Jani ready for special moment in unique Belgium experience15/07/2011
Neel Jani is certainly looking forward to the Superleague Formula Grand Prix of Zolder this weekend, although the Swiss driver could be forgiven for having something of a split personality. Not only has he been driving top-level sports cars since Assen, he´s also making a rare visit to Zolder, in his home race.
At the opening round in Assen, Jani qualified for the Super Final, looking very much at home in the Superleague Formula car. “The first race was pretty good with fourth position, but what wasn´t so good was that I stalled the car in the pit-lane during my pit-stop. It cost about 12 seconds and I think that until that moment we actually had a shot for the win there, but anyway we finished well.”
“In race two it was fine and we´d even saved some tyres for the Super Final, and thankfully we qualified for it. The Super Final was going very well and I took third from John Martin, but unfortunately he thought more about the car than actually racing and he hit me from the back at the next corner, so I was out which was a shame two laps from the end.”
While Zolder is a favourite with many drivers it will be another almost new experience for Jani, not that he seems daunted by it. “I´ve only raced there once, in Champ Car but that was some time ago. But a race-track is a race-track and if you are a good driver you should know it after five laps.”
It´s been a busy time since Assen for Jani, in the past month he´s competed in various sports car events, including putting in a fantastic performance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans where he drove for Rebellion Racing. “We finished best petrol car, so that was good for us, in sixth overall which was a great result. Then we went to Imola for the next Le Mans series round and we´ve has a few tests in between. I went to China as well, so it´s been a busy time.
Jani is enjoying the challenge of Superleague Formula and also racing sports cars, and sees it as a potentially good mixture in the longer term. “A lot depends upon how things develop but for next year it could be very interesting again to make a joint programme between sports cars and Superleague, maybe in a Swiss car, you never know.”