14/04/14 - MARRAKESH AUTOGP: SATO AND POMMER WIN THE FIRST AUTOGP WEEKEND
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Race 1: Kimiya Sato (Euronova) takes the win in a crazy race

The opening race of the 2014 Auto GP season featured a spectacular win by Kimiya Sato (Euronova Racing) at Marrakech in Morocco. The Japanese racer, who ended as the series' runner-up in 2013 and is currently committed to a season in GP2, won what turned out to be an elimination race in front of first-time podium runners Michele La Rosa (MLR71 by Euronova) and Giuseppe Cipriani (Ibiza Racing Team). At the start, Markus Pommer (Super Nova), who was taking-off from the front row, stalled and let Eurotech's Kevin Giovesi go from the pole. Zele Racing's Tamas Pal Kiss and Sergio Campana were second and third from Sato, Andrea Roda (Virtuosi UK) and La Rosa.

On lap 7, Giovesi and Pal Kiss made contact and had to retire (the Italian will be penalized 10 places on tomorrow's grid). With the safety-car making its way in, Sato was the leader and he also retained the spot after pitting together with Roda and Campana. Unfortunately Campana stalled at his pitbox, but after the re-start, with Sato increasing his margin on Roda and Pommer, things got even worse for him as he touched the wall and retired.

Pommer then tried to move on Roda but spun off, losing positions. In the closing stages, some mistakes by Sato enabled Roda to recover but in a late comeback attempt, the Como-based driver lost braking point and hit the barriers.

So Sato won the race in front of La Rosa e Cipriani. After having been slowed down by traffic in qualifying, Michela Cerruti (Super Nova) completed a good recovery in fourth. A misunderstanding during the safety car condition meant the drivers following Sam Dejonghe (Virtuosi UK) reached the finish more than one minute back. Loris Spinelli (Ibiza Racing Team) took 6th behind the Belgian but was off to a positive debut with the 550-hp Auto GP car and the Marrakech street course. Roda and Pommer will share the front row in Race 2.


Race 2:
Markus Pommer (Super Nova) scores his maiden Auto GP victory.

Markus Pommer (Super Nova) scored his maiden Auto GP win in Race 2 of this weekend's event at Marrakech in Morocco. The German, who joined the reigning champions Super Nova in the offseason, led from start to finish topping Kimiya Sato. Driving for Euronova, the Japanese is now the new series leader also thanks to yesterday's win. The podium was completed by Zele Racing's Tamas Pal Kiss, who completed a sensational recovery from 12th to take home his first trophy of the year.

Andrea Roda for Virtuosi UK took fourth. He did a great job in managing the issues created by a contact between Michele La Rosa (MLR71 by Euronova) and Sam Dejonghe (Virtuosi UK) late in the race. While the Italian lost the fifth spot to Super Nova's Michela Cerruti, the Belgian had to retire and was classified in eight place. The points zone was completed by Ibiza Racing Team with Giuseppe Cipriani and Francesco Dracone. On the other hand, a crash put out of contention both Richard Gonda (Virtuosi UK) and Race 1's polesitter Kevin Giovesi (Eurotech). Unfortunately a gearbox issue stopped Sergio Campana (Zele Racing) while youngster Loris Spinelli (Eurotech), who was the only man with soft tires at the front of the grid, ended up off-track on lap 1.
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Photos Auto GP.
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