Doornbos/AC Milan takes first race at Nurburgring
AC Milan’s Robert Doornbos became the third different winner in three Superleague Formula races staged to date with a stunning drive from pole position at the Nurburgring today.
Doornbos grabbed the lead off the rolling start with second row starter Antonio Pizzonia on his tail in second.
RSC Anderlecht’s Craig Dolby made a storming start from position five to briefly challenge for second at turn one - almost running off the circuit on the exit. The young Brit settled into third place - ousting front-row starter Alessandro Pier Guidi from Galatasaray.
Back in the pack, trouble struck for AS Roma, Flamengo and Atletico Madrid. Roma was unable to get away off the starting grid and started from pit lane - only to retire on the opening lap.
Flamengo’s day also ended early with a spin into retirement on the first lap as well.
Newcomer Atletico Madrid suffered alternator issues and could not take part in the opening race.
Borussia Dortmund driver Nelson Philippe gave the German fans something to cheer for - moving from 10th on the grid to 5th in the early laps. However, the early progress of BVB came unstuck after three laps when Philippe retired with an oil pump issue - tragically forcing the home team out for the day.
The pit stop window opened on lap eight with FC Porto, Al Ain and Galatasaray the first to make their stops. Doornbos (AC Milan) and Dolby (Anderlecht) made perfect stops, but Corinthians driver Antonio Pizzonia stalled during his stop on lap 15 and lost additional time.
Young German star Max Wissel aboard the FC Basel did a long first stint and was the last car to make its compulsory stop on lap 16 - before giving the race lead back to Doornbos and AC Milan.
Donington race 1 podium finisher Tottenham Hotspur (Duncan Tappy) ran off the circuit and spun into retirement on lap 19 - the car stranded back on the track.
But for Doornbos and AC Milan, the Dutch/Italian combination was untroubled in the run to the flag - taking victory over Anderlecht (Craig Dolby) and Galatasaray (Alessandro Pier Guidi).
The top five was completed by Rangers - a strong performance from stand-in driver James Walker to move from 12th on the grid to fourth - and championship leader, Davide Rigon (Bejing Guoan).
ROBERT DOORNBOS (AC Milan)
“I was bit worried at the start when I locked up the brakes into turn one - I was very keen to make sure I led on the opening lap. The tires are cold early and it was easy to get a vibration from a flat spot. I starting pulling away from Antonio (Pizzonia, Corinthians) and we had a very good pit stop.
“I am happy I practiced with the team until late last night.
“It was certainly worth it because our stop went well and the last ten laps were an easy ride and I was able to bring it home. It is a great result for AC Milan and myself and I am now looking forward to the rest of the championship.”
CRAIG DOLBY (RSC Anderlecht)
“At turn one I thought I would stay on the inside and be safe after starting from position five - it all went wrong from there because there were two cars already moving to the inside and I went wide instead and hit a bump, locked a brake and went wide. Antonio (Pizzonia, Corinthians) went past but I pushed him hard to the first pit stop and my Anderlecht guys did a great job.
“I kept pushing throughout the race and ended up in P2. It is great for me to score this podium for Anderlecht because we are off to Belgium for the next race at Zolder - its perfect timing.”
ALESSANDRO PIER GUIDI (Galatasaray SK)
“I didn’t make a very good start but I pushed hard throughout the race, especially after the pit stop. It is a great result for Galatasaray and all our guys - I am very happy to be here.
“The team has done a lot of work since Donington and they have done an excellent job in preparing the car
“My pit stop wasn’t perfect but this was the first time to make a stop and overall I am very pleased.”
RESULTS - Nurburgring, Race 1
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||DNF -6 laps |
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||DNF -19 laps|
||DNF -23 laps|
||DNF -26 laps|
||DNF -26 laps|
(official): Beijing Guoan, 111; Sevilla FC, 97; Tottenham Hotspur, 84; Liverpool FC, 82; PSV Eindhoven, 77; AS Roma, 69; FC Porto, 69; Rangers FC, 69; FC Basel, 66; Galatasaray, 64; RSC Anderlecht, 62; Flamengo, 59; Corinthians, 56; AC Milan, 56; Al-Ain, 53; Borussia Dortmund, 52; Olympiacos, 44.