Giovanni Venturini wins hard-fought Auto GP race two at Oschersleben
|By Sam Tremayne||Sunday, July 31st 2011, 09:28 GMT|
Giovanni Venturini withstood heavy and race-long pressure to win in a rain-affected second Auto GP race at Oschersleben.
The Italian started from pole under the reverse grid rules, but did not have to worry about the run down to the first corner as the first three laps of the race were held behind the safety car.
Once that retired however Venturini had to fend off a series of attacks led largely by Daniel de Jong, and as the lead pair battled Adrien Tambay and then Sergey Afanasiev also closed in, with just over two seconds separating the quarter heading into the final six laps.
Having never had a gap of more than 1s, Venturini was finally handed a reprieve on the last but one lap when de Jong went too deep into Hasseroder, running through the gravel and dropping to seventh in the process. He had earlier touched wheels with Venturini as the pair went down the main straight.
Tambay had also made contact with de Jong three laps previously, being pushed onto the grass and into a spin as he attacked on the outside going into Turn 1. The incident dropped Tambay to fourth, with race stewards announcing they would investigate de Jong after the race.
The big winner from both moments of contact was race one victor Afanasiev, who slotted into third when Tambay spun and then second when de Jong went off. He closed slightly on Venturini on the final lap, but could not challenge and finished second behind the Italian.
Tambay meanwhile secured a podium spot following de Jong's jaunt through the gravel, which also promoted Pasquale di Sabatino into fourth.
Formula Renault 3.5 race-winner Kevin Korjus hung on to fifth despite intense pressure from Kevin Ceccon, who was recovering from an earlier spin. Ceccon missed out on fifth by less than 0.2s, but moved into the championship lead - just one point ahead of Luca Filippi, who missed the weekend as he competes in GP2 in Hungary.
Having challenged for the lead for most of the race, de Jong finished seventh ahead of Samuele Buttarelli, with Fabrizio Crestani finishing ninth but one lap down.
Results - 17 laps: Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Giovanni Venturini Durango 30m25.268s 2. Sergei Afanasiev DAMS + 1.183s 3. Adrien Tambay Campos + 3.376s 4. Pasquale di Sabatino TP + 3.817s 5. Kevin Korjus DAMS + 5.913s 6. Kevin Ceccon Ombra + 6.099s 7. Daniel de Jong MP + 11.165s 8. Samuele Buttarelli TP + 30.388s 9. Fabrizio Crestani Lazarus + 1 lap 10. Fabio Onidi Lazarus + 1 lap 11. Adrian Campos Jr Campos + 2 laps Retirements: Francesco Dracone Emmebi 12 laps Giuseppe Cipriani Durango 10 laps Bruno Mendez Campos 2 laps