Superleague: 2010 champion may get F1 test drive

By LJ Hutchins

CalendarThursday, January 14th, 2010

 
 

Superleague Formula has announced that it is in negotiations to offer its 2010 champion a Formula One test drive as well as a prize fund of one million euros (£890,000).

The football-themed race series, which starts it third season at Silverstone in April, is now putting up what it calls the biggest prize fund in European motorsport.

It has long been on the radar of drivers keen to prove themselves in the 750-bhp V12 series cars and to race alongside some of its big names including Giorgio Pantano, Enrique Bernoldi, Antonio Pizzonia, and Sebastien Bourdais.

Now it might also provide a stepping stone to motorsport’s top flight for a lucky few, with additional prizes of €500,000 (£445,000) and €250,000 (£222,000) on offer to the second- and third-placed competitors.

Last year, British driver Craig Dolby came with in an ace of taking the title from eventual season winner Adrian Valles while the two were driving for Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool. Dolby finished as runner-up.

No firm details about the F1 drive are currently available. But it has been increasingly clear over the last few months, with the release of an extended 12-date calendar and plans to expand beyond Europe, that the series is on a sounder financial footing than many at the moment.

Also slated for 2010 is the return of the Super Final, a five-lap sprint at the end of race two on Sundays, which returns for a second season with €100,000 for the winning team at each of the 12 rounds.

This year prize money will be awarded to all half-dozen finalists meaning that, for the first time, the fourth- to sixth-placed cars stand to share in the winnings. The series says it is theoretically possible for one driver to amass €2.2 million (£1.9 million) should they win all 12 Super Finals.

Robin Webb, Superleague Formula’s Competition Director said: “The new prize fund offers drivers and teams an even greater incentive to top the Superleague Formula by Sonangol table come November.

“I can’t think of anything else in Europe that offers this level of prize money for the winners, not to mention for individual races as in the Super Final’s case.

“All in all, the series really does now offer drivers the chance to earn a living from motor sport, something that’s not possible in single seater racing outside of Formula 1.”

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