Superleague set for thrilling street circuit debut in Beijing
Superleague Formula by Sonangol concludes its fortnight tour of China this weekend around the city streets of Beijing where a temporary road course will test the championship’s drivers to their limits.
Situated in Mapo Village of the capital’s Shunyi District, the 2.733km, 14-turn track passes through the Olympic Rowing and Canoeing Park which helped play host to the 2008 Summer Games. It will be the first time ever that Superleague Formula has staged a city race and also marks the inauguration of the Beijing International Street Circuit.
Drivers will once again have a share of €280,000 to play for in the Super Final where the weekend’s top six performers will battle it out across five laps. And if the Ordos finale, which mixed wheel-to-wheel racing, non-stop action, incident, controversy and a fairytale victory for Earl Bamber, is anything to go by then Beijing’s installment should be a cracker.
|This is the Beijing street circuit Champ Car would have raced on had it not merged with the IRL|
Beijing Guoan head into their second home round in as many weekends again amongst the favorites for victory despite not completing a single racing lap in Ordos, where significant damage sustained in a race one start-line incident prevented John Martin from contesting the second.
Meanwhile, Ordos pace-setters GU Racing, who enjoyed an excellent weekend thanks to Ben Hanley (Olympiacos) and Max Wissel (FC Basel), will be desperate to make up for a disastrous Super Final where the pair both retired after colliding at Turn 1.
There are a couple of changes on the driver front ahead of Beijing with the injured Bruno Mendez, who fractured his thumb at Ordos, replaced in the Atletico Madrid car by series returnee and former Superleague Formula race winner Paul Meijer. Alvaro Parente is back in the FC Porto seat while the Portuguese club’s Ordos Super Final victor Earl Bamber swaps to the PSV Eindhoven entry.
As this Sunday’s two 40-minute races, as well as the Super Final, constitute a non-championship round, no points will be awarded.
Robin Webb, Superleague Formula Competitions Director: “So far our trip to Asia has proven a huge success and produced unquestionably the most exciting racing of the season, as anyone who watched the Ordos round will agree. The Beijing International Street Circuit will be a very different setting and challenge to that of Inner Mongolia but, I’m confident, even more of a spectacle. The Chinese authorities and Superleague Formula have been working tirelessly for the past two weeks to physically turn this event into a reality. The track is going to pose a real challenge to the drivers, with the usual mix of narrow track and unforgiving concrete walls, so we can expect something special.”