So close yet so far for Dolby at Navarra

Craig Dolby stole the show but just failed to land this year’s Superleague Formula by Sonangol crown at the championship’s final round in Navarra, Spain, today.

The Tottenham Hotspur star made up 22 points on eventual champion Davide Rigon (RSC Anderlecht) during this afternoon’s final two races to miss out on the crown by only two points.

Dolby produced arguably his finest performance of 2010 in the reverse grid second race, storming through from 16th to fourth – a charge that featured a particularly brave pass around the outside of turn one and a last lap move – to give himself a slim but mathematical chance of claiming the title during the six-car, five-lap Super Final.

Starting second, he blasted past Beijing Guoan’s John Martin off the line while Rigon, who had to finish sixth if Dolby was to have any chance, slipped back into the clutches of last man Alvaro Parente (FC Porto).

For three laps the destination of this season’s championship hung in the balance until Martin capitalised on a slight mistake and took the lead. A couple of corners later the writing was on the wall when Rigon passed Franck Perera (Bordeaux) for fourth meaning that when the chequered flag fell, Dolby came up just short.   

Earlier he’d kept his title chances alive by finishing third in the opener.

Lining up fifth, he was down the inside of the pit wall at the start, with two wheels on the grass at one point, in his efforts to make up positions.

But after deposing fellow title rival Yelmer Buurman (AC Milan) on the opening lap, he was powerless to catch Frederic Vervisch (Liverpool FC) until the Belgian was forced into the pits with only five minutes remaining.

The resulting podium wasn’t enough to make inroads into Rigon’s original 19-point championship lead thanks to the Italian’s second place.

“Everyone saw how much this meant to me this weekend,” he said. “I gave it everything I’ve got but it wasn’t quite enough. It hurts like mad right now to finish second again. Maybe it will feel better in the morning but it doesn’t feel good at the moment. Congratulations to Davide though. It has been a great year for Superleague Formula and I hope I’ll be back to win it in 2011.”


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