Ben Hanley won the first-ever international motor race at the new Ordos circuit in China on Sunday morning, leading the opening Superleague Formula race from start to finish for the Olympiacos club.
The start was a chaotic affair, as fourth-placed Andy Soucek (Flamengo) tagged the fast-starting Robert Doornbos (Corinthians), who cannoned into front-row starter John Martin (Beijing Guoan) before the startline. The multiple impacts removed all three cars.
Hanley was gifted a huge lead as a result, but Bordeaux's Franck Perera kept him honest in the first stint. That became academic after the pit stops, as first of all Perera suffered a slow stop and then he was caught for speeding in the pitlane.
Perera's drive-through penalty dropped him from third (as Basel's Max Wissel had passed him at Turn 1 on lap 13) to sixth, behind Earl Bamber (Porto), Craig Dolby (Tottenham) and series leader Davide Rigon (Anderlecht).
Yelmer Buurman (AC Milan) also passed Perera in the closing stages to finish sixth from 12th on the grid. Marcos Martinez finished eighth for Sevilla after spinning out of sixth early on.
Up front, Hanley won by 2.6 seconds from Wissel, Bamber (on his Superleague debut), Dolby (who escaped a brief off-track moment early on), Rigon and Buurman.
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap
1. Ben Hanley Olympiacos 46m07.003s
2. Max Wissel FC Basel + 2.620s
3. Earl Bamber FC Porto + 27.207s
4. Craig Dolby Tottenham Hotspur + 30.628s
5. Davide Rigon RSC Anderlecht + 35.231s
6. Yelmer Buurman AC Milan + 38.822s
7. Franck Perera Girondins de Bordeaux + 41.593s
8. Marcos Martinez Sevilla FC + 1m05.356s
9. Bruno Mendez Atletico de Madrid + 1m54.527s
10. Adderly Fong PSV Eindhoven + 1 lap
11. Julien Jousse AS Roma + 1 lap
12. Ma Qing Hua Team China + 1 lap
Giacomo Ricci Galatasaray 28 laps
Tristan Gommendy Olympique Lyonnais 25 laps
Frederic Vervisch Liverpool FC 1 lap
Adrian Valles Sporting Lisbon 1 lap
Andy Soucek Flamengo 0 laps
Robert Doornbos Corinthians 0 laps
John Martin Beijing Guoan 0 laps