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Page last updated at 16:27 GMT, Tuesday, 26 August 2008 17:27 UK

Liverpool move into motor racing

Rafa Benitez helps unveil the LFC Superleague Formula car
Rafa Benitez and the Liverpool first-team squad unveil their car

Liverpool's commercial director Ian Ayre is confident the club will feel the financial benefit of competing in the new Superleague Formula series.

The Superleague Formula is a motor sport series consisting of 17 teams all driving identical 750 brake horsepower cars, carrying football club branding.

"We get a guaranteed signing-on fee and each year we have a guaranteed revenue stream," he told BBC Radio Merseyside.

"We're licensing our colours, our brand, into the series."

Ayre is keen to stress it will not cost the club any money to compete in Superleague Formula.

"The race series, the drivers, the tracks - all of that is covered by the race organisers and the series organisers," said Ayre.

We've got a professional race team and we've got a great driver, so we're very excited and are expecting results

Liverpool commercial director Ian Ayre
"We're hopefully supporting [the series] and hopefully bringing some of our sponsors along to support it but we have no financial burden."

To date the Superleague Formula has attracted two other British clubs - Spurs and Glasgow Rangers - alongside some of the biggest names in world football, including AC Milan and Corinthians.

Ayre is aware Liverpool supporters will expect their car to win races but stressed that the running of the race car is out of the football clubs hands.

"We're taking it very seriously [but] unfortunately the on-track performance is largely in the hands of the driver and the team.

"We've got a professional race team and we've got a great driver, so we're very excited and are expecting results."

Ayre has been in his role as Liverpool Football Club's first ever commercial director for just over a year. He says he is enjoying his role and the challenges the job presents.

"Its been great. When we are out there talking to potential partners in all sorts of categories, Liverpool Football Club just opens doors and that makes life a whole lot easier."

The first round of action in the Superleague Formula competition takes place at Donnington Park on 30-31 August.


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