Beijing extends championship lead Beijing Guoan's Davide Rigon scored his third victory of the Superleague Formula season with a stunning win at Vallelunga in Italy today.
Racing on home soil, Italian Rigon started third and trailed race leader Liverpool FC (Adrian Valles) and Robert Doornbos (AC Milan) in the opening laps. Rigon was one of the first to make his compulsory pit stop on lap nine while Liverpool and Milan pitted a lap later.
The Reds suffered a slow stop allowing Milan ahead but Doornbos was unable to hold off Rigon who made a pass while Doornbos was bringing his tires up to speed on his out lap.
From that pass onwards, the Italian ace was untouchable and Rigon took his third win – backing up his previous victories from Donington Park and Zolder.
Beijing Guoan now holds a 60 point lead in the championship over AC Milan who have now risen to second place.
Milan took its third consecutive second place finish while Galatasaray's Alessandro Pier Guidi also scored his second consecutive third place finish.
For Liverpool, the chance for victory evaporated during the pit stop when the team had trouble changing on of the front tires – dropping behind AC Milan and Beijing
Valles later began suffering a fuel pressure issue that dropped him back to ninth place overall.
Flamengo's recent run of misfortune turned the corner with Tuka Rocha scoring a fighting fourth place – holding off a trail of cars for much of the race.
Rangers scored a strong finish to move from 10th on the grid to fifth place at the finish while local heroes AS Roma suffered a disappointing finish.
Franck Perera ran wide after locking a brake and lost a number of positions after running in 6th place. The Roma car later retired to pits with only three laps remaining.
Other cars to suffer misfortune during the opening race included Borussia Dortmund (suspension issue) and Spanish clubs Sevilla (flat tire and subsequent throttle sensor problem) and Atletico Madrid (overheating).
Beijing Guoan now lead on 321 ahead of AC Milan, 261; Liverpool FC, 255; PSV Eindhoven, 254; Galatasaray, 220; RSC Anderlecht, 215; Sevilla FC, 205; AS Roma, 198; Corinthians, 198; Tottenham Hotspur, 189; Al Ain, 177; FC Basel, 175; FC Porto, 168; Flamengo, 166; Rangers, 164; Borussia Dortmund, 148; Olympiacos, 122; Atletico Madrid, 106.
Davide Rigon (Beijing Guoan)
"I really wanted to win here because we had a problem at Estoril when the car was very fast and here I had a very good car and I always try to win when it is possible.
"I was looking to score lots of points and not take too many risks. Robert was still on cool tires when I made the pass but I pushed very hard and everything went well.
"I am very happy with the result and my team did a great result on the pit stops. My strategy was perfect because it was tough to chase Liverpool and AC Milan early on and pitting early put me in clean air."
Robert Doornbos (AC Milan)
"Maybe I should write my name on the back of the seat here in second place. "I have to say a big thank you for my team who did a fantastic job on the pit stop. "I really pushed on the last lap before the pit stop and was right on the gearbox of Liverpool going into the pits. "I knew if we made a good stop I had a chance of getting past but then on my out lap I saw Davide coming on hot tires and it was the same as what happened to me at Estoril. "I tried to close the door in turn one but I was on cold tires and I really had to give him room otherwise we would have both crashed. "It is still great to get a podium in Italy for AC Milan."
Alessandro Pier Guidi (Galatasaray)
"I am very happy to score this result on my home track. It is fantastic.
"A big thank you to my team because they did an incredible job on the starting grid because we had a gearbox problem which they were able to fix before the start of the race. "The car was perfect during the race and the pit stop was perfect as well. "I made a very good start and it is great to get another podium finish."
||Beijing Guoan SF Racing Team
||AC Milan SF Racing Team
||Galatasaray SK SF Racing Team
||A. Pier Guidi
||Flamengo SF Racing Team
||Rangers FC SF Racing Team
||Corinthians SF Racing Team
||RSC Anderlecht SF Racing Team
||FC Porto SF Racing Team
||Liverpool FC SF Racing Team
||PSV Eindhoven SF Racing Team
||Tottenham Hotspur SF Racing Team
||FC Basel SF Racing Team
||Olympiacos SF Racing Team
||1 lap |
||Al Ain SF Racing Team
||1 lap |
||AS Roma SF Racing Team
||3 laps |
||Atlético de Madrid SF Racing Team
||15 laps |
||Sevilla FC SF Racing Team
||22 laps |
||BVB Borussia Dortmund SF Racing Team
||30 laps |