18 July 2011
Dolby’s victorious Zolder weekend tempered by race two gearbox woes
Craig Dolby experienced a weekend of highs and lows as Superleague Formula visited famed Belgian venue Zolder, where the Englishman took a brilliant victory in the opening race but was left wondering what might have been after technical gremlins ruled him out of the second run and dash-for-cash Superfinal.
The Melton Mowbray-based racer was in fine form throughout the Zolder weekend, scoring a well-deserved pole position in Saturday's qualifying only to be dropped to second on the grid for an infringement by his team during the session.
But Dolby was in no mood to let this halt his charge. Holding on to second during the opening stint of race one, he applied mounting pressure to leader Chris van der Drift before ducking into the pits to make his mandatory stop. Here, Alan Docking Racing played their part, turning him around the best part of a second faster than his rivals. That was enough to give him the jump on van der Drift, promoting Dolby to the lead of the race.
Now in his element, Craig began to reel off a string of fast laps that allowed him to edge away at the front and win by a comfortable 3-second margin, a result that temporarily sent England to the top of the championship.
But his hopes of claiming a second successive Superfinal triumph - and the €100,000 that goes with it - were dashed when technical problems struck his car in race two.
With the finishing positions in the opening race fully reversed to form the grid for the second event, Dolby started at the very back of the pack, but after calmly managing the first stint began to move up the order.