Meijer gets Superleague pole at Zolder

Dutch Formula Renault racer Paul Meijer will start his first Superleague Formula race from pole position after winning a dramatic shootout at Zolder this afternoon

Meijer gets Superleague pole at Zolder

Meijer's Borussia Dortmund car took pole by default after Anderlecht's Craig Dolby, running ahead of Meijer on the road, ran wide onto the dirt at the exit of the fast right-hander Kanaal Bocht and spun through 540 degrees.

Dolby gradually improved his times throughout the knockout phase of qualifying and looked the favourite to take pole after knocking out AC Milan's Robert Doornbos in the quarter finals, and Liverpool's Adrian Valles in the semis. He will start his team's home race from the front row.

"I just pushed a little bit too hard on that final lap," said Dolby. "But it's great to be on the front row considering the team only got the car going with two minutes left of first qualifying."

Both of the eventual finalists squeezed into the top-eight knockout phase after setting fourth fastest times in their respective groups during first qualifying. Dolby's came on his only flying lap at the very end of the 15-minute session, after the Astromega team had to fix a mechanical problem on the Anderlecht car.

However, each managed to steadily improve their pace to eliminate more fancied rivals en route to the pole position shootout.

Meijer's scalps included the rapid Andy Soucek (Atletico Madrid), who set the fastest time if the weekend to make it into the quarterfinals, but couldn't repeat his 1:16.9 seffort when it mattered against the Dortmund car, so he will start eighth.

Meijer, who also took out Sevilla's Borja Garcia to reach the final, said: "It's not nice to get the pole position in this way, but I'm happy - we had a very good qualifying and the team did an excellent job."

Defeated semi-finalists Valles and Garcia will start tomorrow's first race from the second row of the grid, with the championship-leading Beijing Guoan car, driven by Davide Rigon, just behind in fifth.

Rigon was lucky to sneak into the top eight after beaching his car on the exit of the Villeneuve chicane in first qualifying. But he couldn't make any impression on the knockout phase and Garcia eliminated him immediately and comfortably in the quarterfinals.

Tottenham's Duncan Tappy will start directly behind the AC Milan car in ninth spot, after just failing to make the knockout phase when Dolby pipped him to fourth spot in their group during the first qualifying session.

Ranger's Ryan Dalzial ran in the slower but more competitive group in first qualifying. He could only manage sixth fastest time, so will start tomorrow's first race from 12th on the grid.

Pos Driver                  Team  
 1. Paul Meijer             Borussia Dortmund
 2. Craig Dolby             Anderlecht
 3. Adrian Valles           Liverpool
 4. Borja García            Sevilla FC
 5. Davide Rigon            Beijing Guoan
 6. Tristan Gommendy        FC Porto
 7. Robert Doornbos         AC Milan
 8. Andy Soucek             Atletico Madrid
 9. Duncan Tappy            Tottenham Hotspur
10. Max Wissel              FC Basel
11. Alessandro Pier Guidi   Galatasaray
12. Ryan Dalziel            Rangers
13. Tuka Rocha              Flamengo
14. Enrico Toccacelo        AS Roma
15. Antonio Pizzonia        Corinthians
16. Kasper Andersen         Olympiacos
17. Bertrand Baguette       Al Ain
18. Yelmer Buurman          PSV Eindhoven
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