The second event of the 2011 Superleague Formula season comes from the Circuit Terlaeman in Zolder on July 16 /17. The ten-turn, undulating, 4.1km circuit was built in 1963 and hosted the Belgian F1 Grand Prix on ten occasions. The circuit is a mixture of fast straights, sweeping corners mixed with slower technical sections. It’s a circuit that the drivers all seem to love racing on.
The season opener at Assen last month saw Craig Dolby, driving the England car, maintain his superb Superleague Formula form as he took the Super Final victory ahead of Antonio Pizzonia (Brazil) and Yelmer Buurman (Netherlands – PSV). Dolby´s win put him at the top of the money list and the England team into third spot, behind the joint championship leaders Japan and Australia who respectively managed 7th and 6th place finishes in Race One and followed up with 1st and 2nd positions in Race Two.
Dolbly is looking forward to getting back on track this weekend, especially at a track that he knows well. “Zolder is a track that I really enjoy, I first started racing single-seater cars in Belgium and I won the Belgium Formula Renault Championship there. I also won in Superleague back in 2009, so hopefully we can maintain our winning ways.”
Although he won the Super Final in Assen, Dolby didn´t have things all his own way. “Assen was obviously a great result for us, but we had a mistake in qualifying which was frustrating as I got wrongly called into the pits and it left us qualifying in 9th. So in Race One we started in P9 and still finished second which was exciting. Race Two was a more normal one, starting from the back. The Super Final was obviously a really good one to finish on. We put some really good points on the table which puts us in a nice position after the first event. We want the opportunity to fight for the championship so I´m happy.”
Zolder though is likely to be tougher, with the superfast Russian, Mikhail Aleshin making his Superleague debut and big rivals Chris van der Drift and Max Wissel re-joining the championship. Dolby knows that the series is going to get harder and harder, although you also sense that he is looking forward to testing himself.
“It´s good to see Aleshin joining the championship, it´s nice to see that kind of talent coming into Superleague. We had Bourdais last year and now Aleshin. The Superleague cars are one of the toughest cars in the world to race, and luckily I seem to have mastered it. So if people rate Aleshin as one of the best young drivers in the world, then I´m very happy to have that kind of talent to rate myself against. I really would like to welcome him to the championship; it will be very interesting to see how he does. “
“I´m also excited to have Chris van der Drift and Max Weisel back in the championship because they are two of my best friends, so I´m glad that they are back for Zolder, I´m really happy for them. I know that they will both be as strong as ever.”
You can watch this weekend's Superleague action here on The Independent website, at independent.co.uk/superleaguelive