Thrilling vitory for Sato at Budapest
Sergey Sirotkin became the last winner of the 2012 Auto GP season in Sonoma
The Russian driver of Euronova Racing was the first to cross the line in Sunday’s Race 2 after a race that saw him as the undisputed leader. After that the early part was led by reverse poleman Antonio Spavone and saw the Safety-Car deployed to remove Sakurai’s car (the Japanese driver stalled on the grid due to a clutch issue), Sirotkin effectively took the lead from lap 5 on, when a lightning quick pit-stop from the Euronova crew and a very fast out lap allowed him to climb from P3 to the lead. From then on, the driver from Russia lapped steadily in the low 1’28” range, a pace that nobody but Quaife-Hobbs could match.
Sergey Sirotkin topped the sheets of the first Auto GP practice in Sonoma
The 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”.
“Auto GP provides excellent training for young drivers and is good value for money compared to other championships with big cars.”
One of the first teams to commit to the Auto GP championship in its debut season, Euronova Racing made his comeback in the Series in 2012 with a great challenge: getting results from the youngest line up of the grid: when the championship started in March, Sergey Sirotkin was just 16 while his team-mate Antonio Spavone was 17. Relying on Vincenzo Sospiri’s skills as a talent scout and driver coach, the team was able to overcome the odds and experience a successful season with one win and six other podium finishes. Here is Euronova’s 2012 in Sospiri’s own words.
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs took the fifth pole of his Auto GP season.
The championship leader, who has a chance to seal the title already this weekend in Curitiba, made a further step in the right direction by taking the extra point for pole after a fight with Chris Van der Drift, Antonio Pizzonia and Pål Varhaug.
Antonio Pizzonia needed virtually no time to find the right pace in Auto GP
The home hero closed the first free practice session in second place, just 0”6 shy of Championship leader Adrian Quaife-Hobbs. The Briton confirmed his great pace topping the sheets with a 1’12”767 but the highlight of this first 30’ was undoubtedly Pizzonia’s great comeback on a single-seater: the former F1 driver surely made the most of his deep knowledge of the Curitiba track, something that allowed him to focus just on finding the feeling with Ombra Racing and the Zytek-powered Lola.
Points he earned have been added to his championship tally
Following Euronova Racing’s appeal against the disqualification of Antonio Spavone from the Budapest round of the Auto GP Championship, the Hungarian Federation confirmed last week that the driver would be re-instated. Spavone has therefore been re-instated in the race results from the weekend and the points he earned have been added to his championship tally.
Sunday 3 June is a day that Adrian Quaife-Hobbs won’t forget easily
The young Briton of Supernova today won the second race of the Portimão Auto GP weekend starting from P8 and doing so he clinched a perfect weekend taking pole position, both race wins and both fastest laps. The fifth win of his season is another championship record secured by the driver from Kent, and the “hat-trick” is also an absolute premiere for the Series: thanks to this weekend’s results Quaife Hobbs added 48 points to his tally, bringing his advantage on the closest rival to 73 points.
The Briton of SuperNova didn’t have the best start from pole position, but that was the only tough moment of his race.
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs took the fourth success of his Auto GP season in Portimão, equaling the number of wins clinched by Romain Grosjean in the 2010 Championship. When the lights went off it was Facu Regalia who got away really well and took the lead, entering Turn 1 ahead of the whole pack, but he didn’t manage to build a gap; this meant that at the end of Lap 1 Quaife-Hobbs could make the most of the joint effect of slipstream and Overboost to pass him and take P1.
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