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Nurburgring Auto GP: Narain Karthikeyan continues pole streak

Narain Karthikeyan, Super Nova, Nurburgring Auto GP 2013

Narain Karthikeyan secured his third consecutive Auto GP pole position at the Nurburgring.

Since switching to David Sears' Super Nova team prior to the Silverstone meeting in June, the Indian has started from the top spot for all Auto GP feature races.

Friday morning free practice pacesetter Vittorio Ghirelli will join his team-mate on the front row for Saturday's opening race. Ghirelli was the last man to deny Karthikeyan a pole position when he qualified fastest at the Hungaroring three months ago.

The Italian appeared set for his second pole after posting an early lap of 1m19.219s that propelled him to the top of the timesheets.

But Karthikeyan demoted his team-mate into second by breaking into the 1m18s around two-thirds of the way through the half-hour session.

Karthikeyan was subsequently stripped of two fastest laps, but an effort of 1m18.330s, just three minutes before the chequered flag, was not taken away from him by race officials and would stand as the pole time.

Consistent frontrunner Kevin Giovesi, who set fastest lap last time out at Mugello, also challenged for pole honours and will start third.

Ibiza Racing's duo of new recruit Tamas Pal Kiss and championship leader Sergio Campana are set to line up in fourth and fifth positions.

Campana narrowly edged out his title rival Kimiya Sato by 0.093s. Both men have amassed 138 points at the head of the drivers' standings.

Meindert van Buuren was another to have a fastest time deleted, and the Dutch rookie finished seventh.

Series debutant Roberto La Rocca claimed 12th, two places above fellow newcomer Michela Cerruti.

Pos  Driver               Team             Time       Gap
 1.  Narain Karthikeyan   Super Nova       1m18.330s
 2.  Vittorio Ghirelli    Super Nova       1m18.542s  +0.212s
 3.  Kevin Giovesi        Ghinzani         1m18.744s  +0.414s
 4.  Tamas Pal Kiss       Ibiza            1m18.992s  +0.662s
 5.  Sergio Campana       Ibiza            1m19.090s  +0.760s
 6.  Kimiya Sato          Euronova         1m19.183s  +0.853s
 7.  Meindert van Buuren  Manor MP         1m19.294s  +0.964s
 8.  Robert Visoiu        Ghinzani         1m19.316s  +0.986s
 9.  Daniel de Jong       Manor MP         1m19.443s  +1.113s
10.  Andrea Roda          Virtuosi         1m19.636s  +1.306s
11.  Yoshitaka Kuroda     Euronova         1m19.804s  +1.474s
12.  Roberto La Rocca     Comtec/Virtuosi  1m19.819s  +1.489s
13.  Michele La Rosa      MLR 71           1m20.030s  +1.700s
14.  Michela Cerruti      MLR 71           1m20.106s  +1.776s
15.  Max Snegirev         Virtuosi         1m20.458s  +2.128s
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Giovesi given race two grid penalty
Karthikeyan secures third Auto GP win
Ghirelli sets the pace at Nurburgring