Tambay wins Imola Auto GP thriller
Adrien Tambay took victory in a spectacular first Auto GP race at Imola, coming out on top as his race-long rivals Giorgio Pantano and Luca Filippi slipped up in the final moments
Euronova driver Filippi had started from pole, but ran across the Tamburello gravel on the opening lap and was unable to fend off the fast-starting Pantano (Super Nova) as he rejoined with dirty tyres.
Both Filippi and Pantano then made their mandatory pitstops early, on laps four and six respectively, while Tambay stayed out longer and enjoyed some quick laps on a clear track.
He was helped by Pantano rejoining right in front of Filippi and the Italian duo then starting a massive battle featuring multiple passing moves and some wild moments over the kerbs and gravel.
The dice finally ended when Filippi went off in a failed overtaking attempt five laps from the finish. But Pantano would not get his hard-earned podium either - spinning off at Tamburello while chasing Tambay a lap from home.
That left Charouz-Gravity man Tambay clear to take a poignant victory at the track where his father Patrick famously won for Ferrari in the 1983 San Marino Grand Prix.
With Pantano out of the way, DAMS' Edoardo Piscopo followed Tambay to the flag, with Fabio Onidi (Lazarus) completing the podium.
Duncan Tappy was fourth for DAMS, while Super Nova's Jonny Reid came through from his disappointing qualifying to take fifth ahead of Carlos Iaconelli and Stefano Coletti, who had tumbled down the order at the start. Eighth-placed Celso Miguez will start on pole tomorrow on the partially-reversed race two grid.
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Adrien Tambay Charouz-Gravity 30m47.566s 2. Edoardo Piscopo DAMS + 0.937s 3. Fabio Onidi Lazarus + 2.177s 4. Duncan Tappy DAMS + 3.437s 5. Jonny Reid Super Nova + 18.112s 6. Carlos Iaconelli Durango + 22.375s 7. Stefano Coletti Charouz-Gravity + 30.654s 8. Celso Miguez RP + 37.955s 9. Federico Leo Trident + 38.237s 10. Stefano Bizzarri RP + 54.394s 11. Giorgio Pantano Super Nova + 1 lap 12. Luca Filippi Euronova + 1 lap Retirements Fabrizio Crestani DAMS 16 laps Julian Leal Trident 12 laps Walter Grubmuller Charouz-Gravity 10 laps Jan Charouz Charouz-Gravity 1 lap