Rigon reigns again for RSC Anderlecht

Rigon reigns again for RSC Anderlecht

16.05.2010: Davide Rigon gave RSC Anderlecht fans a weekend to remember in round 2 of Superleague Formula by Sonangol in Assen by adding Super Final victory to his earlier race 1 triumph to scoop Ä100,000. The Italian driverís performance puts Anderlecht, who recentl

Davide Rigon gave RSC Anderlecht fans a weekend to remember in round 2 of Superleague Formula by Sonangol in Assen by adding Super Final victory to his earlier race 1 triumph to scoop €100,000. The Italian driver’s performance puts Anderlecht, who recently clinched a record-breaking 30th Belgian League title, firmly in the hunt for the Superleague Formula title.

 

Rigon started on the front row of the six-car, five-lap, dash-for-the-cash Super Final and capitalised on a slow start for pole sitter Craig Dolby to lead into the first corner.

Dolby, who also had to fend off a challenge from AC Milan’s Yelmer Buurman into turn 1, tried to come back at Rigon on the first lap, but couldn’t get close enough to make a move on the Italian. He would eventually finish second to consolidate his championship lead, although he had his hands full with home-favourite Buurman as the pair swapped places twice on the penultimate lap.

Buurman, who was fast all weekend for the Italian giants but had small problems in races 1 and 2, finished third with James Walker fourth for Liverpool, FC Basel’s Max Wissel in fifth and Flamengo’s Franck Perera sixth.

Earlier, in race 2, Olympiacos bounced back from  a disappointing gearbox-induced retirement in race 1 with a fine victory as the Greek club’s Dutch driver Chris van der Drift clinched a first-ever Superleague Formula win in only his second ever event.

Starting on the second row, van der Drift followed pole sitter Borja Garcia of Sporting Lisbon during the opening part of the race, but pitted a lap earlier than the Spaniard when the pit stop window opened. A superb job from the Olympiacos pit crew and a fast in and out lap by van der Drift saw him leapfrog into the lead and go on to take a relatively comfortable win.

Tottenham’s Dolby looked like the man most likely to threaten van der Drift after the pit stops having charged up the field from tenth. He made it into fifth in the first stint and then jumped Sevilla and Bordeaux during the pit window, but, after dispatching Sporting Lisbon for second after rejoining, he couldn’t get close enough to van der Drift to deny Olympiacos the win.

Franck Montagny recovered from the disappointment of his race 1 gearbox failure to finish third ahead of Sevilla’s Marcos Martinez and Sporting Lisbon’s Garcia, who struggled on worn tyres after his stop but held off Walker of reigning champions Liverpool.

Buurman was seventh after a strong drive from 12th for AC Milan, while Tristan Gommendy (Galatasaray), Narain Karthikeyan (PSV Eindhoven) and race 1 winner Rigon completed the top ten.

Sebastien Bourdais didn’t start the race for Lyon after a gearbox issue prior to the race, completing a disastrous weekend for the Frenchman after he was taken out early in race 1, while Beijing Guoan’s John Martin, Corinthians’ Robert Doornbos and FC Porto’s Alvaro Parente were all eliminated in a first lap accident.

Among the 18,000 spectators enjoying the Superleague Formula race day at Assen were Mr Jacques Tichelaar, the Deputy to the Queen for the region of Drenthe, and Sicko Heldoorn, the Mayor of Assen, who joined the drivers on a lap of honour before race 2 aboard a Porsche Panamera.


Driver quotes:


Davide Rigon, RSC Anderlecht:
“I’ve never seen so much money in all my life! It has been a fantastic weekend and not one that we expected after Silverstone. We have learned a lot since then and for me the season has started here. We’ll push for the championship, even though it will be difficult because everyone is fast, but I can’t wait for Magny-Cours next weekend where I’m hoping to be fighting for the podium again.”

Craig Dolby, Tottenham Hotspur
: “I need to thank all the guys at Alan Docking Racing because they worked so hard last night after our disappointing qualifying. I made a few mistakes on Saturday but I’ve paid the boys back today and this is a fantastic result for Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. I know the circuit at Magny-Cours quite well so I’m hoping for even better next weekend.”

Yelmer Buurman, AC Milan
: “I’m very happy to be on the podium at my home race, although we could have had even more from this weekend. We had some small problems in both the main races but I tried my best in the Super Final and I was almost in the lead at the start but was on the outside and couldn’t defend. Third is a good reward though and we now look forward to Magny-Cours.”


Round 3 of the 2010 Superleague Formula by Sonangol takes place next weekend at Magny-Cours in France.



- Andy Wilkinson, Tom Hornsby-

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16.05.2010 / MaP

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