Filippi triumphs in Auto GP race one
Luca Filippi made amends for a mistake in qualifying that cost him pole position by taking the first Auto GP race win of the Brno weekend for Super Nova
Filippi, who missed pole position by just five hundredths of a second, made use of an early safety car period to make his mandatory pitstop on lap three, slotting back into the field behind early race leader Rio Haryanto.
After tracking polesitter Haryanto but being unable to get within a second of the DAMS driver, the Italian eventually took the lead of the race when Haryanto came in to make his mandatory stop just three laps from the end.
Filippi crossed the line over three seconds ahead to score his second race one win in succession at the Brno circuit and leap to the head of the drivers' standings.
"I feel more relaxed now," he said. "We needed to get a race one win and there's nowhere better than Brno to do it. I always have good races here. There's something about the layout. It's amazing to drive. It's been a good day!"
Fabrizio Crestani put two difficult Auto GP race weekends behind him to score his maiden series podium. The Lazarus driver qualified fourth fastest, maintained position at the start and then shadowed Filippi to the finish. Kevin Ceccon completed the podium for Ombra Racing, strengthening his second place in the championship standings as a result.
A great scrap for midfield positions led to six cars being eliminated on the opening lap. After an electric start from the seventh row, Campos Racing's Marco Barba tangled with erstwhile championship leader Giovanni Venturini heading into the first corner. Barba finished his day against the pitwall, with Venturini hitting the wall on the opposite side of the pits straight.
Further round the Brno circuit, Barba's team-mate Bruno Mendez found that three cars into one would not fit at Turn 3, vaulting over the rear wing of a slowing Fabio Onidi (Lazarus). The pair collected DAMS driver Adrien Tambay on their trip into the gravel trap and all three were out on the spot.
Jon Lancaster, having only just survived the opening lap carnage, pitted early and from there on produced a storming drive to finish fourth, posting fastest lap on the way. Pasquale di Sabatino converted his 12th place starting position into a fifth place finish for TP Formula. A frustrated Haryanto, who easily had the pace to take his debut series win, eventually came home sixth.
Results - 17 laps: Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Luca Filippi Super Nova 33m48.741s 2. Fabrizio Crestani Lazarus + 3.350s 3. Kevin Ceccon Ombra + 3.995s 4. Jon Lancaster Super Nova + 4.963s 5. Pasquale di Sabatino TP + 30.279s 6. Rio Haryanto DAMS + 34.955s 7. Samuele Buttarelli TP + 36.422s 8. Sergei Afanasiev DAMS + 37.358s 9. Giuseppe Cipriani Durango + 54.192s Retirements: Fabio Onidi Lazarus 0 laps Bruno Mendez Campos 0 laps Adrien Tambay Gravity-Charouz/DAMS 0 laps Giovanni Venturini Durango 0 laps Marco Barba Campos 0 laps Francesco Dracone Emmebi 0 laps