Beijing takes first ever Superleague race
Beijing Guoan has stormed to victory in the first ever Superleague Formula event – turning pole position into a stunning victory over AS Roma and Tottenham Hotspur.
|The start - The Beijing team grabs first|
Beijing's Davide Rigon beat fellow front-row starter Borja Garcia (Sevilla FC) to turn one off the rolling start and edged out a gap over his Spanish rival. Back in the pack, Borussia Dortmund's Nelson Philippe and Corinthians's Andy Soucek were involved in a traffic jam with Philippe hitting the rear of Soucek. The Corinthians driver was spun around while Philippe lost his front wing.
AC Milan fans also faced disappointment when Robert Doornbos fell out of the race on the opening lap, brining out the safety car.
Rigon led from the ensuing restart and AS Roma's Enrico Toccacelo quickly moved into second place.
|Davide Rigon, Beijing Guoan Superleague Formula, winner of race 1 Donington Park|
Tottenham Hotspur's Duncan Tappy faced initial pressure from Olympiacos driver Kasper Andersen and later faced another red car in his mirrors, this time, PSV Eindhoven's Yelmer Buurman.
At the front of the pack, Rigon and Beijing continued to lead with Toccacelo and Roma trying to bridge the gap. The battle for fifth place was also hotting up with Liverpool's Adrian Valles challenging the Al-Ain car of Andreas Zuber.
Valles had started from the rear of the grid after suffering alternator problems in qualifying and eventually passed Zuber with less than a minute remaining.
At the checkered flag, Beijing scored the victory by 2.577 seconds over AS Roma and Tottenham Hotspur.
For the second race this afternoon, AC Milan's Robert Doornbos will head the pack for the first Superleague Formula reverse grid event.
DAVID RIGON (Beijing Guoan)
"The race was very difficult because the safety car destroyed a bit of my advantage and it was difficult on the restart to extend the gap again.
"With a lot of fuel on board, the car was very different from qualifying but I pushed very hard throughout the race. My guys told me the Roma car was closing and I had to push event more without taking too many risks.
"I'm delighted to take the first Superleague Formula victory for my club – it is a great start."
ENRICO TOCCACELO (AS Roma)
"I had a really good start and made up two places then chased down the Sevilla car.
"I started to close the gap a bit to Davide and Beijing but our times were very similar and I wasn't able to get close enough.
"I am now really confident for the rest for the rest of the season. I think my guys have done a really good job. I am really happy about that."
DUNCAN TAPPY (Tottenham Hotspur)
"It is a great feeling to get up on the podium because I woke up on Wednesday morning and didn't think I was going to be doing anything this weekend.
"Then I got the call about Spurs and I didn't hesitate for 1 second. It is all a bit of a fairytale at the moment and it is great to represent Tottenham Hotspur and hopefully this will be the first of many podiums.
"I was quick on the first half of the lap but the PSV car was quicker on the second half of the circuit - it was a little bit tricky. I had to tell myself to concentrate and not do anything silly and bring it home."
Result - Donington Park, Race 1
||- 2.577 sec|
||- 14 laps|
||- 18 laps|
||- 19 laps|
||- 21 laps|
||- 22 laps|
||- 26 laps|
||- 28 laps|