Mugello Auto GP: Kevin Giovesi claims maiden victory
|By Peter Mills||Sunday, July 14th 2013, 11:14 GMT|
Kevin Giovesi claimed his maiden Auto GP victory in race two at Mugello.
The Formula 3 European Open Copa class champion has starred in Auto GP since abandoning his GP2 programme last month and his win was his fourth podium in as many starts.
Second on Saturday translated to seventh on race two's reversed grid. But the Ghinzani racer executed a superb start to steal the lead on the exit of the first corner.
Yoshitaka Kuroda in second was unable to match the leader's pace, allowing Giovesi to stage a break while Super Nova pairing Narain Karthikeyan and Vittorio Ghirelli were bottled up behind the Japanese racer.
Karthikeyan grabbed second by braving the outside around Kuroda at the San Donato bend at the start of lap two. Ghirelli, perhaps inspired, produced a copycat pass for third on the following tour.
The leaders then held station until the chequered flag.
Karthikeyan demonstrated marginally superior pace to reduce a 2.2-second deficit to just half a second at the finish.
But the former Formula 1 driver reported losing front-end bite whenever he got within striking distance of Giovesi, and was unable to stage a passing attempt.
After suffering from an intermittent injector problem in race one, endeding a possible podium challenge, Ghirelli claimed a distant third - some 10s adrift of the winner.
Promoted to the championship lead after inheriting victory in race one, Sergio Campana ran fifth, behind Tamas Pal Kiss, in the early laps, before a severe delay at his pitstop.
Campana's title rival Kimiya Sato had followed him in close proximity before an early mandatory tyre change on lap six.
Sato took advantage of Campana's misfortune to finish fourth, just 0.6s clear of Zele Racing's Kiss.
Saturday's on-the-road victor Meindert van Buuren produced a solid performance from 10th on the grid to complete the top six.
The second Zele entry of Auto GP debutant Christian Klien made a respectable getaway from pole, but appeared to lose ground changing through the gears and was back in the midfield and out of podium contention at the completion of the opening lap.
The race proved relatively incident free compared to Saturday's fraught opener, but Giovesi's Ghinzani team-mate Robert Visoiu had a heavy crash on the last lap. The Romanian walked away from his car unaided.
Results - 16 laps: Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Kevin Giovesi Ghinzani 26m24.218s 2. Narain Karthikeyan Super Nova +0.529s 3. Vittorio Ghirelli Super Nova +10.885s 4. Kimiya Sato Euronova +16.448s 5. Tamas Pal Kiss Zele +17.154s 6. Meindert van Buuren Manor MP +27.805s 7. Daniel de Jong Manor MP +28.232s 8. Yoshitaka Kuroda Euronova +29.768s 9. Christian Klien Zele +37.400s 10. Andrea Roda Virtuosi +38.241s 11. Maxim Snegirev Virtuosi +42.706s 12. Sergio Campana Ibiza +42.927s 13. Francesco Dracone Ibiza +47.935s 14. Michele La Rosa MLR 71 +59.569s Retirements: Robert Visoiu Ghinzani 15 laps