Euronova’s Kimiya Sato took his second win in race 1
Super Nova’s Fransisco Dracone struggled all weekend and took a pair of 11ths
Manor’s Riccardo Agostini took third in race 2
Ghinzani Motorsport had a new paint scheme and a top 10 for Romanian Robert Visoiu
The weekend in brief
Kimiya Sato went on to win Race 1 at the Hungaroring in the third round of the 2013 Auto GP. The Japanese Euronova Racing driver took-off from the third place on the grid but took an early lead at the first corner to edge Vittorio Ghirelli (Super Nova International) and Tamas Pal Kiss (MLR71). The Italian, who had lost second place to the home hero, recovered the position with a clever line at the first braking. On lap 2, Ghirelli passed Sato back but his potentially winning run suddenly came to an halt when he was slowed down by a left rear issue in the pits. He eventually wounded up in second after having lost all the advantage he had built up to the 15th lap.
Sato is at his second Auto GP victory after winning a wet Race 2 at Monza. On the other hand, Ghirelli repeated the second-place finish scored last month in Morocco. Sergio Campana for Ibiza Racing Team ended up in third place following to a great recovery drive from 5th on the grid. It was a good rebound for him after having to retire in Race 2 at Marrakech (he won Race 1). Sato is now standing as the championship leader with 91 points, 14 more by Campana (77), while Ghirelli stands in third with 62 points.
Riccardo Agostini (MP Motorsport) ended up in 4th place. Thanks to an early pit-stop, he was able to recover one spot on Pal Kiss, who rounded out the top-5 in a positive Auto GP debut. Sixth and Seventh place went to two more MP Motorsport men, Meindert van Buuren and Daniel De Jong, while former Formula 1 driver Narain Karthikeyan (Zele Racing) scored 8th and was awarded the pole for Race 2 thanks to the reverse top-8 format.
Virtuosi UK cruised to two more podium finishes with Como-based Andrea Roda and Russian Max Snegirev, while a contact between Luciano Bacheta (Zele Racing) and Robert Visoiu (Ghinzani Motorsport) put both of them out of contention during the penultimate lap. The Italian squad also turned some heads as they decided to replace Visoiu’s front wheels (teams usually replace the rear ones) during the pit-stop.
The Budapest weekend of the 2013 Auto GP series was rounded out today at the Hungaroring as Vittorio Ghirelli fought back to his maiden win. The Roman, fielded by Super Nova International, provided the same superiority seen in practice and in qualifying. At the start, Narain Karthikeyan (Zele Racing) held onto the lead from the MP Motorsport duo of Daniel De Jong and Meindert Van Buuren. The latter was forced to retire on lap 2 letting Ghirelli in second followed by Campana (Ibiza Racing Team) and home racer Tamas Pal Kiss (MLR71). Both of them passed Riccardo Agostini (MP Motorsport), who opted for an early pit-stop.
Ghirelli moved on De Jong for second place on lap 2, and the Dutchman also lost third to Campana. Ghirelli’s recovery was completed on lap 8 with an overtake on Karthikeyan, who was in the lead at the time. Behind them, the Indian racer was soon passed by Campana and Agostini during the pit-stops, ending up in 4th. Thanks to today’s results, Ghirelli climbed up to third place overall in standings with 82 points, and also extended his lead among the Under 21 drivers.
Championship leader Kimiya Sato (Euronova Racing) ended up in 6th and had his margin trimmed to 5 points from Campana. The Japanese racer was edged by Pal Kiss who took a double points finish at his debut race in the series. Daniel De Jong topped Max Snegirev (Virtuosi UK) and Brit Luciano Bacheta (Zele Racing), who recovered up to 9th after retiring in Race 1. The top-10 was rounded out by Robert Visoiu (Ghinzani Motorsport), also involved in a Race 1 tangle.
Photos by Steve Sziklai, May 2013
Words by the AutoGP
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