Spurs' Dolby claims first ever pole
|By Charles Bradley||Saturday, May 22nd 2010, 14:26 GMT|
Series leader Craig Dolby of Tottenham Hotspur will start from pole position in Sunday's opening race of the third round of Superleague Formula at Magny-Cours in France, the first time he has claimed the honour in qualifying.
In a result Spurs fans will dream about ahead of next year's Champions' League football fixtures, the London club defeated Italian giants AC Milan in the final.
Dolby drove a stellar final sector to defeat Yelmer Buurman, who was 0.183 seconds ahead by the second sector and also ahead in the first. But in an amazing reversal, Dolby crossed the finish line 0.222s ahead. Buurman's only obvious mistake was running wide at the exit of the final chicane.
Dolby saw off Olympiacos' Chris van der Drift in the first semi final, the Briton quickest in every sector of the lap on his way to recording a straightforward 1.22s victory. Max Wissel (FC Basel) was not in the same league as Buurman in the second semi either, Buurman trouncing him by 1.872s. Wissel pulled off on his slowing down lap, suggesting a technical issue was troubling him.
In the quarter finals, Dolby beat Sebastien Bourdais (Lyon) in a fantastic duel. Bourdais, who was fortunate to qualify for the knock-out rounds after his best group session time was erased due to it being set under yellow flags, was faster in the first two sectors, but Dolby was again immense over the closing corners, and reversed a deficit into a 0.078s winning margin.
Wissel defeated Assen dominator Davide Rigon (Anderlecht) by 0.152s, while Buurman laid waste to John Martin (Beijing Guoan) by 1.082s. This was eclipsed in the last quarter final, when Alvaro Parente (Porto) turned a 0.016s advantage into a 0.855s deficit after locking up at the Adelaide hairpin. He crossed the line 1.1s in arrears.
Julien Jousse topped the Group A times, but was not permitted to progress to the knock-out stages as he set his fastest time under yellow flags. He was joined on the sidelines by Borja Garcia (Sporting Lisbon), Maria de Villota (Atletico Madrid) and Marcos Martinez, who shunted his Sevilla car heavily into the tyre wall at the high-speed Imola chicane.
In Group B, labelled the 'group of death' by observers due to its level of competitiveness, those to not progress to the knock-outs were Liverpool's James Walker, who lost valuable track time to an electrical fire in practice, plus local favourites Franck Perera (Flamengo) and Franck Montagny (Bordeaux), who were surprise drop-outs. Also out were Robert Doornbos (Corinthians) and Tristan Gommendy (Galatasary).
Pos Driver Team Time 1. Craig Dolby Tottenham Hotspur 1m27.029s 2. Yelmer Buurman AC Milan 1m27.251s 3. Max Wissel FC Basel 1m29.211s 4. Chris van der Drift Olympiacos 1m28.559s 5. Alvaro Parente FC Porto 1m28.735s 6. John Martin Beijing Guoan 1m28.325s 7. Davide Rigon RSC Anderlecht 1m27.907s 8. Sebastien Bourdais Olympique Lyonnais 1m27.421s 9. James Walker Liverpool FC 1m27.725s 10. Borja Garcia Sporting 1m29.418s 11. Franck Perera Flamengo 1m27.774s 12. Maria de Villota Atletico de Madrid 1m29.499s 13. Franck Montagny Girondins de Bordeaux 1m28.117s 14. Julien Jousse AS Roma 1m36.656s 15. Robert Doornbos Corinthians 1m28.433s 16. Marcos Martinez Sevilla FC 17. Tristan Gommendy Galatasaray 1m28.500s