Tamas Pal Kiss breaks Valencia lap record in Auto GP testing

Series returnee Tamas Pal Kiss broke the unofficial Auto GP lap record at Valencia on the championship's opening day of collective testing of 2014

Tamas Pal Kiss breaks Valencia lap record in Auto GP testing

Kiss's fastest lap of 1m21.480s for Zele was two seconds under the Valencia Auto GP lap record set by recent Rapax GP2 signing Adrian Quaife-Hobbs in 2012.

GP3 race winner Kiss is benefitting from more orderly preparations to his season than in 2013. The Hungarian was left on the sidelines through lack of finance, before finally securing a late deal to join Auto GP for round three of the championship at the Hungaroring.

Campos GP2 driver Kimiya Sato claimed second on the timesheets for MLR71, run by his former team Euronova Racing.

Former grand prix driver Taki Inoue, who is assisting the 2012 Auto GP title contender, revealed that Sato is participating in the test to assist the team and its new drivers, and for the same reason will compete in Auto GP this year in parallel to GP2.

Regular 2013 frontrunner Kevin Giovesi finished third for newcomer Puma 3 M-Sport, which enjoys a technical partnership with former Durango GP2 team boss Ivone Pinton's Eurotech concern.

Belgian Sam Dejonghe ended the day top rookie and a promising fourth fastest for Virtuosi UK.

Team-mate Andrea Roda, who returns to the Norfolk team for a second season, claimed third quickest in the morning session behind Super Nova's Michela Cerruti and Sato.

Reigning champion team Super Nova also fielded Markus Pommer and Gianmarco Raimondo. Formula 2 race winner Pommer was confident of further progress on the final day of testing on Wednesday, after experiencing a small issue with his pedals during his fastest lap.

Canadian Raimondo's running was limited to a shakedown at the close of play, in preparation for a more intense programme on Wednesday.

At Euronova, Sato will hand driving duties over to former team-mate Yoshitaka Kuroda on Wednesday. Salvatore Deplano, a late addition to the test, will drive the MLR71 entry.

Combined Tuesday times: Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Tamas Pal Kiss Zele 1m21.197s 42 2. Kimiya Sato MLR71/Euronova 1m21.390s +0.193s 47 3. Kevin Giovesi Puma 3/Eurotech 1m21.489s +0.292s 47 4. Sam DeJonghe Virtuosi 1m21.734s +0.537s 36 5. Andrea Roda Virtuosi 1m21.743s +0.546s 54 6. Markus Pommer Super Nova 1m22.098s +0.901s 52 7. Michela Cerruti Super Nova 1m22.651s +1.454s 61 8. Richard Gonda Virtuosi 1m22.976s +1.779s 63 9. Giuseppe Cipriani Ibiza 1m23.134s +1.937s 59 10. Loris Spinelli Puma 3/Eurotech 1m23.273s +2.076s 62 11. Francesco Dracone Ibiza 1m23.436s +2.239s 52 12. Michele La Rosa MLR71/Euronova 1m25.117s +3.920s 41 13. Salvatore Deplano MLR71/Euronova 1m25.117s +3.920s 11 14. Antonio Spavone Zele 1m25.191s +3.994s 11 
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Series Auto GP
Author Peter Mills