Sato and Pommer share wins in Morocco
Kimiya Sato (Euronova Racing) and Markus Pommer (Super Nova International) share the win in the opening 2014 Auto GP round in Marrakech.
The Japanese racer, who ended as the series’ runner-up in 2013 and is currently committed to a season in GP2, claimed the victory in the Saturday race ahead of first-time podium runners Michele La Rosa (MLR71 by Euronova) and Giuseppe Cipriani (Ibiza Racing Team).
At the start, Pommer, who was taking-off from the front row, stalled and let Eurotech’s Kevin Giovesi go from the pole. Zele Racing’s Tamas Pal Kiss and Sergio Campana were second and third from Sato, Andrea Roda (Virtuosi UK) and La Rosa. On lap 7, Giovesi and Pal Kiss made contact and had to retire (the Italian was penalized 10 spots on Race 2 grid). With the safety-car making its way in, Sato was the leader and he also retained the spot after pitting together with Roda and Campana. Unfortunately Campana stalled at his pitbox, but after the re-start, with Sato increasing his margin on Roda and Pommer, things got even worse for him as he touched the wall and retired. Pommer then tried to move on Roda but spun off, losing positions. In the closing stages, some mistakes by Sato enabled Roda to recover but in a late comeback attempt, the Como-based driver lost braking point and hit the barriers. So Sato won the race in front of La Rosa e Cipriani. After having been slowed down by traffic in qualifying, Michela Cerruti (Super Nova International) completed a good recovery in fourth. A misunderstanding during the safety car condition meant the drivers following Sam Dejonghe (Virtuosi UK) reached the finish more than one minute back. Loris Spinelli (Ibiza Racing Team) took sixth behind the Belgian but was off to a positive debut with the 550-hp Auto GP car and the Marrakech street course.
Pommer scored his maiden Auto GP win in Race 2. The German, who joined the reigning champions Super Nova in the offseason, led from start to finish topping Sato. The Japanese is now the new series leader. The podium was completed by Pal Kiss, who completed a sensational recovery from 12th to take home his first trophy of the year. Roda took fourth. He did a great job in managing the issues created by a contact between La Rosa and Dejonghe late in the race. While the Italian lost the fifth spot to Cerruti, the Belgian had to retire and was classified in eight place. The points zone was completed by Ibiza Racing Team with Giuseppe Cipriani and Francesco Dracone. On the other hand, a crash put out of contention both Richard Gonda (Virtuosi UK) and Race 1’s polesitter Giovesi. A gearbox issue stopped Campana, while youngster Spinelli, who was the only man with soft tires at the front of the grid, ended up off-track on lap 1.
AUTO GP 2014 - DRIVERS' CHAMPIONSHIP AFTER ROUNDS 1-2
|3||Michele La Rosa||24|
|8||Tamas Pal Kiss||12|
AUTO GP 2014 - TEAMS' CHAMPIONSHIP AFTER ROUNDS 1-2
|1||Super Nova International||46|
|3||MLR71 by Euronova||24|
|4||Ibiza Racing Team||23|