Liverpool and Al-Ain score victories in Estoril

20.10.2008: Liverpool and Al-Ain score victories in Estoril

SUPERLEAGUE FORMULA

• Valles scores second season win for the "Reds"

• Meijer earns first victory for UAE club

• Beijing Guoan extends championship lead

• Pair of podiums for charging Doornbos and AC Milan

• Heartbreak for FC Porto on home soil

Liverpool and Al-Ain may have taken the race victories at the Estoril round of the Superleague Formula championship, but championship leader Beijing Guoan came away from Portugual with the biggest smile on their faces after extending their championship lead.

After his race two Zolder victory, Beijing's Davide Rigon held a 14 point lead heading into Estoril but has now extended that out to 35 points with two rounds remaining.

Beijing finished fifth in both races and now leads PSV by 35 points with Liverpool FC a single point behind.

FC Porto's Tristan Gommendy had a heartbreaking day after retiring from race one with an engine problem while running in fifth place. Despite 30 bus loads of Porto fans making the trip to Estoril, Gommendy was unable to compete in the second race after the team ran out of time to make an engine change.

Liverpool FC's Adrian Valles took the opening race victory over AC Milan's Robert Doornbos and new AS Roma driver Franck Perera. However, in race two the Spaniard clashed with Perera causing him to spin into retirement. Liverpool's race was also ruined after he was forced to pit for a new front wing.

New Borussia Dortmund driver Enrico Toccacelo also had a heartbreaking day. For the second race this year, Toccacelo held the race lead until the closing laps but this time a oil pressure issue ruined his afternoon. A late race gearbox problem ruined his chance for victory in race two at the Nurburgring.

However, new Al-Ain driver Paul Meijer benefited from the Italian's misfortune to score his and his new club's first Superleague Formula victory in the reverse grid race.

AC Milan's Robert Doornbos pulled out an incredible effort to score his second runner-up finish of the day while garage-mate Alessandro Pier Guidi scored third place.

Beijing now leads the championship on 271 points ahead of PSV Eindhoven (236), Liverpool FC (235), AC Milan (216), Sevilla FC (199), AS Roma (190), RSC Anderlecht (189), Galatasaray (180), Tottenham Hotspur (173), SC Corinthians (169), Al-Ain (167), FC Basel (161), FC Porto (145), Borussia Dortmund (143), Rangers (132), Flamengo (130), Olympiacos (110), Atletico (99).

The Superleague Formula round was attended by the football-themed championship's biggest crowd to date with 25,000 fans viewing the action at the former home of the Portuguese Grand Prix.

The championship heads to Italy for the next round of the championship at Vallelunga near Rome on November 1-2. 

 

- Paul Ryan-

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20.10.2008 / MaP

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