Donington: Hard first round for Scuderia Playteam Sarafree

Donington: Hard first round for Scuderia Playteam Sarafree

31.08.2008: Donington: Hard first round for Scuderia Playteam Sarafree

Superleague Formula

Scuderia Playteam Sarafree started the first ever 28-lap Superleage Formula race at Donington with its cars fifth and seventh on the grid.

Unfortunately both cars suffered engine failures and did not finish the first race. Robert Doornbos' (AC Milan) engine could not be fixed in time for race two leaving only Alessandro Pier Guidi (Galatasaray SK) holding the hopes of the team. But heavy rainfall meant Alessandro Pier Guidi had a short race after aquaplaning on fifth lap, although he had been running third at the time.

In race one Robert Doornbos (AC Milan) was unable to finish the first lap, despite passing three cars at the start while Alessandro Pier Guidi (Galatasaray SK) was running in eighth. Robert Doornbos (AC Milan) suffered a fuel leak, causing a failure on the V12-powered 750-horsepower engine. Doornbos was the first driver out of the race.

Meanwhile, Alessandro Pier Guidi Galatasaray SK was sixth in the classification until a cruel engine failure on lap ten forced him out of the race.

Robert Doornbos (AC Milan) commented: "Overall the weekend went well until the start of the first race. Of course, I am bitterly disappointed with the incident with my car at the start of the race. I was used to the rolling starts from my previous career in Champcar and things should have gone better especially because I was third at turn one. I do not know the problem because from the start, there was a fuel leak in my car and my overall was very wet with fuel.

The next thing I know is a big fire behind me. Then there was no power and the car was not moving. Unfortunately the car could not come back early enough to the pits so that the mechanics could fix it for race 2 and I was not able to start. It's a real shame not only was I set to start from pole, but also Franco Baresi had come to watch our race and I hate to disappoint my heroes!"

Alessandro Pier Guidi (Galatasaray SK) added: "I am sorry I did not see thechequered flag in race one. The car was well set-up and the start was ok so I am very disappointed to have lost my car after a big engine blow and a lot of white smoke. I had the first indication of trouble as the safety car was ahead of us and the water temperature was very high.

Then the safety car disappeared and then the incident occurred. Luckily, going off, I did not damage it so I could at least start the second race after the mechanics and engineers rebuilt the car in record time. With Robert's absence from pole that created a hole on the grid in front of me, in fact, I was able to take a very good start. As the rain was very strong, the safety car came out for over three laps.

Despite the fact that there was still a lot of water on the track, we restarted on lap 6. By then I was third and fighting severe aquaplaning. Eventually I went off losing my rear wing just before the safety car was deployed again."

 

- Agnes Carlier - Photos Superleague Formula

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31.08.2008 / MaP

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