AS Roma and Fisichella join Superleague Formula
Current Coppa Italia winners AS Roma are ready for an assault on the inaugural Superleague Formula championship – teaming up with lifelong fan and three-time Formula 1 race winner Giancarlo Fisichella's race team.
Fisichella Motor Sport International will run the Rome club's entry in the new motor racing championship which brings together the colors of the world's leading football clubs at key race tracks across Europe.
The race team currently compete in GP2 and the International Formula BMW Championship. A madly passionate Roma fan, Fisichella is a personal friend of star striker and club captain, Francesco Totti
AS Roma becomes the second Italian football team to line up on the Superleague Formula grid behind northern Italian rivals, AC Milan.
The club's new race team has its sight set on repeating AS Roma's Coppa Italia win from last season – a result that further enhanced its record as the most successful Coppa Italia team – nine victories (including the past two seasons) and seven times runner-up.
While AS Roma may only have three Serie A titles to its credit, the club have enjoyed great success since the turn of the century – scoring their third Serie A crown in 2000-01 and finishing runners up a further five times.
Fisichella Motor Sport first raced in the Italian F3000 series in 2005 and scored championship success the following season in the Italian and European Championships. In 2006, Fisichella joined forces with Coloni Motorsport to form Fisichella Motor Sport International to begin its race winning GP2 campaign.
The team currently field ex-British Formula 3 champion Marko Asmer and Spanish driver Roldan Rodriguez in GP2 competition.
“For me Superleague Formula is a dream come true: joining motor racing and football, the two sports that I love the most," Fisichella said.
"Knowing that my racing team will run in the colors of my club and to be able to share this challenge with my friend Francesco Totti, is just fantastic!”
Fellow Roman Enrico Toccacelo has been selected to drive the AS Roma car. An ex-Formula 1 test driver with Minardi, Toccacelo finished second in the 2004 International Formula 3000 championship and has also competed for Italy in A1GP – scoring a race victory in 2006-07.
“When Giancarlo called me to confirm that I would be the AS Roma race car driver, I couldn’t believe it.," Toccacelo said.
"Me and Giancarlo have always been friends and have always shared the same strong passion towards motorsport. AS Roma is the team I love the most and I usually follow most of their matches on TV. Now the players will be supporting me…that is incredible!”
Roma will now compete against European rivals, AC Milan, PSV Eindhoven, Olympiacos, FC Porto, Borussia Dortmund, RSC Anderlecht, FC Basel, Sevilla, Rangers and Galatasaray. International competition will come from Brazilian rivals Flamengo and Corinthians; Chinese club Beijing Guoan and UAE team, Al Ain.
The Superleague Formula championship will kick off at Britain's Donington Park circuit on August 30/31.
The remaining five rounds of the championship will be staged at the Nurburgring (GER), September 20/21; Zolder (BEL), October 4/5; Estoril (POR), October 18/19; Vallelunga (ITA), November 1/2; and Jerez (Spain), November 22/23.
“Having AS Roma and Giancarolo’s race team join our championship is going to be fantastic for the Italian fans,” Superleague Formula President and CEO Alex Andreu said.
“We are now set to have a fantastic rivalry in Italy between Milan and Roma. For the Roma fans – having their football club, run by a Roman Formula One star, with a Roman driver at the controls – it really is a perfect combination. Our round at Vallelunga is going to be a sea of yellow and red.”