Frederic Vervisch takes Superleague win at Zolder

Craig Dolby driving the England car had a bitter-sweet weekend at the Superleague Formula Grand Prix of Zolder. While he had comfortably qualified on pole position on Saturday, by the time he had eaten breakfast on Sunday morning, the race stewards had dropped him back to 2nd spot on the grid for a minor technical infringement.

However such is the confidence of the 23 year old that he just took it the chin, “So we just have to win from second”.



Chris van der Drift in the New Zealand car who had inherited the Pole position is a top-flight driver in his own right, and from the start set-out looking to get a race win under his belt. Dolby though stalked him throughout the opening exchanges.



He snatched the lead of the 40-minute run during the pit stops, the England crew turned their man out the best part of a second faster than their rivals, allowing Dolby to re-join the action in P1.

From here Dolby was in his element. With a clear track in front of him he hammered home the fast laps to carve out a comfortable lead and eventually win by 3.051s.



Neel Jani (Belgium - RSC Anderlecht) took second position, the Swiss-born racer also leapfrogging van der Drift during the pit stop phase. From there he worked to eliminate Dolby's advantage but didn't have the ultimate pace of the Englishman.



Race Two sees a reversed grid which meant that Dolbly stated at the back, but with a race win already under his belt, claiming just a few additional places would have seen him easily qualify for the SuperFinal as one of the top eight cars. The SuperFinal is where the big cash prizes are settled with the winner walking away with Euros100,000.



However mechanical gremlins turned what had seemed destined to be a memorable weekend on its head. The Englishman, who was at the time the championship leader, suffered a gearbox failure and was forced to retire from Race Two. “We're very disappointed by that, the boys and myself had worked so hard over the weekend and we had an awesome race car as we showed in Race One. We had so much pace and I wasn't really pushing it that much either.”



“In Race Two we had decided to save a set of good tyres for the SuperFinal and just try and bring it home safely qualified. Unfortunately something in the gearbox broke and we're still not sure what. All we had to do was finish and we would have qualified, the team kept me out in the car to see what could happen and we'd have been there with a very good set of tyres.”



“We will be back though for the next one, after seeing the raw speed in the car and the way we qualified I think that a few people will be a bit worried after that, and we'll come back fighting twice as hard.”



In the SuperFinal it was left to Belgian driver Frederik Vervisch, in the Luxembourg car, John Martin (Australia) and Neel Jani to be the first three home in the dash for cash. Though the Super Final is only an eight car, five-lap sprint, it started in sunshine but a heavy shower on parts of the course almost saw Vervisch exit the proceedings whilst in the lead on the penultimate lap, as he lost grip entering the chicane, allowing Martin and Jani to close right-up and provide a thrilling three-way scrap to the line, Vervisch holding on to record the win.



After the weekend action Dolby (England) is in joint second position with Japan, behind John Martin (Australia).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible