Saturday, August 23, 2008


by Jimmy Rice 22 August 2008,

We've conquered the world on grass, now Liverpool Football Club is aiming to do the same on tarmac by entering a car in motor sport's newest championship.
The Superleague Formula will see football clubs from around the world compete in a six-race season.

The likes of AC Milan, Porto, Flamengo, Rangers, Corinthians, Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla, Roma, Tottenham and Galatasaray have all entered cars.

LFC commercial director Ian Ayre said: "We were approached about six months ago and we felt it was an interesting opportunity. We have hundreds of licensing deals but this is a very significant one in terms of its size and exposure.

"There is a good financial gain there but at the same time it also gets our LFC message out there in front of new markets and new people.

Superleague Formula

"Our objective is to be the best we can be, and that's as important commercially as it is on the pitch. This is a great example of us growing in areas where other clubs aren't."

Each car is identical in all but colour, with 750 horsepower, v12 engines able to reach speeds of up to 180mph.

"It's a level playing field in that all the cars are the same and the format is unique," added Ayre. "There are two races during a weekend – with the final grid from the first race being reversed for the start of the second.

"Everybody will have a chance to win, but just like everything else we will expect to work hard and compete."

The LFC car, which sports the number 21, was unveiled to the Reds squad at Melwood on Friday morning.

It will be driven by Spaniard Adrian Valles in the opening race at Donington Park on the weekend of August 30-31.

The GP2 driver said: "I am really happy for the opportunity to represent Liverpool. I have followed the club closely since Rafa Benitez took over and obviously there are a lot of Spanish players there.

Superleague Formula

"Liverpool is one of the most famous clubs in the world, so it really is an honour to drive their car in the inaugural championship."

Only two teams from any footballing league can enter, and Liverpool have already secured their place for five years.

It is hoped the season will eventually be expanded from six to 17 races, with each event offering prize money of one million euros.

Superleague Formula's president and CEO, Alex Andreu, said: "This idea started five years ago. We thought combining the two most popular sports in the world would be very popular for fans everywhere.

"It was the greatest news when Liverpool came on board. Having the red car is very important for us."

Next weekend's Donington race will be followed by trips to the Nurburgring in Germany, Zolder in Belgium, Estoril in Portugal, Vallelunga in Italy and Jerez in Spain.







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