Liverpool’s slim chances of taking the inaugural Superleague Formula title received a big boost today when Adrian Valles qualified on pole position for tomorrow’s first race in Jerez, while main rival Davide Rignon’s Beijing Guoan must start on the back row after spinning.
The Reds are third in the championship hunt, trailing Beijing by 62 points and PSV Eindhoven by three. With 50 points available for a win, and Liverpool’s two opponents starting 14th and 17th, the chances of closing the gap look good.
But the danger will then lie in the second race of the day. Championship rules state that the grid for the second race will be the reverse of the order the teams finished in the first race – so the bigger the gap between Liverpool and Beijing in the first race, the greater the advantage the Chinese club will have in the second.
And even if the Reds win both races, Beijing can still take the title with just a pair of ninth places.
Valles, racing on home turf in his native Spain, said he was concentrating on doing his bit and not worrying about the wider championship picture: “I’ve got the pole and now I have to win the race and score as many points as I can – the rest is not up to me.
“The car is good now and we have a lot of possibilities for tomorrow considering Beijing had a problem in qualifying and spun off.
“I did what I had to do and pushed on the limit every time I was on the track. We had some problems this morning when the car wasn’t really good but we managed to turn it around.
“I’m really happy to get pole position, especially at my home race – it’s not home for Liverpool but personally I have many fans coming here so I hope I can do a really good job tomorrow.”
Of the other Brits in the field, Duncan Tappy qualified the Tottenham car in ninth and Ryan Dalziel put Rangers 11th. Anderlecht’s Craig Dolby could manage only 13th.