Sonoma Auto GP: Sergey Sirotkin stays on top in second practice
|By Peter Mills||Saturday, September 22nd 2012, 00:14 GMT|
Sergey Sirotkin underlined his strong start to the Auto GP World Series season finale at Sonoma by setting the fastest time in second free practice on Friday afternoon.
Valencia winner Sirotkin's lap of 1m27.808 was 0.074 seconds faster than his own benchmark time from practice one, and gives impetus to the Russian's bid to steal second position in the drivers' standings from Pal Varhaug.
Recently crowned Auto GP champion Adrian Quaife-Hobbs repeated his morning position of second, just 0.085s adrift of Euronova driver Sirotkin.
Quaife-Hobbs is the lone Super Nova entry this weekend, as former team-mate Victor Guerin has opted to compete in the clashing Singapore GP2 race for Ocean.
The Briton headed the order after 10 minutes of action, and maintained his position at the top of the timing screens until being displaced by Sirotkin with three minutes of the half hour session remaining.
Campana's Zele Racing team-mate Antonio Pizzonia stopped with apparent technical difficulties at the asphalt infield of Turn 11 late in the session.
Several drivers noted that the circuit was quite low-grip after first practice, and both Varhaug and Serenelli received warnings for breaching track limits in practice two.
Gentleman racer Giuseppe Cipriani was a spinner at Turn 4 but was able to rejoin the action.
The Italian's new Campos team-mate, former IndyCar racer Pippa Mann, encountered a problem exiting the pits towards the end of the session and was forced to stop.
In a change to Auto GP's usual format, qualifying for race one will be held on Saturday morning.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Sergey Sirotkin Euronova 1m27.808s 2. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Super Nova 1m27.893s + 0.085s 3. Daniel de Jong Manor MP 1m28.806s + 0.998s 4. Sergio Campana Zele 1m28.866s + 1.058s 5. Giancarlo Serenelli Ombra 1m28.957s + 1.149s 6. Giacomo Ricci MLR 71 1m29.411s + 1.603s 7. Pal Varhaug Virtuosi UK 1m29.489s + 1.681s 8. Antonio Pizzonia Zele 1m29.711s + 1.903s 9. Kotaro Sakurai Euronova 1m30.107s + 2.299s 10. Max Snegirev Campos 1m30.459s + 2.651s 11. Pippa Mann Campos 1m30.694s + 2.886s 12. Michele la Rosa MLR 71 1m31.031s + 3.223s 13. Francesco Dracone Virtuosi UK 1m31.149s + 3.341s 14. Antonio Spavone Ombra 1m31.285s + 3.477s 15. Giuseppe Cipriani Campos 1m31.306s + 3.498s