Sevilla stars in the wet in Donington Sevilla FC driver Borja Garcia pulled out a stunning performance to claim victory in the pouring rain in Superleague Formula's first reverse grid race today at Donington Park.
Starting from position seven, Sevilla had moved up to fifth when the race was disrupted by a safety car period on the opening lap when FC Porto (Tristan Gommendy) and Al Ain (Andreas Zuber) made contact. Zuber spun off the circuit and was unable to continue while Gommendy was forced to pit lane to replace a flat tire.
PSV Eindhoven driver Yelmer Buurman was also forced to visit the pit lane to remove a piece of advertising signage which Zuber had previously crashed through and deposited on the track.
On the restart, Garcia proved to be the rain master while other teams suffered spins in the treacherous conditions. Galatasaray, Borussia Dortmund and Basel all suffered spins allowing Sevilla to move forward.
All were able to continue except for Galatasaray driver Alessandro Pier Guidi who spun off the circuit in the Craner Curves and struck the car of Rangers' driver Ryan Dalziel. The Scot had gone off on the previous lap in the same location.
A second safety car period allowed Garcia and Sevilla to close on their Brazilian rival and the Spaniard grabbed the lead with 14 minutes remaining at Goddards.
Behind the lead battle, Liverpool driver Adrian Valles was also starring in the wet after starting 12th. Valles made the move past Borussia Dortmund driver Nelson Philippe who had looked set to claim the final spot on the podium until the final moments of the race.
Race 1 winner Davide Rigon (Beijing Guoan) pulled out a solid performance to finish in 6th position, just behind Tottenham Hotspur's Duncan Tappy.
Beijing now leads the inaugural Superleague Formula championship on 79 points followed by British rivals Totttenham Hotspur and Liverpool (72), Sevilla (68), AS Roma (63), PSV Eindhoven (59), Flamengo (52), FC Basel (46), FC Porto (46), Borussia Dortmund (44), Al Ain (37), Rangers (33), Olympiacos (30), Corinthians (30), Galatasaray (24), RSC Anderlecht (17) and AC Milan (6).
The championship battle will resume in three weeks time when Superleague Formula heads to Germany on September 20/21 at the Nurburgring.
BORJA GARCIA (Sevilla FC) "I was unlucky this morning because I had a little problem with the downshift, but the car was perfect in the wet and I am thrilled to take this race. "It was very difficult out there, especially when I was behind Tuka. It was really hard to fight for position because it was tough for me to see and of course, Tuka couldn't see much in his mirrors either. "I think this has been a really good debut for Superleague Formula. The series has changed a lot of things from what we are normally used to. It has really been amazing to merge football with these great cars."
TUKA ROCHA (Flamengo) "Unfortunately, we had a small problem in the first race but it was great to be at the front for nearly all the race in race two. It was very difficult however, I nearly spun three times. "Borja was very fast and did a great job but I just had to keep my position. This result is very important for Brazil because the media is extremely interested in this championship. It was great to show we are competitive in the first race and I have to say a big thank you to everyone from our team. Also, it was great to beat Corinthians – I am sure we are going to have a big rivalry."
ADRIAN VALLES (Liverpool FC) "I am really pleased because we had an alternator problem in qualifying but this morning I was able to move to fifth from the back of the grid. "In the reverse grid race, I had to go towards the back of the grid again, but it wasn't a problem – I was still able to make the podium. "I am really happy for my team and the Liverpool fans who came to watch today. "I have to thank the club for the opportunity to drive their car – I have really enjoyed it and am looking forward to hopefully being their driver for a long time."
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