Quaife-Hobbs increases Auto GP points lead with dominant win at the Hungaroring
|By Peter Mills||Saturday, May 5th 2012, 09:47 GMT|
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs increased his Auto GP World Series points lead with the most dominant performance of the season at the Hungaroring.
The Briton recorded a 29.614s margin of victory in the 19 lap race over Super Nova team-mate Victor Guerin. Brazilian Guerin moved up the order in a dramatic final three laps in which both of the long-time contenders for second, Euronova Racing's Sergey Sirotkin and Manor MP's Daniel de Jong, hit trouble.
After difficulties on his second set of tyres in qualifying, Campos Racing's Facu Regalia took advantage of the attrition to move up from eighth on the grid and claim the final podium position.
Pole-sitter Quaife-Hobbs only briefly lost the lead during a manic opening lap. Thereafter each of the GP3 graduate's laps was good enough for fastest lap as he recorded his third victory of the season.
"I picked up wheelspin away from the lights, but that was the only bad moment in the race," said Quaife-Hobbs.
"I was P3 into Turn 1, but by the end of the first lap I had taken advantage from two drivers getting a bit over-zealous to move back into the lead. I didn't feel the need to back off in the closing laps, as I felt very comfortable doing those times."
Russian Sirotkin was in the thick of the action from the start lights. From fifth on the grid, the reigning Formula Abarth champion made a rocket getaway to lead into Turn 1. Arriving at the corner slightly too hot, Sirotkin ran wide and forced Quaife-Hobbs slightly off-line in the process.
Monza winner Pal Varhaug made an opportunistic move to sneak into the lead, only for Sirotkin to stage an audacious pass around the outside of the Virtuosi UK racer into Turn 2 and reclaim the position.
Sirotkin and Varhaug would eventually trip over each at the final corner of the opening lap. Although both would continue, Quaife-Hobbs was presented with a clear path into the lead
De Jong inherited second position when Sirotkin crawled to a halt with gearbox trouble shortly after his pitstop four laps from home, but the Dutchman encountered his own misfortune when his Manor MP Lola cut-out pulling away from his stop on the next tour.
In an unusual top-six, Venezuelan Giancarlo Serenelli picked up his highest finish of the season in fourth for Ombra, ahead of Varhaug and Giuseppe Cipriani.
Cipriani's Campos team-mate Max Snegirev suffered a spectacular first lap crash at Turn 2. The Russian vaulted into the air over the rear of Italian Formula 3 champion Sergio Campana (MLR 71) and Ombra's Adderly Fong.
Former British Formula 3 racer Fong narrowly avoided a blow to his helmet in the accident, when the front wing of Snegirev's car left a deep cut to the Chinese racer's cockpit protection.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Super Nova 30m39.787s 2. Victor Guerin Super Nova + 29.614s 3. Facu Regalia Campos + 41.637s 4. Giancarlo Serenelli Ombra + 55.683s 5. Pal Varhaug Virtuosi UK + 1m02.960s 6. Giuseppe Cipriani Campos + 1m03.818s 7. Chris van der Drift Manor MP + 1m05.006s 8. Antonio Spavone Euronova + 1m05.650s 9. Sten Pentus Zele + 1m06.098s 10. Francesco Dracone Virtuosi UK + 1m12.786s 11. Daniel de Jong Manor MP + 1m17.040s 12. Michele la Rosa MLR 71 + 1m28.500s 13. Sergey Sirotkin Euronova + 4 laps Retirements: Adderly Fong Ombra 1 lap Sergio Campana MLR 71 1 lap Maxim Snegirev Campos 0 laps