Doornbos claims Superleague pole
|By Peter Mills||Saturday, September 20th 2008, 14:29 GMT|
Robert Doornbos claimed pole position for AC Milan at round two of the Superleague Formula at the Nurburgring.
Doornbos's result is timely, after engine difficulties prevented the Dutchman from completing a single racing lap in round one at Donington. The proposed pole-position shoot out between Doornbos and Galatasaray's Alessandro Pier Guidi failed to materialise when Pier Guidi's car was found not to have sufficient fuel left in it.
With refuelling during qualifying outlawed, Pier Guidi paid the price for racking up the miles in the opening part of the session.
"There was no fuel in the car because it is my first time at the Nurburgring and I needed to improve my knowledge of the track," said Pier Guidi. "We were also missing a part this morning so I missed out in one of the free practice sessions, so that's why I did a lot of laps in the first part of qualifying."
Corinthian's Antonio Pizzonia will start third. The Brazilian lost out to Doornbos in the second semi-final but remained pleased with the performance in his debut race in the championship.
The youngest driver in the Superleague field, 18 year-old Formula Renault NEC racer Max Wissel, claimed the fastest time in the group stage of qualifying before emerging in fourth from the shoot-out phase. Wissel ousted Pizzonia's Eurointernational entry to head the A qualifying group, but was forced to abandon his semi-final lap.
Wissel had been four-tenths of a second up on Pier Guidi when his Panoz Elan slowed with faltering oil pressure.
Porto's Tristan Gommendy completed the four fastest A-group runners that progressed into the Superleague quarter finals and the Frenchman will start seventh in tomorrow's opening race.
Doornbos was fastest in the B group that was marked by a superb performance from RSC Anderlecht's (Astromega's) Craig Dolby. With half-a-minute remaining Dolby moved into P2, displacing Liverpool's Adrian Valles for the position.
Donington winner Borja Garcia was unable to set a time, while Enrico Toccacelo had an off for AS Roma and will start on the penultimate row.
Flamengo's Tuka Rocha was slapped with a ten-place grid penalty for disobeying flag signals that relegated him to last.
Pos Driver Team 1. Robert Doornbos AC Milan 2. Alessandro Pier Guidi Galatasaray 3. Antonio Pizzonia Corinthians 4. Max Wissel FC Basel 5. Craig Dolby Anderlecht 6. Adrian Valles Liverpool 7. Tristan Gommendy FC Porto 8. Kasper Andersen Olympiacos 9. Yelmer Buurman PSV Eindhoven 10. Nelson Philippe Borussia Dortmund 11. Duncan Tappy Tottenham Hotspur 12. James Walker Rangers 13. Davide Rigon Beijing Guoan 14. Andy Soucek Atletico Madrid 15. Andi Zuber Al Ain 16. Enrico Toccacelo AS Roma 17. Borja Garcia Sevilla FC 18. Tuka Rocha Flamengo