Paul Ricard Auto GP: Kevin Giovesi finally gets first victory

Kevin Giovesi finally converted his qualifying pace into an Auto GP victory in race two at Paul Ricard

Paul Ricard Auto GP: Kevin Giovesi finally gets first victory

The sometime GP2 racer's success is also the first win for series newcomer Eurotech Engineering, set up by former Durango GP2 boss Ivone Pinton.

In a wet but drying race, Giovesi held off charging race one winner Tamas Pal Kiss by just 0.9 seconds at the chequered flag.

But having built up a nine-second cushion at mid-distance, Giovesi was in a position to manage his pace deficit to Kiss over the closing laps.

"We have been very fast over one lap, as everyone can see by our pole positions," said Giovesi, who won twice on the road last year only to lose the victories to penalties each time, and who had topped both 2014 qualifying sessions so far.

"Now I think we have finally got the long-run pace to match.

"I am just hoping there are no post-race penalties now..."

From fifth on the reversed grid, Giovesi had powered onto the tail of leader Michela Cerruti at the conclusion of lap one, and romped into first position on the second lap.

Polesitter Yoshitaka Kuroda, making his 2014 debut, held Zele team-mate Kiss at bay until lap three, allowing the lead pair to make a break at the front of the pack.

After passing Kuroda, Kiss initially struggled to make inroads on Giovesi in the spray, but following his pitstop he relentlessly narrowed the gap until the finish.

Kimiya Sato survived an early skirmish when he clipped the rear of Kiss's Zele machine to take a distant third.

The Japanese driver's result extends his advantage at the top of the drivers' standings to 13 points over rookie Markus Pommer, who finished fourth.

Sato's Euronova crew elected against changing his damaged front wing in the pits, and he pressed on battling severe understeer.

His pace was still sufficient to take him past Cerruti, who later lost out to Pommer too.

The field was reduced to 10 starters following pre-race gearbox problems for third-place starter Loris Spinelli and electrical difficulties for 2012 European Formula 3 Open champion Niccolo Schiro.

Results - 22 laps: Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Kevin Giovesi Eurotech 35m55.369s 2. Tamas Pal Kiss Zele +0.963s 3. Kimiya Sato Euronova +11.760s 4. Markus Pommer Super Nova +13.597s 5. Michela Cerruti Super Nova +19.876s 6. Sam Dejonghe Virtuosi +35.090s 7. Andrea Roda Virtuosi +44.326s 8. Yoshitaka Kuroda Zele +1m14.078s 9. Michele La Rosa MLR 71/Euronova +1m36.366s 10. Giusepppe Cipriani Ibiza +1 lap Retirements: Loris Spinelli Eurotech 0 laps Niccolo Schiro Ibiza 0 laps 
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Paul Ricard Auto GP: Tamas Pal Kiss claims maiden series victory

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Series Auto GP
Author Peter Mills