Superleague Formula adds Brazil's Corinthians to the grid

Superleague Formula adds Brazil's Corinthians to the grid

30.01.2008: Superleague Formula adds Brazil's Corinthians to the grid

Popular Brazilian club and former FIFA World Club Champions Corinthians are the latest team to join Superleague Formula – the new championship featuring the colours of the world's leading football on 750 horsepower single seaters.

The Sao Paulo-based squad is the 11th team to secure its place on the Superleague Formula grid. Corinthian's black and white Menard V12-powered Panoz car will form a fierce rivalry with the red and black machine of Rio de Janeiro opposition, Flamengo.

Corinthians becomes the second club announcement of the week after Spain's Sevilla was revealed as a Superleague Formula entrant on Monday.

Corinthians earned the FIFA World Club Championship crown in 2000, taking the first ever title awarded when they toppled Vasco da Gama on penalties (4-3) at Rio's Maracana Stadium.

The club has four Brazilian Serie A titles to its credit, the most recent being in 2005. They also won the Brazilian Cup in 1995 and 2002 and the Brazilian Supercup in 1991. On their home turf in Sao Paulo – Corinthians have earned the state championship on 25 occasions.

With football and motorsport hugely popular in Brazil, the rivalry between the Rio and Sao Paulo-based clubs is expected to be a highlight of the Superleague Formula championship which kicks off at Donington Park in the UK in August.

With eight world drivers championships and five FIFA World Cup victories – Brazil provides a perfect mix of prowess from both sports, an ideal mix for Superleague Formula.

Corinthians join AC Milan, PSV Eindhoven, Olympiacos, FC Porto, Borussia Dortmund, RSC Anderlecht, Flamengo, FC Basel, Galtasaray SK and the newly announced Sevilla on the 20 club grid.

"We witnessed an amazing reception when we launched the Flamengo entry in Brazil," Superleague Formula CEO and President Alex Andreu said.

"That reaction really convinced both Corinthians and Superleague Formula that having a major Sao Paulo-based club would be hugely beneficial for the championship and the club itself.

"We now have the two most popular clubs in that region of the world – a huge fan base who will be very keen to see their team take on Europe's best at race tracks around the world.

"We are very much looking forward to heading back to Brazil prior to the commencement of the championship to officially unveil the Corinthians entry for their fans."

With 11 clubs already on board, a Spanish-based team has also been signed and will be the next club officially confirmed. Superleague Formula has also agreed terms with additional clubs from the UK, France, Mexico, Korea, Portugal and the United Arab Emirates and these are scheduled to be announced during the coming weeks.

At each of the six rounds, the leading football teams will fight it out for 1 million euro prizemoney. Each race weekend will feature two separate races with one being a complete reverse grid.

"Corinthians is delighted at the opportunity to expand our sporting endeavors into an entirely new competition," Corinthians Chairman Andrés Sanchez said.

"Corinthians is delighted at the opportunity to expand our sporting endeavors into an entirely new competition," Corinthians Chairman Andrés Sanchez said.

"Superleague Formula is a great chance for Corinthians to do battle with some of the other leading names in world football – our chance to fight it out on the world stage.

"The people of the city and state of Sao Paulo are not only follow football with passion, but are also huge motorsport fans as well.

"Our region of Brazil has an enormous motorsport history and Corinthians is looking forward to adding to that.

"For our club, participating in this championship makes perfect sense. It expands our brand onto the world stage, we will get to compete with leading European clubs and we are especially looking forward to continuing our rivalry with Flamengo in an entirely new competition." 
 

-Paul Ryan-  photos Superleague

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/superleague-formula-brazil-corinthians-flamengo-fifa-champions-sao-paulo---32379.html

30.01.2008 / MaP

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