Auto GP Silverstone: Ex-F1 racer Narain Karthikeyan sets pace

Former Jordan and HRT Formula 1 driver Narain Karthikeyan set the pace in Auto GP practice at Silverstone on Friday for his new team Super Nova

Auto GP Silverstone: Ex-F1 racer Narain Karthikeyan sets pace

Karthikeyan, who quit rival squad Zele Racing following last month's Hungaroring round, only announced his team switch early on Friday morning, but edged out his team-mate Vittorio Ghirelli by 0.025s during the first half-hour session.

There was an unfamiliar look to the top of the timesheets in FP2, where series newcomer Kevin Giovesi was Karthikeyan's closest challenger.

The GP2 driver was within two tenths of a second of Karthikeyan's benchmark 1m46.837s, which stood as the best practice time of the day.

Championship leader Kimiya Sato was third in FP1, but slipped to fifth later on behind Ghirelli and Manor MP's ever-improving Meindert van Buuren put in faster times; the Dutchman third in the afternoon session.

Tamas Pal Kiss, who has replaced Karthikeyan at Zele, was sixth in FP1 and 10th later on; his team-mate Luciano Bacheta stopping on track during the latter session.

Fabrizio Crestani, who is substituting for his Ibiza Racing team-boss Giuseppe Cipriani - who has a back injury - was 13th overall. His title-contending team-mate Sergio Campana did not take part in FP2 due to an engine problem.

Practice one: Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Narain Karthikeyan Super Nova 1m47.183s 2. Vittorio Ghirelli Super Nova 1m47.208s + 0.025s 3. Kimiya Sato Euronova 1m47.732s + 0.549s 4. Kevin Giovesi Ghinzani 1m47.779s + 0.596s 5. Meindert van Buuren Manor MP 1m48.033s + 0.850s 6. Tamas Pal Kiss Zele 1m48.221s + 1.038s 7. Robert Visoiu Ghinzani 1m48.268s + 1.085s 8. Sergio Campana Ibiza 1m48.293s + 1.110s 9. Riccardo Agostini Manor MP 1m48.428s + 1.245s 10. Daniel de Jong Manor MP 1m48.574s + 1.391s 11. Maxim Snegirev Virtuosi UK 1m48.654s + 1.471s 12. Luciano Bacheta Zele 1m48.876s + 1.693s 13. Fabrizio Crestani Ibiza 1m48.955s + 1.772s 14. Andrea Roda Virtuosi UK 1m49.159s + 1.976s 15. Francesco Dracone Super Nova 1m50.207s + 3.024s 16. Yoshitaka Kuroda Euronova 1m50.389s + 3.206s 17. Michele La Rosa MLR 71 1m53.824s + 6.641s Practice two: Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Narain Karthikeyan Super Nova 1m46.837s 2. Kevin Giovesi Ghinzani 1m47.005s + 0.168s 3. Meindert van Buuren Manor MP 1m47.319s + 0.482s 4. Vittorio Ghirelli Super Nova 1m47.368s + 0.531s 5. Kimiya Sato Euronova 1m47.416s + 0.579s 6. Maxim Snegirev Virtuosi UK 1m47.638s + 0.801s 7. Andrea Roda Virtuosi UK 1m47.877s + 1.040s 8. Robert Visoiu Ghinzani 1m47.952s + 1.115s 9. Riccardo Agostini Manor MP 1m48.100s + 1.263s 10. Tamas Pal Kiss Zele 1m48.110s + 1.273s 11. Daniel de Jong Manor MP 1m48.976s + 2.139s 12. Yoshitaka Kuroda Euronova 1m49.118s + 2.281s 13. Fabrizio Crestani Ibiza 1m49.172s + 2.335s 14. Francesco Dracone Super Nova 1m49.557s + 2.720s 15. Luciano Bacheta Zele 1m49.851s + 3.014s 16. Michele La Rosa MLR 71 1m52.438s + 5.601s 
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Narain Karthikeyan switches to Super Nova to stay in Auto GP

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Series Auto GP
Author Peter Mills