Auto GP Monza: Riccardo Agostini on pole for series debut at Monza
Auto GP debutant Riccardo Agostini will head an all-Italian front two rows for Saturday afternoon's opening race of 2013
The Manor MP Motorsport driver demoted his predecessor as Italian Formula 3 champion, Sergio Campana, from the head of the timing screens just four minutes from the end of the half-hour session.
Agostini improved on his provisional pole time on his following tour, and achieved the honour of being the only man under the 1m36s barrier after recording a lap of 1m35.782s.
Campana's second position remained a worthy effort after technical trouble in free practice. Last year's Marrakech Auto GP victor only signed to drive for Guiseppe Cipriani's Ibiza Racing team days before this weekend's opening round.
Free practice two pacesetter Vittorio Ghirelli ended the afternoon in third for reigning champion team Super Nova International, ahead of Virtuosi UK's local racer Andrea Roda - who gained two positions on his final lap.
Romanian Robert Visiou, the youngest driver in the championship, is set to make his maiden Auto GP start from fifth place on the grid.
Kimiya Sato was the first to record a representative time a little under a third of the way into the session. The Japanese Euronova Racing driver maintained top spot until being usurped by Campana with 10 minutes left.
Sato would slip to an eventual sixth place ahead of team-mate Yoshitaka Kuroda.
Formula 2 champion Luciano Bacheta was 10th, two places ahead of his Zele team-mate, former HRT F1 driver Narain Karthikeyan, who was hindered by a puncture.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Riccardo Agostini Manor MP 1m35.782s 2. Sergio Campana Ibiza 1m36.455s + 0.673s 3. Vittorio Ghirelli Super Nova 1m36.524s + 0.742s 4. Andrea Roda Virtuosi UK 1m36.717s + 0.935s 5. Robert Visoiu Ghinzani 1m36.845s + 1.063s 6. Kimiya Sato Euronova 1m36.922s + 1.140s 7. Yoshitaka Kuroda Euronova 1m37.120s + 1.338s 8. Giuseppe Cipriani Ibiza 1m37.203s + 1.421s 9. Giacomo Ricci MLR71 1m37.315s + 1.533s 10. Luciano Bacheta Zele 1m37.327s + 1.545s 11. Antonio Spavone Super Nova 1m37.327s + 1.545s 12. Narain Karthikeyan Zele 1m37.487s + 1.705s 13. Max Snegirev Virtuosi UK 1m37.832s + 2.050s 14. Meindert van Buuren Manor MP 1m38.827s + 3.045s 15. Michele la Rosa MLR71 1m42.641s + 6.859s
Auto GP Monza: Vittorio Ghirelli heads second practice at Monza
Luciano Bacheta sure late Auto GP deal no hindrance for 2013