Sep 21

Sirotkin tops Free Practice 1 in Sonoma

Sergey Sirotkin topped the sheets of the first Auto GP practice in Sonoma

Auto GP World SeriesAuto GP - Sonoma - Sergey SIROTKINThe Russian driver of Euronova was in the top three for the whole session and with just a few minutes to go he posted a 1’27”882 that was enough to edge championship winner Adrian Quaife-Hobbs by one tenth. “There’s much more to come – Sergey said – I had very old tyres and the track is still dirty. In order to do that laptime I took some risks, I don’t know about the others. Anyway, I really like the track; it’s a bit bumpy but it’s thrilling with all those blind corners”.

Quaife-Hobbs closed the session in second place ahead of a very quick Daniel de Jong, third with a 1’28”325 that was just a bit quicker than the 1’28”386 that gave 4th place to Pål Varhaug. Giacomo Ricci’s return in the Series started with a good 5th place, while Sergio Campana was P6 with 1’28”828, less than one tenth quicker than seventh-placed Antonio Pizzonia. “I really like the track – said Campana – apart Turn 1 where it’s really bumpy and the grip is incredibly low. The first feelings are good considering that we weren’t really going for quick laptimes”.

Newcomer Kotaro Sakurai was already in the top ten with an 8th place that gave him very good feelings: “The car is extremely powerful, much more than everything I drove before. Taming it isn’t easy especially with that much sand on track, but I already have a good a feeling and I’m enjoying it a lot”. Giancarlo Serenelli was P9 and Max Snegirev closed the top ten, ahead of Francesco Dracone, Michele La Rosa, Antonio Spavone and Giuseppe Cipriani. Closing the pack was Pippa Mann, who used the first session to get acquainted with the car: “I have so much to learn on this car and so little time to do it!” she said. “I was struggling a bit with the driving position and with the steering weight, but the first impression is still good, the car is impressively quick”.

Auto GP, Sonoma, Free Practice 1
1      Sergey SIROTKIN           Euronova Racing              1:27.882
2      Adrian QUAIFE-HOBBS    Supernova International     1:27.986
3      Daniel DE JONG             Manor MP Motorsport        1:28.325
4      Pål VARHAUG                Virtuosi UK                      1:28.386
5      Giacomo RICCI              MLR 71                          1:28.627
6      Sergio CAMPANA            Zele Racing                     1:28.828
7      Antonio PIZZONIA          Zele Racing                     1:28.903
8      Kotaro SAKURAI            Euronova Racing               1:28.958
9      Giancarlo SERENELLI      Ombra Racing                   1:29.579
10    Max SNEGIREV              Campos Racing                 1:30.377
11    Francesco DRACONE       Virtuosi UK                       1:30.786
12    Michele LA ROSA            MLR 71                           1:31.396
13    Antonio SPAVONE          Ombra Racing                   1:31.540
14    Giuseppe CIPRIANI        Campos Racing                  1:32.855
15    Pippa MANN                  Campos Racing                 1:33.917

source: Auto GP, autogp.org