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Luca Filippi sets the FP1 pace on his return to Auto GP

Luca FilippiLuca Filippi marked his return to AutoGP by setting an emphatic early benchmark in the first practice session at Valencia.

The Italian missed the last round in Germany due to GP2 commitments, losing his lead in the points standings as a consequence.

The Super Nova driver made the best possible start to on his return weekend - AutoGP's penultimate round of 2011 - as he finished almost half a second clear of the rest of the field.

Lazarus' Fabrizio Crestani led the response, his 1m24.610s effort enough for second but 0.440s shy of Filippi's outright best.

At his home circuit Adrian Campos Jr was third fastest, ahead of one of Filippi's main title rivals Sergey Afanasiev.

Like Filippi, Afanasiev has missed one round - due to visa problems he could not travel to Donington Park - but a win and a second last time out put him back in contention. He was fourth fastest, just under 0.7s behind Filippi.

Campos Racing duo Adrien Tambay and Adam Carroll were split by just 0.018s in fifth and sixth respectively, ahead of current championship leader Kevin Ceccon of Ombra Racing.

Ceccon did just enough to steal the series lead in Germany, but his current two-point advantage over Filippi will be looking even slimmer after he finished more than 0.8s slower than the Italian.

DAMS driver Rio Haryanto edged out Durango's Giovanni Venturini for eighth, but the pair were both more than 1s off the overall best. Lazarus' Fabio Onidi rounded out the top 10.

Pos  Driver                Team       Time       Gap
 1.  Luca Filippi	   Super Nova 1m24.170s  
 2.  Fabrizio Crestani     Lazarus    1m24.610s  + 0.440s
 3.  Adrian Campos Jr      Campos     1m24.656s  + 0.486s
 4.  Sergei Afanasiev      DAMS       1m24.861s  + 0.691s
 5.  Adrien Tambay         Campos     1m24.911s  + 0.741s
 6.  Adam Carroll          Campos     1m24.929s  + 0.759s
 7.  Kevin Ceccon          Ombra      1m24.983s  + 0.813s
 8.  Rio Haryanto          DAMS       1m25.201s  + 1.031s
 9.  Giovanni Venturini    Durango    1m25.222s  + 1.052s
10.  Fabio Onidi           Lazarus    1m25.429s  + 1.259s
11.  Daniel de Jong        MP         1m25.791s  + 1.621s
12.  Pasquale di Sabatino  TP         1m26.728s  + 2.558s
13.  Francesco Dracone     Emmebi     1m26.797s  + 2.627s
14.  Giuseppe Cipriani     Durango    1m26.908s  + 2.738s
15.  Samuele Buttarelli    TP         1m27.641s  + 3.471s 

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