Portuguese soccer giant Sporting joins 2009 Superleague Formula
Last Sunday one of Europe’s most successful football clubs, Sporting Clube de Portugal officially revealed their single-seater which will take part in Superleague Formula´s 2009 season. They also presented more than 1.000 athletes from the various sport divisions that the club has. The Lisbon club presented the car that will run in the only competition that brings together the passion of football with the emotion of racing at more than 300 km/h.
The José Alvalade Stadium was packed out with fans watching the last game of the season against National. At half time, they got the opportunity to see the car and after the match the car was moved outside the stadium where thousands of fans saw the car up close. At the end of the evening the car was moved to the Sporting shop, where it will remain until the driver´s presentation.
Formed in 1906 and based in the Portuguese capital city of Lisbon, Sporting is one of the most famous and revered names in international football having won no fewer than 18 national championship titles, 15 national cups and the UEFA Winners’ Cup. The Portuguese Liga giant lines up alongside already victorious FC Porto to become Portugal’s second major club to be gunning for glory in the 2009 Superleague Formula championship. The all-star 2009 line-up also features rookies FC Midtjylland from Denmark plus multiple French champions Olympique Lyonnais.
These three distinguished newcomers are joining the established field of 18 identical V12-powered F1-style single-seater race cars all representing many of the world’s premier football clubs. Underlining the series’ competitive nature, no fewer eight soccer clubs – AC Milan, Al-Ain, Beijing Guoan FC, BVB Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool FC, FC Porto, PSV Eindhoven and Sevilla FC – all savoured race victories in 2008 during what was a dramatic inaugural season. It’s an impressive roster of winners that Sporting is hoping to join when the 2009 championship kicks off next month at Magny-Cours in France on 28 June.
“We are truly thrilled that Sporting is joining Superleague Formula in 2009,” says Superleague Formula President Alex Andreu. “Few fans are more passionate about both their football and motor sport than those in Portugal, so it’s great that we have the country’s two best clubs renewing their long-running sporting rivalries on the race track this year. With both Sporting and FC Porto to the fore, September’s Portuguese round at Estoril is sure to be one of this season’s major highlights. We had more than 25,000 spectators at last year’s race – now we can expect even an better and more passionate atmosphere in 2009.”
Sporting’s General Manager Pedro Afra is equally enthusiastic about his club’s new venture. “We watched the first Superleague Formula season with great interest and we were very impressed with what we saw. We are always looking for new and exciting commercial opportunities that will appeal to our supporters. The speed and spectacular action delivered by Superleague Formula certainly ticks all the right boxes… even more so as one the 2009 events is staged close to Lisbon at Estoril. With the football season drawing to a close, we now have something new and enthralling to entertain our fans during the summer.”