Marrakech Auto GP: Campana secures maiden pole

Former Italian Formula 3 champion Sergio Campana recorded his maiden Auto GP pole position in Marrakech on Saturday afternoon

Marrakech Auto GP: Campana secures maiden pole

The half-hour session was stopped twice, but Campana and former HRT Formula 1 driver Narain Karthikeyan appeared unfazed by the red flags to stage a close fight for pole position throughout.

Campana knocked his high-profile competitor off top spot just thirty seconds before the chequered flag, edging out the Indian by 0.067 seconds thanks to a lap of 1m29.127s.

Both men continued to push on the final lap, lowering their times but without change to the order. Campana ended qualifying with an advantage of just 0.041s over Karthikeyan, after posting a pole-winning effort of 1m29.104s.

Monza polesitter Riccardo Agostini will head Manor MP Motorsport team-mate Daniel de Jong on the second row of Saturday afternoon's race.

Romanian Robert Visoiu starts fifth, while championship leader Kimiya Sato experienced a drama-filled day, recovering from exhaust problems in this morning's free practice session, to secure sixth.

Super Nova's Italian pairing of Vittorio Ghirelli and Antonio Spavone occupied seventh and eighth spots following eventful sessions.

Spavone caused the second red flag period, with just over six minutes left on the clocks, when he suffered a spin at Turn 2, while Ghirelli later survived a quick pirouette at Turn 13.

The first unscheduled break in qualifying was caused by a suspected glitch in the timing system, shortly after the midway mark.

The delay was a reprieve for Euronova Racing's Sato, who had completed just three troubled laps and languished in last position at the time of the stoppage.

On the restart, Sato's machine appeared back in full health and the German Formula 3 graduate swiftly established himself in the top six.

 Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Sergio Campana Ibiza 1m29.104s 13 2. Narain Karthikeyan Zele 1m29.145s + 0.041s 14 3. Riccardo Agostini Manor MP 1m29.276s + 0.172s 11 4. Daniel de Jong Manor MP 1m29.342s + 0.238s 14 5. Robert Visoiu Ghinzani 1m29.477s + 0.373s 15 6. Kimiya Sato Euronova 1m29.552s + 0.448s 11 7. Vittorio Ghirelli Super Nova 1m29.711s + 0.607s 14 8. Antonio Spavone Super Nova 1m30.048s + 0.944s 18 9. Luciano Bacheta Zele 1m30.146s + 1.042s 13 10. Andrea Roda Virtuosi UK 1m30.274s + 1.170s 15 11. Meindert van Buuren Manor MP 1m30.379s + 1.275s 14 12. Max Snegirev Virtuosi UK 1m30.731s + 1.627s 14 13. Yoshitaka Kuroda Euronova 1m31.086s + 1.982s 17 14. Giuseppe Cipriani Ibiza 1m31.246s + 2.142s 10 15. Michele la Rosa MLR 71 1m32.164s + 3.060s 16 
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Series Auto GP
Author Peter Mills