Japanese racer Kimiya Sato took a commanding win in Race 2 of the opening round of the 2013 Auto GP championship at Monza. Running with an Euronova-prepared racecar, Sato scored his maiden win in the series under torrential rain, recovering from 7th place on today's reverse grid. Thanks to his second-place finish in Race 1, he also cruised to the top of the charts in an extremely positive series debut. The race was started in safety-car conditions due to bad weather, with the action effectively beginning at lap 3. Polesitter Luciano Bacheta (Zele Racing) held the lead while Riccardo Agostini (MP Motorsport), Antonio Spavone (Super Nova International), Sergio Campana (Ibiza Racing Team), Yoshitaka Kuroda (Euronova Racing) and Meindert van Buuren (MP Motorsport) opted for an early round of pit-stops.

Vittorio Ghirelli (Super Nova International) consequently inherited second place but was soon passed by Sato, who also went on to move on Bacheta for the lead and built a 20-second margin on the Brit. Ghirelli ended up in third as he repeated his positive Race 1 showing. The top-3 finishers decided to go for a late pit-stop unlike yesterday's winner Campana and they took full advantage from the clean racetrack in front of them. Campana eventually scored 4th place thanks to a great outside move on Agostini at the Lesmo 2 corner, although the Padua-based man was dealing with a safety cone that got stuck in his right front suspension.

Romanian driver Robert Visoiu scored a valuable top-5 position at maiden wet-weather drive an a 550-horsepower car for Ghinzani Motorsport, while Yoshitaka Kuroda (Euronva Racing), Michele La Rosa (MLR71), Spavone and Van Buuern rounded out the top-10. Sato captured 39 points throughout the weekend and is now trailed in standings by Campana (36) and Ghirelli (24) while Euronova Racing (43 points) is followed by Ibiza Racing Team (36) and Super Nova International (34). Auto GP will be back running at the Marrakech streetcourse in Morocco on the next 7th of April.

Kimiya Sato: “I'm very happy for how this weekend unfolded. I did not expect to be battling for the front as my goal was the podium. This win is also a great reward for the team, our wet set-up was spectacular. It enabled me to push really hard and score such a great result”.

Luciano Bacheta: “I'm very satisfied with how this weekend ended as this was supposed to be a learning experience for us. When I saw Sato coming, I didn't want to take too many risks and did not block him. It's great to be on the podium at our debut in the series and it's a nice reward for the whole team”.

Vittorio Ghirelli: “It's been difficult to warm the tires up at the start but then, once they were up to their running temperature, the car performed great. The team did a good job as I also improved my position thanks to a fast pit-stop. It's been good to end up onto the podium in such a tough race”.

All Photos Auto GP.