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Silverstone Auto GP: Giovesi beats Karthikeyan for debut win

Kevin GiovesiGP2 racer Kevin Giovesi scored a shock debut win on the Auto GP World Series' maiden visit to Silverstone.

The Italian produced a faultless performance to hold off charging former grand prix driver Narain Karthikeyan on a high-pressure final lap.

The result rewarded Auto GP newcomer Ghinzani Motorsport's expansion to two cars at Silverstone to accommodate Giovesi.

NEWS UPDATE: Karthikeyan gets win as Giovesi penalised

"It's fantastic," said reigning European Open Formula 3 Cup champion Giovesi. "We're talking to sponsors, so perhaps after the weekend we'll find out if I can stay in Auto GP for some more rounds."

Starting from the front row, the Lazarus GP2 driver kept pace with polesitter Karthikeyan in the early laps.

The pair had the measure of the field for pace, extending an eight-second lead over the third place battle between Tamas Pal Kiss and the slow-starting Vittorio Ghirelli by the race's mid-way mark.

Super Nova's new recruit Karthikeyan pitted for his mandatory tyre change with a 1.6s advantage on lap 12 of 14. But the Indian was a delayed by a problem fitting the front-left wheel, costing him an estimated four seconds.

Giovesi made his stop on the following tour, and funnelled out of the pits into Becketts with superior track position.

Struggling with front tyre temperature, Karthikeyan recovered ground sufficiently to make a lunge for the lead into Brooklands and Luffield on the last lap. But Giovesi survived to take victory by 0.318s.

"I had a big go at the complex and at Club on the last lap," said Karthikeyan. "I am a bit disappointed, but I am sure we will win soon. The trouble on the last lap was my fronts were taking time to heat up."

Tamas Pal Kiss, Zele, Silverstone Auto GP 2013Hungaroring winner Ghirelli executed a superb passing manoeuvre around the outside of Kiss at Stowe to steal third on lap nine.

Kiss dropped to a distant fourth, ahead of lead Manor MP Motorsport man Daniel de Jong and series returnee Fabrizio Crestani.

Substituting for injured Ibiza Racing owner Giuseppe Cipriani, Crestani was one of several drivers to receive a black and white warning flag for breach of track limits.

Championship leader Kimiya Sato took seventh, while title rival Sergio Campana picks up Sunday's reversed-grid pole courtesy of eighth place.

Virtuosi UK racer Andrea Roda was an early retirement after having one of his strongest runs of the season, in fifth, on the opening lap.

NEWS UPDATE: Karthikeyan gets win as Giovesi penalised

Results - 14 laps:

Pos  Driver               Team            Time/Gap
 1.  Kevin Giovesi        Ghinzani      25m47.090s
 2.  Narain Karthikeyan   Super Nova      + 0.318s
 3.  Vittorio Ghirelli    Super Nova      + 8.170s
 4.  Tamas Pal Kiss       Zele           + 14.375s
 5.  Daniel de Jong       Manor MP       + 16.030s
 6.  Fabrizio Crestani    Ibiza          + 17.280s
 7.  Kimiya Sato          Euronova       + 19.311s
 8.  Sergio Campana       Ibiza          + 23.270s
 9.  Meindert van Buuren  Manor MP       + 23.967s
10.  Robert Visoiu        Ghinzani       + 24.925s
11.  Luciano Bacheta      Zele           + 25.778s
12.  Maxim Snegirev       Virtuosi UK    + 29.881s
13.  Yoshitaka Kuroda     Euronova       + 45.256s
14.  Michele La Rosa      MLR 71       + 1m30.352s


     Riccardo Agostini    Manor MP         10 laps
     Francesco Dracone    Super Nova        6 laps
     Andrea Roda          Virtuosi UK       1 laps
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