Anderlecht's Davide Rigon scored his second Superleague Formula title success in the final round at Navarra in Spain on Sunday after a thrilling super final to conclude the season.
Rigon's title rival Craig Dolby of Tottenham Hotspur had ensured the title went to the wire in the second race this afternoon, and the Briton then leapt into the lead at the start of a race he had to win. Rigon started fourth, and grabbed third in the early running, until Esteban Guerrieri (PSV Einhoven) lunged past him halfway round the opening tour.
Then, as the cars started lap two, Rigon's teammate Franck Perera (Bordeaux) passed him with an unexpected move going into Turn 1. With Dolby leading, they were now tied on points. But it was Dolby's own teammate, John Martin of Beijing Guoan, who had the final say - passing him at Turn 3 on lap four, and racing away to win the 100,000 euro prize.
Rigon, as expected, regained his place from Perera on the penultimate lap, which meant he won the title by two points.
"It was a very difficult race, I never believed it would be decided in the last one," said Rigon. "In race two, someone pushed me out and I spun and stalled. I had to restart in manual mode to get the engine going again. I have to thank God for that one."
Dolby finished second, 1.952 seconds in arrears, with Guerrieri in third.
"It was good – what can you do?" said an almost tearful Dolby after narrowly missing out on the top prize. "I tried my hardest and hopefully I'll be back next year. Congratulations to Davide. Right now it hurts though."
Rigon finished fourth, ahead of Perera and Alvaro Parente (FC Porto), who were separated by just 0.031sec at the finish.
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap
1. John Martin Beijing Guoan 7m26.597s
2. Craig Dolby Tottenham Hotspur + 1.952s
3. Esteban Guerrieri PSV Eindhoven + 5.155s
4. Davide Rigon RSC Anderlecht + 5.566s
5. Franck Perera Girondins de Bordeaux + 8.320s
6. Alvaro Parente FC Porto + 8.351s