Superleague: Greek gift for Guerrieri as Olympiacos take pole

By Andy Darley

CalendarSaturday, October 3rd, 2009

 
 

Greece’s Olympiacos will be on pole in the first of Superleague Formula’s Monza races tomorrow after Esteban Guerrieri benefited from a Sebastien Bourdais mistake to win the pole shoot-out.

The pair had been closely matched at the previous Superleague meeting in Estoril and when they fought their way through the group and knock-out stages of qualifying to meet in the final a thrilling contest looked on the cards.

But Bourdais, driving for Spanish club Sevilla, locked a wheel and overshot the first chicane, effectively handing victory to his Argentinian rival.

The pair will form the front row of the rolling start for the first race, with defeated semi-finallists Max Wissel of FC Basel and AC Milan’s Giorgio Pantano behind them on row two. As usual, the second race grid will be decided by reversing the finishing positions from the first contest.

Championship leaders Liverpool were eliminated by Basel in the first knock-out round of qualifying after barely making it through from the group stages. Among the teams that did fall at this early stage were regular pole-winners Corinthians, piloted by ex-F1 driver Antonio Pizzonia, and the two other British clubs, Tottenham and Rangers.

Superleague’s complicated qualifying rules mean that Liverpool’s Adrian Valles will start eighth and Tottenham’s Craig Dolby ninth. Dolby goes into the weekend second in the championship by a single point from Wissel, with the pair nearly 60 points behind Valles. Each of the four remaining races offers 50 points to the winner.

Jonathan Kennard, who started the season for AS Roma before being dropped when management of the car switched from his Azerti team to rivals Alan Docking Racing, is making his comeback this weekend with Flamengo as a substitute for Enrique Bernoldi.

The Brazilian stayed with the Flamengo car when it was swapped to Azerti, but is racing in sportscars at Paul Ricard this weekend. It was not a happy return for Kennard, as he was forced to pull off-track without recording a time thanks to an alternator failure.

Qualifying positions

  1. Olympiacos (Esteban Guerrieri)
  2. Sevilla FC (Sebastien Bourdais)
  3. AC Milan (Giorgio Pantano)
  4. FC Basel (Max Wissel)
  5. AS Roma (Julien Jousse)
  6. FC Porto (Tristan Gommendy)
  7. Galatasaray (Ho Pin Tung)
  8. Liverpool (Adrian Valles)
  9. Tottenham Hotspur (Craig Dolby)
  10. RSC Anderlecht (Yelmer Buurman)
  11. Corinthians (Antonio Pizzonia)
  12. Rangers (John Martin)
  13. Olympique Lyonnais (Nelson Panciatici)
  14. FC Midtjylland (Kasper Andersen )
  15. Sporting Clube de Portugal (Pedro Petiz)
  16. Atlético de Madrid (Maria de Villota)
  17. PSV Eindhoven (Carlo van Dam)
  18. Flamengo (Jonathan Kennard)

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