The Spanish-based squad scored a sensational debut
The Spanish-based squad scored a sensational debut win after having cruised to the front row in qualifying, while Italian racer Sergio Campana also clocked the fastest lap of the race en-route to his victory. The team’s highly-professional staff proved key in an extremely successful maiden run that also brought Campana the championship’s lead.
The Modena-based man, who made it back to the top of the podium after his 2012 Marrakech win, sailed into the lead on the second lap following a chicane cut by Riccardo Agostini. After setting the pole, Agostini was off to a good start but eventually ended up in 7th. In second place, Euronova’s Japanese driver Kimiya Sato recovered well from row 3, ending up 7.5 seconds behind the winner.
After finishing third at the end of the race, Italian Vittorio Ghirelli, running for Super Nova, was penalized 2 seconds for cutting the first chicane on lap 12 and not yielding the gained position back. Third place eventually went to Robert Visoiu. The 17-year-old Romanian thus scored a good podium finish with another debuting team, Ghinzani Motorsport.
Narain Karthikeyan rounded out the top-5. The Indian driver, lined-up by Zele Racing, confirmed his early expectations with some positive results. After having suffered from a flat tire in practice, he was hit and sent spinning by another car at the start, but then put together a stunning recovery. After making his way to the pits on lap 5, he held onto 5th place to edge two of the series’ most competitive rookies, Antonio Spavone (SuperNova) and Agostini (MP Motorsport).
Spavone was the first driver to stop for the mandatory pit-stop, while the Padua-based driver will be lining-up again on the front row for Race 2. Thank to today’s 8th place finish, Brit Luciano Bacheta will take-off from the pole for Zele Racing. On the other hand, pit-stop issues slowed down two of the race’s potential frontrunners, Giuseppe Cipriani (Ibiza Racing Team) and Yoshitaka Kuroda (Euronova). The points zone was rounded out by Russian Max Snegirev (Virtuosi UK).
Sergio Campana: “It’s a great result for the whole team. We started with the goal of ending the race but then, also thanks to a good pass on Agostini we were able to cap our first race together with a fantastic win. We had the pace since the start and the pit-stop was just perfect. I’m proud to share this win with Ibiza Racing Team and I thank them for the support provided”.
Kimiya Sato: “I did a great start and throughout the race we were able to keep a good pace. Maybe we could have aimed even higher but I think today’s best tactic was to be prudent and stay away from trouble”.
Robert Visoiu: “Third or fourth it’s not a big difference. What must be praised today is the team’s effort. The car ran good and we were able to fight at the front despite we were both at our maiden race. For me it was also the first time in a race featuring a pit-stop and it’s been great fun to drive such a powerful car”.
- A1GP – Drivers’ Ranking AUTO GP 2013
- A1GP – Under 21_AUTO GP 2013
- A1GP – TEAMS Ranking_ 2013
- A1GP – FinalClassification
source: Auto GP, autogp.org
Super Nova drivers charge through the field in Monza Race One
A strong performance by Vittorio Ghirelli and Antonio Spavone, as well as the Super Nova crew, resulted in a podium for Vittorio and P6 for Antonio with both drivers passing many cars through the race.
Vittorio’s start from the second row on the grid didn’t go to plan after the engine entered safety mode and he completed the first lap in P11. From here he pushed hard and overtook a number of cars before making a late pit stop for fresh tyres. He emerged from the pits in sixth and continued his progress to P3. The stewards subsequently decided to issue a two second penalty to Vittorio, demoting him to P4 for gaining an advantage by cutting the chicane.
Antonio made a better start and was up to P6 at the end of the first lap before losing a couple of places due to a small mistake. His strategy was for an early pit stop and this paid dividends as his pace was good throughout the race and he was unfortunate not to finish in the top four. His final position was P6
Rain is expected for tomorrow’s race at 11.35, with Antonio starting in P3 and Vittorio P5.
‘It was a good start but then I had to avoid some cars slow of the grid and lost some positions. The race was good, I passed the first lap in P6 and then the strategy and pit stop was very good and I was getting faster every lap. Then I had some trouble with another car and lost two positions, it could have been a podium if not. Let’s see what happens tomorrow.
‘I had a problem with the engine temperature at the start and the car went into safe mode putting me to the back. I then pushed hard and the pace was good, allowing me to get up to third position at the end. Unfortunately I got a small penalty but I am sure that we will do well tomorrow.’
The season begins in Monza on 22 -24th March, 2013
THRILLING 2ND PLACE FOR SATO IN AUTO GP RACE
Japan’s Kimiya Sato made an excellent Auto GP debut today finishing 2nd in the exciting 14 lap opening race at Monza. His team-mate, fellow Japanese driver Yoshitaka Kuroda, finished in 11th place after a problematic pit-stop caused him to lose a lap to the leaders.
Both drivers had been straight on the pace from the start of yesterday’s free practice. Kuroda finished both sessions in 3rd place whilst Sato was 4th and 2nd. Traffic in qualifying on Friday afternoon meant neither driver was able to make the best of their second run on new tyres and the half hour session ended with Sato in 6th and Kuroda in 7th.
Despite watery sunshine this morning, today’s race started under overcast skies. Sato made a flying start and was battling for 3rd place as the field streamed into the first corner. For three exciting laps he battled fiercely with Agostini and Campana, at one stage they were three abreast along the straight, before the Euronova driver got the better of Agostini and slotted in to 2nd.
Kuroda was meanwhile running in 6th place and opted for an early pit-stop; a strategy which, given his consistent and extremely fast pace, would have allowed him to have challenged for a podium position. However a technical problem in the pit-stop caused him to lose over a lap to the leading group and with no safety-car period even his quick pace was not enough to allow him to catch up the time lost in the pits and he finished in 11th place.
Sato chose to complete his compulsory pit-stop towards the end of the race, entering the pit-lane at the end of lap 12 with just two laps left to run. Campana stopped a lap later and the two crossed the line in 1st and 2nd separated by less than 8 seconds.
Race 2 will take place tomorrow morning, Sato will start from 7th and Kuroda from 11th , and with rain forecast it should be full of excitement.