Sunday, 27 June 2010 04:00
Chris van der Drift gave Greek club Olympiacos its second Super Final victory in seven days as the young New Zealander produced another superb performance in round 5 of Superleague Formula by Sonangol at the Nürburgring.
Having scooped the €100,000 prize for winning the five lap dash for the cash in Jarama last weekend, van der Drift repeated the feat in Germany thanks to a brilliant start from fourth which saw him dive down the middle of front row starters AC Milan and Galatasaray into the lead.
The Superleague Formula by Sonangol rookie was more than two seconds clear at the end of the first lap and extended that advantage to 5.807 seconds at the chequered flag to become the first driver to win two Super Finals this season.
Davide Rigon also made a good start from third for RSC Anderlecht, and was second into turn 1 before settling for the place at the finish, without ever threatening van der Drift’s lead.
AC Milan’s Yelmer Buurman completed the top three to end a satisfying weekend which included a race 1 victory that sees him slash Tottenham Hotspur’s lead at the top of the league table.
Galatasaray finished fourth after losing a couple of places at the start, while FC Basel was fifth, German driver Max Wissel maintaining his 100% record of qualifying for the Super Finals in 2010.
Franck Perera suffered disappointment in the Flamengo car as he failed to get away from the grid with a suspected clutch problem.
Earlier in race 2, Alvaro Parente claimed victory for FC Porto after holding off a late race challenge from Bordeaux’s Franck Montagny.
Parente led right from the start after both he and Montagny got past pole sitter John Martin (Beijing Guoan FC) at the first corner.
The Portuguese driver’s lead was up to 2.7 seconds as Montagny pitted for his compulsory stop and the Porto car rejoined from its stop two laps later ahead of the Frenchman, although a stunning lap from Montagny had closed the gap to less than a second.
Parente’s lead stabilised at one second in the second half of the race and even though Montagny narrowed that advantage again in the closing stages, he ultimately settled for the runners up spot.
Gommendy netted his first podium of the season for Galatasaray in third, passing Atletico Madrid’s Maria de Villota on lap 2 and then jumping two places in the pit stops.
De Villota, Superleague Formula’s only female driver, produced her finest performance of the season to claim fourth, holding off strong pressure from Tottenham Hotspur’s Craig Dolby in the early stages, and then comfortably bringing the car home just outside the podium places.
FC Basel climbed from 11th to fifth, Wissel passing Dolby for the place with ten minutes to go thanks to a fine move down the inside of the Spurs man at the final corner.
Dolby struggled in the second half of the race, but ensured he kept his championship lead by taking strong points for sixth, although it wasn’t enough to make it through to the Super Final, while Borja Garcia was seventh for Sporting Lisbon.
Race 1 winner Buurman climbed from the very back of the grid to finish eighth in the AC Milan car, while Perera and Robert Doornbos (Corinthians) completed the top ten.
There was more woe for Sebastien Bourdais in the Olympique Lyonnais car as he retired from third with a gearbox problem, while Martin’s nightmare weekend also continued as he dropped through the field from pole and ultimately retired.
Reigning champions Liverpool were also left ruing their luck as James Walker pulled into the pits after the parade lap with a compressor failure and retired soon after as the team couldn’t find a way to fix the problem.
Chris van der Drift, Olympiacos:
“I can’t believe it to be honest. It’s a great reward for the team. I made a fantastic start to the Super Final. I just dropped the clutch and went straight through the middle of them, in fact I wish all the races were standing starts as I really like them! Anderlecht was quite quick, but I was just able to pull away and cruise home really. We go to Zolder looking for more of the same really.”
Davide Rigon, RSC Anderlecht:
“My start to the Super Final was fantastic and I was close to Olympiacos in the first corner. Then, I was pushing on the limit and he still was pulling away so I decided to make sure I got third as Yelmer was quite far behind. We weren’t so quick in race 2, I don’t know why, maybe the aero or the tyres. For sure I’m thinking about the championship and looking forward to Zolder, where I won in 2008, and I hope to have a good race for all the Anderlecht fans at their home track.”
Yelmer Buurman, AC Milan:
“It’s been a good weekend but I have to say a huge thank you to the guys on the team as we had to change our clutch between races 1 and 2 and they worked flat out to get it done. We’ve taken some points out of Tottenham and we’ll see what happens now in the next few rounds. We’ve been quick everywhere this season and I see no reason why we can’t be in Zolder too.”
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