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More praise for new Auto GP car

Adrian Quaife-Hobbs, 2013 Auto GP car, Barcelona testing 2012The revised Auto GP car received a favourable reaction from drivers during its second day of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya on Friday.

The new model was driven by reigning Auto GP champion Adrian Quaife-Hobbs and former Formula Renault 3.5 racer Vittorio Ghirelli at the final post-season test.

The car was reported to have completed 60 laps without issue, and recorded a time 1.1 seconds faster than the outgoing 2012 machines in the first session, although that gap was smaller in the second.

"I have to thank Auto GP for bringing me here to cover a key role as the test driver for this new car," said Quaife-Hobbs. "In the last couple of days we tried different configurations and analysed a lot of data. We made huge steps forward and the laptimes clearly confirm that improvement."

The Briton's positive feedback was echoed by Ghirelli.

"I had the chance to drive the new Auto GP racer in the last session," said Ghirelli. "It's a really demanding car, but it's also great for learning. This season I raced in the Formula [Renault] 3.5 series, and compared to that car I have to admit that the new Auto GP one left me positively impressed and surprised.

"It's really demanding to drive and enables the driver's skills to make the difference. It also has better grip and great room for further improvement."

McLaren AUTOSPORT BRDC Award finalist Jordan King was fastest among the drivers in 2012 machinery. The 18-year-old, Formula Renault 2.0 NEC runner-up, set a quickest time of 1m34.083s on his maiden Auto GP run with Manor MP Motorsport.

Fellow Auto GP newcomer Kevin Giovesi was second with former leading Italian Formula 3 outfit Team Ghinzani. Thursday pacesetter Ghirelli confined his running to the morning session for Super Nova and took third, ahead of this season's Marrakech Auto GP winner Sergio Campana at Zele Racing.

Pos  Driver               Team          Time       Gap
 1.  Adrian Quaife-Hobbs  Auto GP 2013  1m33.676s
 2.  Jordan King          Manor MP      1m34.083s  + 0.407s
 3.  Vittorio Ghirelli    Auto GP 2013  1m34.191s  + 0.515s
 4.  Kevin Giovesi        Ghinzani      1m34.580s  + 0.904s
 5.  Vittorio Ghirelli    Super Nova    1m34.799s  + 1.123s
 6.  Sergio Campana       Zele          1m34.823s  + 1.147s
 7.  Daniel de Jong       Manor MP      1m34.881s  + 1.205s
 8.  Antonio Spavone      Super Nova    1m35.079s  + 1.403s
 9.  Andrea Roda          Virtuosi UK   1m35.468s  + 1.792s
10.  Giacomo Ricci        MLR 71        1m35.728s  + 2.052s
11.  Kotaro Sakurai       Euronova      1m35.736s  + 2.060s
12.  Yoshitaka Kuroda     Euronova      1m36.046s  + 2.370s
13.  Luca Defendi         Ombra         1m36.678s  + 3.002s
14.  Giuseppe Cipriani    Zele          1m37.103s  + 3.427s
15.  Michele la Rosa      MLR 71        1m39.727s  + 6.051s
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