congratulate the organization for this initiative. I’m sure we will witness great spectacles and very close racing, as all cars are based on the same platform."
Renowned as one of the most successful Portuguese clubs, FC Porto have two Champions League titles to their credit alongside 22 Portuguese crowns, 13 Portuguese Cups and 15 Portuguese Supercup crowns.
"Motorsport fans will now have a new reason to follow the races. Their love for motorsports and their love for football will finally come together," said Vítor Baía, FC Porto Director of External Relations.
"It will be as if the magic of football and the feelings it brings out are transferred onto the race track. This is why I believe in the success of Superleague Formula and in highly interesting races. Porto fans will be thrilled with the FC Porto car’s performance"
While Superleague Formula completed 2007 at a furious pace with three launches in three weeks for Flamengo, RSC Anderlecht and FC Basel – in 2008, series organizers have hit top gear with yesterday's announcement of the confirmation of electronics supplier Pi Research joining chassis contractor Elan Motorsports Technologies and engine manufacturer Menard Competition Technologies.
This weekend, British race fans also get their first chance to see the Superleague Formula cars at Autosport International – the Racing Car Show at Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre, located less than 35 miles from Donington Park. PSV Eindhoven and Flamengo's cars are on display at the Superleague Formula stand at the show which attracts more than 75,000 visitors annually.
With the grid filling fast and the Superleague Formula car set to hit the track for the first time in March, series President and CEO Alex Andreu is eagerly awaiting the exciting year ahead.
"Our team has had a brief opportunity to rest their batteries over Christmas but 2008 has now arrived and we are only eight months away from the first race," Andreu said.
"FC Porto was one of our initial clubs to sign and we thrilled to kick off 2008 with the unveiling of the "dragon" here in the famous port city.
"We have a host of good news to announce in the weeks ahead – both new clubs and race teams. As spring draws near, we'll also have news on testing, drivers, marketing partners, television deals and major promotions.
"After many years of hard work behind the scenes, everyone in our ever-expanding team in Barcelona can't wait for our kick off."