01/09/2013
Donington, race 1: Vittorio Ghirelli (Super Nova International) wins, takes first 2013 Auto GP Title

Vittorio Ghirelli, running for Super Nova International, is the first champion of the 2013 Auto GP Season. As he cruised to victory in Race 1 at Donington, the Rome-based racer was able to lift the Under 21 trophy with three races to spare. On the other hand, thanks to the points he scored on-track, he also nailed the overall series' lead with a 9-point advantage on his closest rival. Second place was taken by pole-sitter and Ghirelli's team-mate Narain Karthikeyan, who topped Ghinzani Motorsport's Kevin Giovesi. The Italian seemed set to fight for victory until he entered the pits for his scheduled stop. Unfortunately, a problem in securing his front left tire cost him valuable time in the process and forced him tto content with a - still very positive - podium position. The team, owned by former F.1 racer Piercarlo Ghinzani, was able to celebrate a good overall result with Romanian Robert Visoiu scoring fourth place after leaving a good impression in practice. Missing the beat in Race 1 was Japanese Kimiya Sato. The Euronova Racing driver had nailed the strategy thanks to an early stop. Although he had a clean track and scored the fastest lap of the race, he spun on his own on lap 19, ending up his run into the gravel. Taking full advantage from that, Ibiza Racing Team's Sergio Campana managed to trim his gap by 10 points in what is now an extremely tight top-3 situation in standings. Daniel De Jong (MP Motorsport) took sixth as he won a race-long battle with Tamas Pal Kiss (Ibiza Racing Team), while thanks to his 8th place, fellow MP Motorsport Dutchman Meindert Van Buuren collected the pole position for this afternoon's Race 2. The points zone was completed by Andrea Roda (Virtuosi UK) and Yoshitaka Kuroda (Euronova Racing), while Roberto La Rocca (Comtec by Virtuosi) was forced to take-off from the pits,

Vittorio Ghirelli (Super Nova International): "I'm very happy to have scored a win here at Donington. Being the first champion of the 2013 AutoGP makes me very proud because it rewards the efforts made by me and the team. Now I have to focus on the future and I want to fight for the overall championship".

Narain Karthikeyan (Super Nova International): "I suffered from some graining after the pit-stop and that impacted on our performance. In the first part of the race I had a good pace and I managed to keep the rest of the pack behind. The great recovery by Vittorio shows how quick we are and now I'm looking forward to score more points in Race 2".

Kevin Giovesi (Ghinzani Motorsport): "We had a pit-stop issue in tightening a wheel and it eventually cost us second place, but I also made a mistake while chasing Karthikeyan and lost ground on Ghirelli. Unfortunately, it happens when you're pushing to the limit".


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