Hungaroring Auto GP: Vittorio Ghirelli fastest in testing

Super Nova's Vittorio Ghirelli led the way in Auto GP's three-hour test at the Hungaroring on Friday afternoon

Hungaroring Auto GP: Vittorio Ghirelli fastest in testing

The Italian, who has scored two podiums in his rookie Auto GP campaign this year, recorded a fastest time of 1m33.604s.

Ghirelli was the only driver among the top four to set his fastest lap on medium, rather than soft, compound Kumho tyres. The performance bodes well for Super
Nova, whose 2012 champion Adrian Quaife-Hobbs recorded victory by 29 seconds at the venue last year.

"In practice last year the times started off around 1m34.5s, and this year we're already into the 1m33s," said team boss David Sears. "The pole time was around
1m32.7s.

"Before coming here Vittorio drove the simulator that Adrian built, and it predicted a 1m31.8s pole time, so we're on target."

Riccardo Agostini was half a second down on Ghirelli in second. The Monza polesitter, and reigning Italian Formula 3 champion, edged out former grand prix driver Narain Karthikeyan by three tenths of a second.

MP Motorsport's Daniel de Jong took fourth, just 0.004s ahead of 2013 double victor Sergio Campana.

Campana's fellow title protagonist Kimiya Sato ended the afternoon in sixth.

The lone Ghinzani entry of Robert Visoiu, sporting a new livery in the colours of the Romanian flag, finished seventh.

Experiencing his first taste of Auto GP, local hope Tamas Pal Kiss was a respectable eighth, six places up on fellow 2013 newcomer Francesco Dracone.

Former IndyCar driver and Auto GP returnee Dracone will compete in the Super Nova seat vacated by Antonio Spavone, who has experienced budgetary issues.

"I felt we were quite generous to run Antonio in Marrakech," said Sears, whose team could add a third car for the next event at Silverstone.

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Hungaroring Auto GP: Vittorio Ghirelli takes practice clean sweep

Hungaroring Auto GP: Vittorio Ghirelli takes practice clean sweep