Adrian Quaife-Hobbs took the fourth success of his Auto GP season in Portimão, equaling the number of wins clinched by Romain Grosjean in the 2010 Championship.

The Briton of SuperNova didn’t have the best start from pole position, but that was the only tough moment of his race. When the lights went off it was Facu Regalia who got away really well and took the lead, entering Turn 1 ahead of the whole pack, but he didn’t manage to build a gap; this meant that at the end of Lap 1 Quaife-Hobbs could make the most of the joint effect of slipstream and Overboost to pass him and take P1.

From then on Adrian started to pull away steadily, making the most of a set of used soft Kumhos that held on really well until lap 11, when he elected to pit. At that point his advantage on the group was around the 6” mark, and after rejoining the track he extended that lead up to 9 seconds, crossing the line with no worries.

Behind him, the fight for second place was much more exciting, with Pål Varhaug edging Sergey Sirotkin by just 0.6! The Russian had a stunning start that took him from sixth to third place, and then inherited second when Regalia went wide on lap 3.

Sergey seemed set for a second place finish but his plans were spoilt by an amazing drive by Varhaug and a good strategy by Virtuosi UK: the british team decided to pit as early as lap 4 to race in clean air, and this allowed the Norwegian driver to make the most of his car’s potential. This meant that when Sirotkin also came out of the pits after the mandatory pit-stop on cold tyres, Varhaug was right on his tail and could pass him easily; Sergey tried to answer immediately and the pair was wheel to wheel for a couple of corners before the position where settled. The driver of Euronova didn’t give up until the end of the race but he had no real chances of overtaking Varhaug and had to settle for 3rd.

Fourth place went to Victor Guerin after a race-long duel with Sergio Campana: the two were close for the whole 18 laps, and a better pit-stop by SuperNova allowed the Brazilian to secure fourth spot ahead of the Italian racer.

After his great start, Regalia’s pace faded a bit and the Argentinian of Campos Racing closed the afternoon in sixth place, ahead of Daniel de Jong and Chris Van der Drift. The Manor MP duo closed the race ahead of a consistent Juan Carlos Sistos, already in the points at his first Auto GP.

Giancarlo Serenelli rounded the top-ten ahead of Antonio Spavone, whose performances were hampered by a bad flu.

Behind the Italian the pack was closed by Max Snegirev and Francesco Dracone, while Sten Pentus had to retire for a driveshaft failure.

Portimao, 2 June 2012, Race 1
1 Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Super Nova International 18 laps in 29'24”999
2 Pal Varhaug Virtuosi UK +9”044
3 Sergey Sirotkin Euronova +9”634
4 Victor Guerin Super Nova International +13”573
5 Sergio Campana MLR71 +15”309
6 Facu Regalia Campos Racing +16”833
7 Daniel De Jong Manor MP +17”283
8 Chris Van Der Drift Manor MP +18”143
9 Juan Carlos Sistos Zele Racing +27”887
10 Giancarlo Serenelli Ombra +31”322
11 Antonio Spavone Euronova +41”759
12 Max Snegirev Campos Racing +52”007
13 Francesco Dracone Virtuosi UK +55”729
NC Sten Pentus Zele Racing
NC Giuseppe Cipriani Campos Racing
NC Michele La Rosa MLR71

Fastest Lap: lap 16 by Adrian Quaife-Hobbs in 1'35”288, avg 175.79 kph

Drivers Standings:
1. Quaife-Hobbs 175;
2. Varhaug 123;
3. Sirotkin 103;
4. Van Der Drif 87;
5. Regalia 60;
6. Campana 53;
7. De Jong 49;
8. Guerin 46;
9. Ricci 30;
10. Spavone 25;
11. Snegirev 22;
12. Serenelli 20;
13. Cipriani 17;
14. Pentus 14;
15. Cunha 8;
16. Dracone 5;
17. Fong 4;
18. Sistos 2.

Under 21 Standings:
Quaife-Hobbs 190;
2. Varhaug 135;
3. Sirotkin 133;
4. Regalia 84;
5. Guerin ande Spavone 66;
7. De Jong 63;
8. Cunha 24;
9. Beretta 9;
10. Sistos 6.

Teams Standings:
1. SuperNova International 221;
2. Manor MP 136;
3. Virtuosi UK 129;
4. Euronova Racing 128;
5. Campos Racing 98;
6. MLR71 53;
7. Zele Racing 44;
8. Ombra 32.

All Photos Auto GP.

Adrian Quaife-Hobbs.

Pål Varhaug.

Sergey Sirotkin.

Victor Guerin.

Sergio Campana.

Facu Regalia.

Daniel De Jong.

Chris Van Der Drift.

Juan Carlos Sistos.

Giancarlo Serenelli.

The start.

Close racing.

The Race 1 podium.

Portimão glamour.