x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Meijer gears up to build on maiden race victory for Al Ain

Success for Al Ain Football Club in the newly launched Superleague Formula Championship as new driver Meijer wins.

ABU DHABI // Success for Al Ain Football Club in the newly launched Superleague Formula Championship arrived like a jigsaw puzzle that suddenly fell into place with one piece of good fortune. Whether Al Ain have cracked the winning formula or not remains to be seen, but opting for a new driver - Paul Meijer of Holland - was a masterstroke as he won his first race for the white and purple team just two days after switching from rival team Borussia Dortmund.

Meijer won the second race of the fourth round at Estoril on Sunday, but Meijer's successor, Enrico Toccacelo, had led the race until four laps from home only for problems with his oil pressure to force the German team's car out, allowing Meijer to hit the front. The former Formula Renault 2.0 champion admits luck played a part. He said: "In motorsport you always need a bit of luck, especially if the cars are same [all teams have same 750bhp engines, a little less than F1 cars]. But let's not forget that I was gaining well and it was anybody's race."

Meijer, 23, added: "Entering into the season midway in is always difficult, but we have a good car. I had a good race and now want to build from here. There are two races left [in Vallelunga, Italy, on Nov 2 and Jerez, Spain, on Nov 23] which means four chances of winning and I hope to finish top in all four. "I am hopeful of a good performance for the next two races - and for the next season as well."

kshyam@thenational.ae