Hungaroring Auto GP: Vittorio Ghirelli takes practice clean sweep

Vittorio Ghirelli completed a clean sweep of fastest times from Auto GP sessions at the Hungaroring by carrying his dominant Friday testing form into Saturday's pair of half-hour free practice sessions

Hungaroring Auto GP: Vittorio Ghirelli takes practice clean sweep

The Italian recorded the fastest lap of the weekend in free practice one with a time of 1m32.662s. Ghirelli was the only driver to lap in the 1m32s and finished a comfortable 0.774 seconds ahead of series debutant Tamas Pal Kiss.

Championship leader Kimiya Sato took a while to ascend towards the head of the classification, but jumped from sixth to third on his last lap after the chequered flag had dropped on FP1.

Times in Saturday afternoon's free practice two were generally slower, but the leading runners proved tightly matched. Ghirelli was presented with strong challenges from the impressive Kiss and Monza polesitter Riccardo Agostini.

Kiss came within just 0.004s of Ghirelli's benchmark time of 1m33.647s. Only 0.016s separated the top three, which was completed by reigning Italian Formula 3 champion Agostini.

"Everything is good for now, but obviously we have to make sure we stay on top for quali," said Ghirelli. "If it gets hotter I think pole will be just under the 1m34s, if it's like this morning perhaps a low 1m32s will be possible."

Teams had little incentive to run new rubber during free practice. Auto GP's sporting regulations prevented the use of any new tyres allocated for Friday's Hungaroring test to be held over for practice. The three sets of new tyres each team receives for the race weekend are set to be reserved for qualifying and Sunday's two races.

The top three drivers from free practice one used fresh, but not brand new, soft compound tyres to record their times.

GP2 driver Daniel de Jong took fourth in FP1, 0.024s ahead of Narain Karthikeyan, who ran a harder compound of Kumhos.

Sergio Campana, who is four points behind early-season leader Sato in the drivers' standings, suffered a slightly disappointing morning performance in seventh.

The Italian and his Ibiza Racing team responded to take fourth in the afternoon session, ahead of his Japanese adversary.

Practice one:

Pos  Driver               Team         Time       Gap
 1.  Vittorio Ghirelli    Super Nova   1m33.604s
 2.  Riccardo Agostini    Manor MP     1m34.172s  + 0.568s
 3.  Narain Karthikeyan   Zele         1m34.460s  + 0.856s
 4.  Daniel de Jong       Manor MP     1m34.527s  + 0.923s
 5.  Sergio Campana       Ibiza        1m34.631s  + 1.027s
 6.  Kimiya Sato          Euronova     1m34.721s  + 1.117s
 7.  Robert Visoiu        Ghinzani     1m35.009s  + 1.405s
 8.  Tamas Pal Kiss       MLR 71       1m35.101s  + 1.497s
 9.  Luciano Bacheta      Zele         1m35.238s  + 1.634s
10.  Meindert van Buuren  Manor MP     1m35.677s  + 2.073s
11.  Andrea Roda          Virtuosi UK  1m35.742s  + 2.138s
12.  Giuseppe Cipriani    Ibiza        1m35.811s  + 2.207s
13.  Yoshitaka Kuroda     Euronova     1m36.217s  + 2.613s
14.  Francesco Dracone    Super Nova   1m36.259s  + 2.655s
15.  Maxim Snegirev       Virtuosi UK  1m36.379s  + 2.775s
16.  Michele La Rosa      MLR 71       1m39.044s  + 5.440s

Practice two:

Pos  Driver               Team         Time       Gap
 1.  Vittorio Ghirelli    Super Nova   1m33.647s
 2.  Tamas Pal Kiss       MLR 71       1m33.651s  + 0.004s
 3.  Riccardo Agostini    Manor MP     1m33.663s  + 0.016s
 4.  Sergio Campana       Ibiza        1m33.755s  + 0.108s
 5.  Kimiya Sato          Euronova     1m33.846s  + 0.199s
 6.  Narain Karthikeyan   Zele         1m34.119s  + 0.472s
 7.  Daniel de Jong       Manor MP     1m34.209s  + 0.562s
 8.  Luciano Bacheta      Zele         1m35.180s  + 1.533s
 9.  Yoshitaka Kuroda     Euronova     1m35.191s  + 1.544s
10.  Robert Visoiu        Ghinzani     1m35.348s  + 1.701s
11.  Meindert van Buuren  Manor MP     1m35.369s  + 1.722s
12.  Andrea Roda          Virtuosi UK  1m35.761s  + 2.114s
13.  Francesco Dracone    Super Nova   1m36.100s  + 2.453s
14.  Maxim Snegirev       Virtuosi UK  1m36.202s  + 2.555s
15.  Giuseppe Cipriani    Ibiza        1m36.375s  + 2.728s
16.  Michele La Rosa      MLR 71       1m37.437s  + 3.790s
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Hungaroring Auto GP: Vittorio Ghirelli fastest in testing
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Hungaroring Auto GP: Vittorio Ghirelli carries dominant form to pole

Hungaroring Auto GP: Vittorio Ghirelli carries dominant form to pole