Eurointernational branches out into Superleague
Brazilian Superleague Formula football club Corinthians have joined forces with the experienced trans-Atlantic race team Eurointernational for its inaugural 2008 championship assault.
Corinthians unveiled their black and white-liveried Superleague Formula entry in Sao Paulo last month and have now finalized a deal with Eurointernational team boss, Antonio Ferrari.
In addition to its Superleague Formula efforts, Eurointernational will run cars in Formula BMW competition in both the US and Europe this year, plus the US-based Atlantic Championship.
With bases in Italy and Indianapolis, Eurointernational began in the US CART Championship in 1989 and has gone on to compete in IMSA sportscar racing, the Indy 500, Indy Racing League, US Formula 3, Eurocup Formula Renault Championship, Eurocup Formula Renault V6, US Formula Renault 2000, World Series by Renault as well as Formula BMW in both Europe and the US.
“Looking at the technical specifications of the car and the format for the weekend, this is very much a championship for drivers,” Ferrari said.
“You are going to need very professional and capable pilots. It is a very challenging car to drive and having a reverse grid will certainly provide a lot of excitement.
“It is also important to have very high quality race teams because the Superleague Formula machine is a very serious race car.
“At Eurointernational, we have been building up for this championship since November last year and we are greatly looking forward to it.”
Since its debut in 1989, Eurointernational has contested 313 events across the globe, scoring 49 wins and a total of 103 podium finishes. The squad has also recorded ten team championships and six driver’s titles.
While Ferrari’s squad has been successful in international motorsport, the Italian actually had his sights set on a football career when he was a young man.
“I have always been a huge football fan and played at a semi-professional level in the fourth division in Italy when I was 18,” Ferrari said.
“Unfortunately, I got badly injured when I got kicked in the head and spent six months in hospital - that was the end of my football career. After that I headed to university to study mechanical engineering and that led to motor racing.
“I have always been a big Juventus fan, but now obviously I am a big Corinthians fan as well.”
The Brazilian inter-championship rivalry between Corinthians and the Rio-based Flamengo is set to be a highlight of the Superleague Formula championship. Ferrari is aware of the weight of expectation from the Sao Paulo Corinthians community.
“When I was at the launch in Brazil at Corinthians I could feel the fans have the same level of passion as they do in Italy,” Ferrari said.
“I feel a great sense of responsibility to the fans because they want to succeed, and of course Ayrton Senna was a big Corinthians fan.”
Corinthians and Flamengo are set to do battle in Superleague Formula with 20 other leading international football clubs including AC Milan, FC Porto, Olympiacos, PSV Eindhoven, Borussia Dortmund, RSC Anderlecht, FC Basel, Galatasaray SK, and Sevilla.
The 750 horsepower, V-12 powered Superleague Formula car debuted at Donington Park in the UK recently and is due to continue testing at Circuito Monteblanco in Spain after Easter.