As the unique, football-themed series heads into its third campaign in 2010, the stakes have suddenly been raised and the goalposts shifted in Superleague Formula by Sonangol – with prizes of up to €1 million for the champion, and the carrot of a potential F1 test into the bargain.
The biggest prize fund in European motorsport will be supplemented by €500,000 for the runner-up and €250,000 for third place come season's end – with a grand total of more than €5 million to be handed out over the course of the campaign.
The popular Super Final concept – a five-lap dash for cash at the end of race two on Sundays – returns for a second season, with €100,000 again going to the winner of each of the twelve rounds. Unlike in 2009, however, prize money will be awarded to all half-dozen finalists, meaning that for the first time, fourth-to-sixth stand to win a share of €55,000, with second and third receiving €75,000 and €50,000 respectively as they did in 2009. Should any one driver triumph in all twelve Super Finals, therefore, they would amass a staggering €2.2 million.
The twelve-round calendar marks a 100 per cent increase on 2009, whilst the existing format of two 44-minute-plus-one-lap races will remain. The campaign will kick off at Silverstone on 3-4 April, whilst championship organisers are in negotiations to offer the 2010 champion a prize test drive with a top F1 team.
“The new prize fund offers drivers and teams an even greater incentive to top the Superleague Formula table come November,” underlined competition director Robin Webb. “I can't think of anything else in Europe that offers this level of prize money for the winners, not to mention for individual races as in the Super Final's case.
“All-in-all, the series really does now offer drivers the chance to earn a living from motorsport, something that's not possible in single-seater racing outside of Formula 1.”
In 2009, famous Superleague faces included record-breaking four-time Champ Car king and Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 refugee Sébastien Bourdais, as well as fellow former grand prix aces Giorgio Pantano, Antonio Pizzonia, Robert Doornbos and Enrique Bernoldi.