The 2011 Superleague Formula Nations Cup gets underway this weekend at Assen in the Netherlands, with a different look to the field for the fourth season.
No longer are all the entries affiliated to football clubs. Instead, the cars all carry the colours of different nations, though six clubs do continue to have their logos on a car as well.
Last year’s champion club was RSC Anderlecht, and the Belgian club are amongst the football teams to remain in the series. With double champion Davide Rigon having forayed into GP2, only to suffer an injury at the first round of the season, his place in the team is taken by Neel Jani. The Swiss driver will hope to repeat the success he enjoyed in A1 Grand Prix where he won the title for his nation in 2007-08, albeit now representing Belgium.
Yelmer Buurman is one of two drivers racing in the colours of the Netherlands. His entry is tied to PSV Eindhoven, while Robert Doornbos drives a Dutch entry minus a football club. Tristan Gommendy lines up for France – Girondins de Bordeaux, with Filip Salaquarda racing the Czech Republic – Sparta Prague car.
The remaining two football club entries are from Spain – Atletico de Madrid and Turkey – Galatasaray SK, which will be driven by Spaniards Maria de Villota and Andy Soucek respectively.
Drivers representing their home nations on the Superleague Formula grid are New Zealand‘s Earl Bamber, China‘s Ho-Pin Tung, Brazil‘s Antonio Pizzonia, Australia‘s John Martin and England‘s Craig Dolby. Now without the support of Tottenham Hotspur, Dolby will hope he can still finally claim the title having gone close in the previous two seasons.
Two drivers who are racing in the colours of nations other than their own are Belgian driver Frederic Vervisch who will drive the Luxembourg entry and Briton Duncan Tappy who will race for Japan.
The race weekend begins on Friday with two free practice sessions. This be followed later in the day with street show in the town of Assen. Qualifying takes place on Saturday. On Sunday, Race 1 begins at 13:10, with Race 2 at 14:20. The top eight placed cars from those two races will then take part in the five-lap Super Final.
The winner of the Super Final will walk away with â‚¬100,000, with the runner-up getting â‚¬50,000 and the third-placed driver â‚¬40,000. The prize money extends down to the driver in sixth spot who will win â‚¬10,000.
Full entry list:
Neel Jani – SF Belgium – RSC Anderlecht
Yelmer Buurman – SF Netherlands – PSV Eindhoven
Tristan Gommendy – SF France – Girondins de Bordeaux
Filip Salaquarda – SF Czech Republic – Sparta Prague
FrÃ©dÃ©ric Vervisch – SF Luxembourg
Earl Bamber – SF New Zealand
Duncan Tappy – SF Japan
Robert Doornbos – SF Netherlands
MarÃa de Villota – SF Spain- AtlÃ©tico de Madrid
Andy Soucek – SF Turkey – Galatasaray SK
Ho-Pin Tung – SF China
Antonio Pizzonia – SF Brazil
John Martin – SF Australia
Craig Dolby – SF England