The final round of the inaugural Superleague Formula season takes place this weekend in Jerez – with one British team still hanging on to outside hopes of championship victory.
On the eve of the Spanish races, the sixth event to be held since the formula kicked off at Donington Park in August this year, leaders Beijing Guoan are on 353 points with second-placed PSV Eindhoven on 294 and third-placed Liverpool FC with 291.
There are 50 points available for each of the two race wins. That means Liverpool, currently 62 points down on the Chinese team, are still theoretically in the frame – but only if disaster strikes their rivals.
There are many possible permutations – but if Liverpool FC win both races, Beijing Guoan could still take the championship by finishing third in the opening race, by finishing fourth in the first race and simply starting race two, or by collecting a further 39 points from both races.
So although Liverpool are mathematically still contenders, they are pretty unlikely to win through. Certainly driver Adrian Valles, racing in his home country, thinks he will have his work cut out to grab the top spot in the championship.
That’s despite his two race victories so far and his pole position at the last round of the championship at Vallelunga in Italy.
He said: “I have only raced at Jerez once, back in 2004, but that isn’t a problem for me because I really like the track and I am looking forward to going back this week. It is a really nice area and I hope I can do well there.
“It was a shame at Vallelunga that we had a few engine problems which is unfortunate because it put Liverpool FC out of contention for the championship. But you have to still push right up until the end. You never know what could happen.
“I will try my best to win the races and see if Beijing has any problems. It has a been a really nice championship this year. The car is great and the engine is very powerful. It has been one of the most fun race series I have been involved with in my career.”
Elsewhere in the league, both Tottenham Hotspur and Rangers will be looking to add to their season points hall. Tottenham go into the final race in 10th position with 207 points on the board while Rangers are in 13th with 190.
The action kicks off this Saturday. And formula organisers insist its future is bright, with a maximum of nine races, including one outside Europe, planned for its second season.