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AUTO GP NEWS 

Paul Varhaug beats Adrian Quaife-Hobbs to win second Hungaroring Auto GP race

Pal Varhaug, Virtuosi UK winsVirtuosi UK's Pal Varhaug claimed a thrilling Auto GP reversed-grid victory at the Hungaroring after a tense duel with race one winner Adrian Quaife-Hobbs.

The result is Varhaug's second win of the season, following success at the Monza season opener, and propels the 21-year-old into second position in the drivers' standings, 43 points behind Quaife-Hobbs.

Enjoying his strongest showing of the year, Campos Racing's 46-year-old gentleman driver Giuseppe Cipriani led the early laps, before a patient Varhaug negotiated the Italian on the exit of Turn 10 on lap six. Up from eighth on the reversed grid, Quaife-Hobbs was quick to follow suit and outbraked Cipriani into Turn 1 on the following tour.

Super Nova racer Quaife-Hobbs swiftly closed down a 1.2-second deficit to the new leader, and hounded Varhaug over a stirring closing 12 laps.

Unable to find a clear passing opportunity on track, Quaife-Hobbs opted to attempt an undercut during the mandatory pitstops. On the approach to the pit entry at the conclusion of lap 13, the championship leader slid spectacularly sideways to achieve the pitlane speed limit.

Despite Quaife-Hobbs' impressive bravery on the brakes, two laps later Varhaug enjoyed a low 6s turnaround from his Virtuosi UK crew to rejoin the track with an apparently extended lead. But Varhaug struggled to control his car at the apex of Turn 1 on cold tyres, and was powerless to prevent Quaife-Hobbs immediately closing the gap.

The two cars ran side-by-side into Turns 2 and 3 but, with the advantage of the inside line, Varhaug held station. A mistake at the final corner on the penultimate lap allowed Quaife-Hobbs another half-chance, but Varhaug resisted to take victory by 0.789s.

Fresh from victory in the supporting Italian Formula 3 European series earlier on Sunday morning, Sergey Sirotkin claimed the final place on the podium. The Russian suffered disappointment in race one when he was denied a likely second position by a late race gearbox failure.

The Euronova Racing driver's task for race two was consequently made more challenging by a grid position of 14th, but a superb getaway and a strong pace after pitting on lap 10 assisted his progress.

In only the Estonian's second Auto GP start of the year, series returnee Sten Pentus finished a lonely fourth for Zele Racing.

Marrakech reversed-grid victor Chris van der Drift took fifth, ahead of Cipriani whose pitstop is under investigation by race officials.

Results - 19 laps:

Pos  Driver               Team           Time/Gap
 1.  Pal Varhaug          Virtuosi UK  32m02.890s
 2.  Adrian Quaife-Hobbs  Super Nova     + 0.789s
 3.  Sergey Sirotkin      Euronova       + 2.765s
 4.  Sten Pentus          Zele          + 10.524s
 5.  Chris van der Drift  Manor MP      + 21.195s
 6.  Giuseppe Cipriani    Campos        + 25.445s
 7.  Sergio Campana       MLR 71        + 25.903s
 8.  Antonio Spavone      Euronova      + 26.511s
 9.  Giancarlo Serenelli  Ombra         + 31.302s
10.  Facu Regalia         Campos        + 31.759s
11.  Maxim Snegirev       Campos        + 34.627s
12.  Daniel de Jong       Manor MP      + 36.656s
13.  Adderly Fong         Ombra         + 36.942s
14.  Francesco Dracone    Virtuosi UK   + 41.504s

Retirements:

     Victor Guerin        Super Nova       4 laps
     Michele la Rosa      MLR 71            1 lap
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