Inaugural Superleague Formula champion Davide Rigon has admitted that his second-ever pole in the football-based single-seater series, at Assen in Holland today, was an unexpected bonus in only his second outing for the Anderlecht team.
Rigon, a former Euro F3000 champion, won the Superleague crown with Beijing Guoan in the first season, but had not set a pole since the first-ever round of the series at Donington Park in 2008.
"We were fast in practice, but I was thinking about fifth or sixth, not pole position," he said. "I qualified at the back at Silverstone [16th out of 17 cars in the opening round] but everything has worked well this weekend. It was a fantastic lap for me."
Second-placed Franck Montagny was also delighted to return to form after he too suffered a disastrous opening weekend at Silverstone last month, and only salvaged an eighth place after failing to start race one due to a driveshaft failure.
"Everything happened from the mechanical side, and we were nowhere at Silverstone," said Montagny. "But we have worked very well to be ready for this weekend, and found a good setup. My championship starts here."
Another happy Frenchman was third-placed qualifier Franck Perera, who has taken over the Flamengo car he will share with Duncan Tappy this year.
"It's a pretty good result considering I haven't raced for nine months," said Perera. "I didn't expect to be in the top three, and it could have been even better but for a mistake in my semi against Rigon. It's good to be back after such a long break."