Jon Lancaster took a sensational win in an eventful opening AutoGP race at Donington Park.
On a wet track, the Briton closed down a four-second gap to his Super Nova team-mate Luca Filippi in just three laps, gaining a full second each time around through the second sector alone.
He took the lead with a move to the inside of the Italian at Coppice, and that was more or less the last that any of his rivals saw of him. He pulled away at the same rate that he had closed Filippi down, and extended his advantage to 7.6s by the end of the race.
Fabrizio Crestani completed the podium for the Lazarus team, but the real story of the race took place in the opening laps. The rain had prompted a safety car start, with polesitter Adam Carroll (Campos) at the head of the pack. At the end of the third lap, more than half of the field elected to pit, but Carroll was among those to stay out.
When Francesco Dracone spun into the gravel at Redgate on his out-lap following his stop, the safety car was forced to remain on the circuit, which allowed all of those who had already stopped to catch the rest of the field. Carroll pitted one lap later, but his hopes were shot and he rejoined towards the back of the field. All things considered, his eventual finishing position of fifth was a great result.
DAMS' Rio Haryanto elected not to stop at all early on and led the field when the race went green, only to be passed by Filippi at the Old Hairpin. He was later tapped into a spin by Fabio Onidi - whose own race would end against the barriers at the Craner Curves - before a slow pitstop completed the Indonesian's misery.
Results - 21 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Jon Lancaster Super Nova 38m46.643s 2. Luca Filippi Super Nova + 7.675s 3. Fabrizio Crestani Lazarus + 21.718s 4. Kevin Ceccon Ombra + 26.141s 5. Adam Carroll Campos + 27.716s 6. Daniel de Jong MP + 39.272s 7. Bruno Mendez Campos + 43.294s 8. Stefano Buttarelli TP + 53.953s 9. Giovanni Venturini Durango + 1m11.664s 10. Pasquale di Sabatino TP + 1m11.973s 11. Rio Haryanto DAMS + 1m23.973s 12. Giuseppe Cipriani Durango + 1 lap Retirements: Fabio Onidi Lazarus 17 laps Francesco Dracone Emmebi 3 laps