02/05/2015
Race 1: Regalia (FMS) pips Pizzonia (Zele) on wet Hungaroring

Facundo Regalia is the first winner of the 2015 Auto GP championship. As teams and drivers lined-up for a wet Race 1 at the Hungaroring, the 23-year-old from Argentina, driving for FMS Racing, narrowly beat former F1 racer Antonio Pizzonia (Zele Racing), who held the lead for most part of the day. After starting from the pole, the Brazilian went wide, allowing Regalia to pull a late pass for victory. Third place eventually went to Christof Von Grünigen (Paolo Coloni Racing), who recovered three spots despite the tricky weather.The race started behind the safety-car, with Pizzonia lapping away from Regalia and youngster Pulcini (FMS) at the green flag. Roman-based Pulcini held a potential podium spot for long, losing it only late in the race to Von Grünigen. While Cipriani retired following with a spin, several battles highlighted the race. At first, it was Angolan Sa Silva (Zele) and Von Grünigen to challenge each other, then the Swissman started catching up on Pulcini while Cecotto (Virtuosi) took on Sa Silva. Cecotto, who had suffered from gearbox issues in qualifying, started from the back of the pack but successfully fought back to post a top-5 position.The game-changer came with two to go. Pressured by Regalia, Pizzonia went wide on a fast corner, allowing Regalia to get by and win with a 0.8s advantage. Von Grünigen ended up third, 21 seconds back. Rookie Pulcini held his banner high despite the treacherous conditions and finished fourth in front of Cecotto, Sa Silva, Zlobin (Virtuosi UK) and Mendez (Zele). The latter will start from the pole on the reverse grid for Race 2. The second race of the weekend is scheduled for tomorrow at 12:15 on a 20-lap distance. Live broadcast will be provided by Eurosport International, with a live streaming service also available www.autogp.net.

Regalia scored an exciting Race 1 win: "My goal was to wait for Pizzonia to make a mistake, as it was impossible to pass without taking major risks. At the start, I had to set the right pace with the car. Then, also thanks to a drying track, it was a crescendo and I successfully pushed him to make that mistake".

Antonio Pizzonia almost had victory in his bag: "A small mistake in the closing stages jeopardized my chances for a win. I just got a little relaxed, lost concentration and Facu dived for the lead. I'm sorry for the team as I really wanted to hand them the win. On the other hand, starting off with a second place isn't bad either"

Swissman Von Grünigen made it to the third step of the podium. "I'm happy with the today's result after a really tough race on the wet. In the first few laps I tried to get more confidence while trying not to be over aggressive. In the closing stages, as the rain started to fade, I even had fun, although it was impossible to catch up with the top-2".


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