Interview Davide Rigon, Championship leader

21.11.2008: Interview Davide Rigon, Championship leader

Looking forward to the final event of the 2008 Superleague Formula championship, scheduled this weekend in Jerez, Spain, we spoke to Davide Rigon, Beijing Guoan driver and current championship leader.

What has the experience been like of driving the Superleague Formula car this season?

The Elan / Panoz is a fantastic car thanks to its 750 HP. This is a car that requires great physical and mental preparation, because it's very sensitive to each change (both to the weather conditions and to the balance) it's very enjoyable to drive.

"The first time I tested it I was shocked by the brakes and by the very fast gearbox. The level of the championship is high: I found myself battling against drivers coming from Formula 1, GP2 and World Series by Renault. Moreover, having so little time between the several sessions, you have to exploit every second at your utmost: even on the in-lap I'm still talking with my engineer about the changes to the car so that I can be back on track again immediately.

On Saturday evening, after the qualifying, you manage to analize the telemetry to make the most changes for the two Sunday races. The qualifying format is also enjoyable, even if there is no space for any mistake, because of the single lap."

What has it been like to represent a club like Beijing Guoan?

"I'm proud to be able to wear the colours of such an important team as Beijing Guoan and I hope to be able to give them another great result in Jerez. "I've fitted in very well with the team immediately and the guys are really prepared: each time we had a problem they could repair the car in time to let me start.

In Germany we an engine problem that slowed us down in the qualifying and they had to work all night long to replace it. In Portugal, at Estoril, they did a real miracle, because in less than two hours they managed to completely replace the gearbox."

So far which was the key point of the championship?

"Every race was very important. I took a good advantage over all the other clubs with the win at Zolder and from that moment on, I began to feel the pressure for the championship.

In that weekend too, for the first time, I didn't finish the race due to a contact with AC Milan's Robert Doornbos at the first turn. The win in the second race was so even better."

What are your expectations for the final event in Jerez?

"Two weeks ago I had the chance to test in GP2 for the first time on this track. The team is ready and we hope to end this adventure in the best way. For sure I won't be on track just thinking about the championship standings, I'll be out to get the fourth win of the season."

 

- Paul Ryan-

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21.11.2008 /

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