Weekend Winner Liverpool FC outscores opposition in Belgium “Weekend Winner” honors went to Liverpool FC when Adrián Vallés (SP) placed third in both the first and second races of the Superleague Formula by Sonangol at Zolder today (19 Jul) after out-scoring the opposition to collect the €100,000 top-prize.
Tottenham Hotspur and Al Ain won the two 44min plus one lap races at the Belgian venue courtesy of Craig Dolby (GB) and series newcomer Esteban Guerrieri (ARG). Liverpool’s Vallés heads for Donington Park (UK) next month (1-2 Aug) leading the 6-rounds series by 24-points from Al Ain with Spurs, second and third respectively in the “weekend winner” contest for the highest combined points scorers from both races, a further seven points adrift.
RSC Anderlecht, the Belgian club in the single-seater series representing world-famous soccer clubs, netted eighth and 14th places and now lies 12th in the standings – Yelmer Buurman (NED) having begun the weekend second.
Interested spectators amongst the 12,000 crowd at Zolder included RSC Anderlecht players Cheikhou Kouyaté, Romelu Lukaku and Kanu, PSV Eindhoven’s Timmy Simons and Carlos Salcido plus Olympique Lyonnais President Jean-Michel Aulas.
Race 1 – British Clubs To The Fore In Opening Belgian Encounter
Tottenham Hotspur’s Craig Dolby scored his and the British club’s maiden SLF victory when he led home the Glasgow Rangers machine of SLF “rookie” John Martin (AUS). Championship leader Adrián Vallés (SP) made it a 1-2-3 for British clubs in the Liverpool FC car.
Pole-sitter FC Midtylland’s Kasper Andersen (DEN) led until stalling his engine during his compulsory pit-stop at mid-distance and later spun out of the race bringing out the Safety Car for a second time after an opening lap, first corner accident eliminated the Sporting Clube de Portugal, SC Corinthians and Atlético de Madrid cars.
Race 1 – Quotes
Tottenham Hotspur: Craig Dolby (GB)
“It’s a fantastic maiden SLF win for Tottenham Hotspur and for me. My car’s rear diffuser was broken at the first corner melee. I just pushed as hard as I could and my team did a great pit-stop.”
Glasgow Rangers: John Martin (AUS)
“I lost time during the pit-stop when the car slipped off the front jack – just like at Magny Cours. Without that problem we’d have been challenging the Spurs car for the win.”
Liverpool FC: Adrián Vallés (SP)
“Importantly I extended my championship lead. The start was crazy but I was catching FC Midtylland before he pitted but then his problem in the pits delayed my stop ‘window’ – it was a race I could have won”.
Race 2 – Al Ain Claims Second SLF Win After Late Race Pass
Al Ain’s Estaban Guerrieri (ARG) scored his first SLF race win in only his second race when he slipped ahead of the Athlético de Madrid car of Ho-Pin Tung (CHN) with five laps remaining. Adrián Vallés (SP) further enhanced his series lead with third place, the Spaniard having to forcefully keep the Olympiacos car of Davide Rigon (IT) behind.
The race began behind the Safety Car on a wet but drying track with the entire 18-car field on wet weather tyres. Flamengo and Galatasaray were early casualties while Sporting Clube de Portugal crashed heavily into the tyre wall on lap nine bringing out the Safety Car and a flurry of compulsory pit-stop activity where the cars switched to dry weather, slick tyres.
Race 2 Quotes:
Al-Ain FC: Esteban Guerrieri (ARG)
“I started race two from 13th place on the grid having finished sixth on my SLF race début – despite a spin. I’m delighted with this result and for Al Ain and absolutely love these cars.”
Atlético de Madrid: Ho-Pin Tung (CHN)
“The team did a fantastic job to repair my car after the damage received following the first corner shunt in the opening race. I wanted it to remain wet but it dried and that was not so good for our car. Nevertheless second place is a good result taking into account everything.
Liverpool FC: Adrián Vallés (SP)
“The team worked a good strategy – stopping me early for ‘slicks’ and it was just a case of defending my third place from Olympiacos as I was on ‘old’ tyres from race one. I’m very, very happy with this weekend. To go to Liverpool’s ‘home’ race leading the championship is a perfect scenario”
Next races: Donington Park, England (1-2 Aug)
General Standings - Points by race
||Atlético de Madrid
||Sporting Clube de Portugal