In a week of footballing upsets, Superleague Formula continued the theme with John Martin grabbing pole position at Jarama for Beijing Guoan.
Martin recovered from a deficit in the first sector to power past AC Milan's Yelmur Buurman in the head-to-head qualifying final. It was Martin's first pole in the series.
Martin advanced to the final with a convincing win over the Basel entry of Max Wissel in the first semifinal. In the second encounter, Buurman swept aside Chris van der Drift (Olympiacos), although his lap was a tenth down on Martin's effort.
Both English drivers made it comfortably through to the quarter finals – but that was as far as they got. A left-front lockup cost Craig Dolby (Tottenham) as he went head to head with Docking "teammate" Martin, while just 0.01sec was the difference between Buurman and the defeated James Walker (Liverpool). Van der Drift took an easy win over Sebastien Bourdais' Lyon entry, and Wissel knocked out Franck Perera (Flamengo).
Martin set the fastest time in the group stages, topping Group A with a lap of 1m28.891sec, almost 0.3sec faster than Buurman needed to win Group B.
On paper, B seemed the tougher of the two, with Borja Garica (Sporting Lisbon), Franck Montagny (Bordeaux), Narain Karthikeyan (PSV), Alvaro Parente (Porto) and Tristan Gommendy (Galatasaray) all failing to make the cut.
In A, Julian Jousse (Roma), Robert Doornbos (Corinthians), Marcos Martinez (Sevilla), series one champ Davide Rigon (Anderlecht) and Maria de Villota (Atletico Madrid) missed out.
Times to follow