Sergey Sirotkin became the last winner of the 2012 Auto GP season in Sonoma: the Russian driver of Euronova Racing was the first to cross the line in Sunday’s Race 2 after a race that saw him as the undisputed leader.

After that the early part was led by reverse poleman Antonio Spavone and saw the Safety-Car deployed to remove Sakurai’s car (the Japanese driver stalled on the grid due to a clutch issue), Sirotkin effectively took the lead from lap 5 on, when a lightning quick pit-stop from the Euronova crew and a very fast out lap allowed him to climb from P3 to the lead. From then on, the driver from Russia lapped steadily in the low 1’28” range, a pace that nobody but Quaife-Hobbs could match.

The Briton of SuperNova, who was starting from P12 after yesterday’s first lap crash, boasted a masterly start and at the end of lap 1 he was already in 5th place, behind Spavone, Campana Sirotkin and Varhaug. He climbed to P2 after the pit-stop, making the most of a slow tyre change by his Italian rivals. From then on Quaife-Hobbs tried to chase Sirotkin but for most of the race the two lapped on specular times, until towards the end the rear tyres of the Supernova car started to fade and the gap increased up to 3”. Sergey crossed the line with a comfortable 3”2 lead, taking a much deserved win ahead of the championship winner.

Third place went to Sergio Campana: the Italian driver, who was fifth on the grid, was really quick off the line and immediately climbed to P2 but a tricky tyre change from the Zele Racing crew on lap 4 demoted him to fifth again. Despite that, Sergio didn’t lose focus and started chasing the podium again. He closed the gap to fourth placed Varhaug and passed him at Turn 11 on lap 14, and then sticked himself to Spavone’s gearbox. He passed the Italian driver with a good move at turn 7 two laps later, grabbing a podium that with some more luck could have been a win.

Spavone clinched the best result of his Auto GP season with 4th place: after leading the early part of the race the Italian driver was involved in a long fight for a podium finish and eventually managed to keep 4th place with some great defensive driving that allowed him to fend off a charging Varhaug, fifth under the checkered flag. With this result the Norwegian driver of Virtuosi UK sealed his second place in the championship, with Sirotkin 8 points adrift. On the other hand with today’s win the Russian driver managed to overtake Pål in the race to 2nd place in the Under 21 standings.

Daniel de Jong was 6th after another good race that saw him post the fastest lap for the second time in a row and finish ahead of Max Snegirev and Pippa Mann.

The race saw four retirements, including that of Antonio Pizzonia: in yesterday’s crash the Brazilian driver had suffered an hand injury that required 8 stitches, but in the morning he was declared fit for driving by the Sonoma medical center. He took part in the race but on lap 11 he stopped as the pain didn’t allow him to drive comfortably.

On a sidenote, Sirotkin also won the Prize Money weekend classification bringing home 20.000 euros, ahead of Varhaug (10.000) and de Jong (5.000).

Auto GP, Sonoma, Race 2
1 Sergey SIROTKIN Euronova Racing 33:12.879, avg 152.95kph
2 Adrian QUAIFE-HOBBS Supernova International +3.272
3 Sergio CAMPANA Zele Racing +18.615
4 Antonio SPAVONE Ombra Racing +28.695
5 Pal VARHAUG Virtuosi UK +30.731
6 Daniel DE JONG Manor MP Motorsport +31.322
7 Max SNEGIREV Campos Racing +38.045
8 Pippa MANN Campos Racing +1:12.764
9 Francesco DRACONE Virtuosi UK +1:13.092
10 Michele LA ROSA MLR 71 +1:23.105
11 Giacomo RICCI MLR 71 +7 LAPS
12 Antonio PIZZONIA Zele Racing +10 LAPS
NC Giancarlo SERENELLI Ombra Racing
NC Giuseppe CIPRIANI Campos Racing
NC Kotaro SAKURAI Euronova Racing

Fastest Lap: Lap 12 by Daniel DE JONG in 1:27.691, avg 165.52kph

Drivers Standings:
1. Quaife-Hobbs 221 (Champion)
2. Varhaug 183
3. Sirtokin 175
4. Van Der Drift 127
5. De Jong 104
6. Campana 90
7. Regalia 68
8. Guerin 46
9. Pizzonia 45;
10. Spavone 41
11. Ricci 40
12. Serenelli & Snegirev 34
14. Cipriani 18
15. Dracone & Pentus 14
17. Suzuki 12
18. Cunha 8
19. Sakurai 6
20. Mann 5
21. Fong & La Rosa 4
23. Sistos 2

Under 21 Standings:
1. Quaife-Hobbs 240 (Champion);
2. Sirotkin 216;
3. Varhaug 207;
4. De Jong 137;
5. Spavone & Regalia 96;
7. Guerin 66;
8. Cunha 24;
9. Sakurai 12;
10. Beretta 9;
11. Sistos 6.

Teams Standings:
1. SuperNova 267 (Champion);
2. MP Manor 231;
3. Euronova Racing 197;
4. Virtuosi UK 192;
5. Campos Racing 124;
6. Ombra 117;
7. MLR71 75;
8. Zele Racing 68.

All Photos Auto GP.

Sergey Sirotkin.

Adrian Quaife-Hobbs.

Sergio Campana.

Antonio Spavone.

Pål Varhaug.

Daniel De Jong.

Max Snegirev.

Pippa Mann.

Francesco Dracone.

Michele La Rosa.

The start.

Close racing.

Sergey Sirotkin celebrates his win.

Race 2 podium.