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AUTO GP NEWS 

Adrian Quaife-Hobbs quickest in second Marrakech Auto GP practice

Adrian Quaife-Hobbs, Super Nova, Auto GP

Auto GP series leader Adrian Quaife-Hobbs set the fastest time in final practice for the championship's latest round at Marrakech on Friday, despite a spin that ended his session prematurely.

The Super Nova driver was unable to resume action after locking his rear brakes on the approach to Turn 10 and pirouetting, but the Briton's time of 1m29.336s was 1.3s ahead of the next best driver at the time - his team-mate Victor Guerin - despite running on a used set of tyres.

Virtuosi UK's Pal Varhaug staged a late flier to end the afternoon session as Quaife-Hobbs' closest challenger; the Norwegian reducing the gap to Quaife-Hobbs to just under 0.3s. The solitary Zele Racing entry of Giacommo Ricci was fitted with a set of new soft tyres to take third spot.

"We wanted a reference point ahead of qualifying, that's why we fitted the softs," explained team manager Michael Zele. "Qualifying will definitely be [on] supersofts, the good things is the track is so slippery, we are not expecting much tyre wear."

Formula Abarth Europe champion Sergey Sirotkin was fourth for Euronova, ahead of morning pacesetter Sergio Campana. MLR71 driver Campana was another to endure a premature end to his afternoon, after spinning off at Turn 1.

Guerin mirrored his team-mate Quaife-Hobbs in having dramas. The Brazilian stopped at Turn 2, bringing out yellow flags, but an early effort of 1m30.603s secured sixth.

Sirtokin's Euronova team-mate Antonio Spavone was 12th, readjusting to his Lola after testing for GP3 team Trident at Silverstone earlier in the week.

"In the GP3 you have to be fast in the middle of the corner," said Spavone. "Here, you have to brake at the last moment really hard and then turn. When you understand this you can adapt. There is only one clashing race between Auto GP and GP3. I will make a decision on which race I will miss based on how well I am doing in each championship."

Manor MP's drivers Chris van der Drift and Daniel de Jong both reported being slightly disappointed by their performances, after commenting that nothing felt unduly wrong with their cars.

Van der Drift ended the session in 11th, two places above Formula Renault 3.5 graduate de Jong.

Pos  Driver               Team         Time       Gap
 1.  Adrian Quaife-Hobbs  Super Nova   1m29.336s
 2.  Pal Varhaug          Virtuosi UK  1m29.607s  + 0.271s
 3.  Giacomo Ricci        Zele         1m29.759s  + 0.423s
 4.  Sergey Sirotkin      Euronova     1m30.021s  + 0.685s
 5.  Sergio Campana       MLR 71       1m30.099s  + 0.763s
 6.  Victor Guerin        Super Nova   1m30.603s  + 1.267s
 7.  Yann Cunha           Ombra        1m30.707s  + 1.371s
 8.  Facu Regalia         Campos       1m30.752s  + 1.416s
 9.  Giuseppe Cipriani    Campos       1m30.994s  + 1.658s
10.  Giancarlo Serenelli  Ombra        1m31.004s  + 1.668s
11.  Chris van der Drift  Manor MP     1m31.013s  + 1.677s
12.  Antonio Spavone      Euronova     1m31.112s  + 1.776s
13.  Daniel de Jong       Manor MP     1m31.315s  + 1.979s
14.  Michele la Rosa      MLR 71       1m32.151s  + 2.815s
15.  Francesco Dracone    Virtuosi UK  1m33.193s  + 3.857s
16.  Max Snegirev         Campos       1m37.096s  + 7.760s
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