Narain Karthikeyan edged out the competition today
Super Nova International racer Narain Karthikeyan scored his maiden Auto GP pole in round 4 of the 2013 season at Silverstone.
The Indian racer logged the fastest lap of the day in 1’46″286 as he topped by just 59 thousands of a second rookie Kevin Giovesi, who put up a solid performance in his maiden run in the series for Ghinzani Motorsport. While the young Italian, driving for the first time at Silverstone, put his GP2 Series experience to fruition, Karthikeyan finally made it to the pole – the fact of having such an experienced former F1 driver on the pole only at his fourth attempt is another way to confirm the toughness of Auto GP as a proving ground in international motorsports.
Vittorio Ghirelli, also entering for Super Nova International, made the best out of the four laps he completed before a mechanical issues stopped him earlier in the session. After being on top in the first part of qualifications, he settled for 3rd while the his team was able to follow in the pole run started by him at Budapest. Hungarian Tamas Pal Kiss scored 4th as he was also hit by mechanical troubles and forced to stop on the F.1 straight with a broken exhaust. Rounding out the top-5 was Italian Andrea Roda, running for Virtuosi UK, as he aim for a podium position on Race 1 tomorrow. Championship leader Kimiya Sato (Euronova Racing) has set the same goal for himself after taking 6th place. Despite his third-row position, the Japanese drive has a chance to increase his lead in standings as Sergio Campana (Ibiza Racing Team) was forced to content with 12th.
The team, owned by Giuseppe Cipriani, suffered from a bad streak of luck. Campana got his engine replaced, losing the second practice session, while team-mate Fabrizio Crestani ended up in 14th with his run plagued by an electrical issue. On the other hand, both of them will have good chance for a prompt recovery on race day by running aggressive race strategies. Row 4 was shared by MP Motorsport’s Dutchmen Meindert van Buuren and Daniel De Jong, while Romanian Robert Visoiu and Russian Max Snegirev rounded out the top-10.
The weekend’s two race will be broadcasted in live streaming on the Auto GP website. Race 1 is set to start at 14:20 on Saturday, followed on Sunday by Race 1 at 13:20. (all times are local, GMT+1).
Narain Karthikeyan (Super Nova International): “I’m proud to have achieved my maiden pole in Auto GP. I immediately found a good chemistry with Super Nova International, and this car is so nice to drive, it really highlights the driver’s qualities. The goal for tomorrow is victory, no doubt about that. Considering that we still had some room for improvement today, I think it’s in our frame”.
Kevin Giovesi (Ghinzani Motorsport): “The team found an incredible set-up for this car and today’s results just demonstrate their commitment. I’m well-suited by the Auto GP car. It’s a very powerful racer but more than that it’s really good to drive. This experience will definitely lay good foundations for my GP2 run later this month. However, we hope to improve our position even further tomorrow”.
Vittorio Ghirelli (Super Nova International): “I’m a bit disappointed to have stopped after just 10 minutes while I was on top, but I’m very happy for the team as they won their second straight pole of the season. We ran pretty good and I’m sure I will have a shot at the top positions on Race Day”.
Narain Karthikeyan joins Super Nova Auto GP Assault
Narain Karthikeyan edged out the competition today to claim pole position in Auto GP qualifying at a sunny Silverstone. Having topped both practice sessions earlier Narain was always around the top of the time sheets and only Vittorio moved him off the top spot on the first set of soft Kumhos.
Vittorio was looking to be his strongest challenger for the pole until a problem with the car ended his session after only a handful of laps, so he will line up third. This does leave him with a valuable set of brand new softs to use in the races. The team is in the process of investigating the issue.
Francesco improved from the practice sessions, ending up P16 but very close to the cars ahead. With the race pace he showed in Budapest there is a good opportunity to move up the field tomorrow.
I’m happy to be back with Super Nova – we have been fastest in every session and from pole our only target has to be the race win. The car felt very good, particularly on the second run, so thanks for the team for all of their hard work.
Qualifying was ok at the beginning, I only managed one or two flying laps before the car stopped so we had a lot of unrealized potential. I’m not sure what the problem was so we need to analyze this, fix it for tomorrow. We start P3 and have some new tyres so let’s see what we can do in the race tomorrow.
Today didn’t go to plan for us and I have struggled with the car balance compared to what I had in Budapest. We will give it our all for the race tomorrow and see what happens.
Race One begins at 14:20 local time