It's been a day to remember for Ibiza Racing Team in Race 1 of the 2013 Auto GP opener at Monza. The Spanish-based squad scored a sensational debut win after having cruised to the front row in qualifying, while Italian racer Sergio Campana also clocked the fastest lap of the race en-route to his victory. The team's highly-professional staff proved key in an extremely successful maiden run that also brought Campana the championship's lead.

The Modena-based man, who made it back to the top of the podium after his 2012 Marrakech win, sailed into the lead on the second lap following a chicane cut by Riccardo Agostini. After setting the pole, Agostini was off to a good start but eventually ended up in 7th. In second place, Euronova's Japanese driver Kimiya Sato recovered well from row 3, ending up 7.5 seconds behind the winner.

After finishing third at the end of the race, Italian Vittorio Ghirelli, running for Super Nova, was penalized 2 seconds for cutting the first chicane on lap 12 and not yielding the gained position back. Third place eventually went to Robert Visoiu. The 17-year-old Romanian thus scored a good podium finish with another debuting team, Ghinzani Motorsport.

Narain Karthikeyan rounded out the top-5. The Indian driver, lined-up by Zele Racing, confirmed his early expectations with some positive results. After having suffered from a flat tire in practice, he was hit and sent spinning by another car at the start, but then put together a stunning recovery. After making his way to the pits on lap 5, he held onto 5th place to edge two of the series' most competitive rookies, Antonio Spavone (SuperNova) and Agostini (MP Motorsport).

Spavone was the first driver to stop for the mandatory pit-stop, while the Padua-based driver will be lining-up again on the front row for Race 2. Thank to today's 8th place finish, Brit Luciano Bacheta will take-off from the pole for Zele Racing. On the other hand, pit-stop issues slowed down two of the race's potential frontrunners, Giuseppe Cipriani (Ibiza Racing Team) and Yoshitaka Kuroda (Euronova). The points zone was rounded out by Russian Max Snegirev (Virtuosi UK).

Sergio Campana: “It's a great result for the whole team. We started with the goal of ending the race but then, also thanks to a good pass on Agostini we were able to cap our first race together with a fantastic win. We had the pace since the start and the pit-stop was just perfect. I'm proud to share this win with Ibiza Racing Team and I thank them for the support provided”.

Kimiya Sato: “I did a great start and throughout the race we were able to keep a good pace. Maybe we could have aimed even higher but I think today's best tactic was to be prudent and stay away from trouble”.

Robert Visoiu: “Third or fourth it's not a big difference. What must be praised today is the team's effort. The car ran good and we were able to fight at the front despite we were both at our maiden race. For me it was also the first time in a race featuring a pit-stop and it's been great fun to drive such a powerful car”.

Saturday, March the 23rd, Race 1
1 – Sergio Campana – Ibiza – 14 laps, 23'40”402
2 – Kimiya Sato – Euronova – 7”575
3 - Robert Visoiu – Ghinzani – 18”895
4 – Vittorio Ghirelli – Super Nova – 19”119
5 – Narain Karthikeyan – Zele – 19”409
6 – Antonio Spavone – Super Nova – 19”907
7 – Riccardo Agostini – MP Motorsport – 20”700
8 – Luciano Bacheta – Zele – 23”739
9 – Giuseppe Cipriani – Ibiza – 35”169
10 – Max Snegirev – Virtuosi – 44”079
11 – Yoshitaka Kuroda – Euronova – 1'31”620
12 – Michele La Rosa – MLR71 – 1 lap

Fastest Lap: Sergio Campana 1'37”322

Meindert van Buuren – MP Motorsport
Giacomo Ricci – MLR71
Andrea Roda – Virtuosi UK

Drivers Standings
1. Campana 26; 2. Sato 18; 3.Visoiu 15; 4. Ghirelli 12; 5. Karthikeyan 10; 6. Spavone 8; 7. Agostini 7; 8. Bacheta 4; 9. Cipriani 2; 10. Snegirev 1; 11. Kuroda 0; 12. La Rosa 0

Team Standings
1. Ibiza Racing Team 28; 2. Super Nova International 20; 3. Euronova Racing 18; 4. Ghinzani Motorsport 15; 5. Zele Racing 14; 6. MP Motorsport 7; 7. Virtuosi UK 1; 8. MLR71 0

All Photos Auto GP.