Superleague Formula by Sonangol 2010 kicked off in anger at Silverstone today as the opening free practice sessions of the new season got underway.
And it was AS Romas Julien Jousse who had the honour of drawing the new campaigns first blood after recording the fastest time during a second session that included the days only dry running.
The Frenchman, who marked his Superleague Formula debut with a podium at Monza last season, lapped Silverstones Grand Prix Circuit in 1m36.819s to see off Sevillas new Spanish signing Marcos Martinez by 0.254sec.
The championships newest club Bordeaux celebrated its debut appearance with the third fastest time, although their ex-F1 driver Franck Montagny ended the session nearly two seconds slower than countryman Jousse.
One of last seasons championship challengers Max Wissel was next up for FC Basel, ahead of Olympique Lyonnais winter signing Sebastien Bourdais, local favourite Craig Dolby and Tottenham Hotspur, PSV Eindhovens Narain Karthikeyan and FC Portos Alvaro Parente.
Chris van der Drift (Olympiacos) and Tristan Gommendy (Galatasaray) completed the top ten with reigning champions Liverpool finishing 11th courtesy of their Superleague Formula newcomer James Walker.
The days morning session saw Dolby go fastest, although his 1m46.585s effort in damp conditions was nearly ten seconds shy of Jousses lunchtime pace.
Afternoon practice meanwhile turned into a total washout after a heavy downpour throughout the 35 minutes of scheduled running put paid to any meaningful track time. Two drivers confident enough to try their luck however were Jousse and Corinthians Robert Doornbos, although both ended up undamaged in the gravel trap.
The draw for tomorrows qualifying session threw up a number of tasty ties with last seasons championship top two and domestic rivals Liverpool and Spurs drawn together in Group A, while both French clubs Lyon and Bordeaux will also face each other in Group B.
Qualifying begins tomorrow at 14.15 local time ahead of Sundays two 45 minute races and five-lap Super Final.
TV times, Sunday 4 April
Race 1: 10.50-12.00
Race 2 & Super Final: 13.50-15.30
All of this Sunday’s races will be live on the Superleague Formula website: http://www.superleagueformula.com/superleague/SF-Live/Online-broadcasting
Superleague Formula by Sonangol, Round 1: Silverstone, UK
Race 1: 11.10
Race 2: 14.10
Race 3: 15.10
Free practice results are available at: