Robert Doornbos topped the first day of Superleague Formula testing for AC Milan at Vallelunga yesterday, as eight of the 16 cars currently signed up took to the track.
The Dutchman is looking forward to the opening round of the new series at Donington Park on August 30-31 and expects it to catch the imagination of both motorsport and football fans.
"You know that the cars are all equal, there is no difference," he said. "Everybody has the same gearbox, engine, tyres - it's really hard work to go quicker than somebody else in this type of car, so I think it will be a really spectacular series. The sound is amazing, the fans will love it."
The top three cars at Vallelunga yesterday were separated by just quarter of a second at the end of the day's running, with Doornbos edging out Davide Rigon of German club Borussia Dortmund and Alessandro Pier Guidi of Turkish side Galatasaray.
The Scuderia Playteam outfit is running both the Milan and Galatasaray cars, with Zakspeed opertaing the Dortmund entry.
Fisichella Motor Sport's AS Roma car was fourth quickest, with Enrico Toccacelo behind the wheel, ahead of the Team Astromega Flamengo (Brazil) and Anderlecht (Belgium) cars with Giacomo Ricci and Kasper Anderson on board.
Daniel la Rosa and Max Wissel completed the timesheet for GU Racing's Olympiacos (Greece) and FC Basel (Switzerland) cars respectively.
The test at Vallelunga continues today and tomorrow, with Dubai-based GP2 racer Andi Zuber set for Al Ain of the United Arab Emirates, and former GP2 racers Borja Garcia and Yelmer Buurman ready to drive for Spanish side Sevilla, and Dutch club PSV Eindhoven.
The other teams to have signed up for the inaugural season are Tottenham Hotspur, Glasgow Rangers, FC Porto, Corinthians, and Beijing Guoan.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1. Robert Doornbos AC Milan 1:23.754
2. Davide Rigon Borussia Dortmund 1:23.965 +0.211
3. Alessander Pier Guidi Galatasaray 1:24.012 +0.258
4. Enrico Toccacelo AS Roma 1:24.372 +0.618
5. Giacomo Ricci Flamengo 1:24.445 +0.691
6. Kasper Anderson Anderlecht 1:25.521 +1.767
7. Daniel la Rosa Olympiacos 1:26.482 +2.728
8. Max Wissel FC Basel 1:27.753 +3.999