21/04/14 - PAUL RICARD AUTOGP: TAMAS PAL KISS AND GIOVESI WIN IN FRANCE
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Race 1: Tamas Pal Kiss (Zele Racing) scores maiden Auto GP win

Driving for Zele Racing, Tamas Pal Kiss scored his maiden Auto GP win today at Le Castellet in Race 1 of the Auto GP weekend at the French venue. The Hungarian racer captured the lead during the pit-stops when the Austrian squad led by Michael Zele, did a spectacular job, securing their first victory after having scored in Race 2 last year at Marrakech.

Markus Pommer (Super Nova) and Kimiya Sato (Euronova) completed the podium. The German reduced his gap to to the front of the charts to 12 points from the Japanese rival, although Sato could have faced an even harder luck as he stood still at the start of the formation lap. While he was repositioned at the end of the pack, Sato was off to an incredibly quick start moving up to 4th by the first corner.

Out front, Eurotech’s Kevin Giovesi was leading Pommer and Kiss, but the Italian fell victim from a fitting problem on his right rear tire and slipped to fourth. The same kind of issue happened to Andrea Roda, who rounded out the top-5 for Virtuosi UK after a glitch with his left rear. Young Italian Loris Spinelli took 6th for Eurotech as he keeps climbing his learning curve on the demanding Auto GP car.

The points zone was completed by Michela Cerruti (Super Nova), Yoshitaka Kuroda (Zele Racing), with the latter taking his first point of the season, Michele La Rosa (MLR71 by Euronova) and Giuseppe Cipriani (Ibiza Racing Team). A mechanical problem prevented Ibiza Racing Team’s Niccolò Schirò from starting the race while Sam Dejonghe (Virtuosi UK) retired at lap 15.

Race 2:
Kevin Giovesi (Eurotech) takes his maiden victory.

It’s been a weekend full of first-time experiences at Le Castellet for the second round of the 2014 Auto GP. After Tamas Pal Kiss (Zele Racing) recorded his first series win yesterday, Kevin Giovesi cruised to victory today for Eurotech topping the Hungarian, who made the most out of the weekend in France. The race was held in pouring rain and the drivers used the Kumho wet weather tires for the first time this year. The final spot on the podium was secured by Euronova’s Kimiya Sato. The Japanese retained the lead in standings despite a contact with Pal Kiss that almost jeopardized his run during the first lap causing small front wing damage.

Race 1’s second-placed driver Markus Pommer ended up in fourth for Super Nova. The German drove a recovery race after being forced to start from Row 4 due to the reverse grid format for Race 2. He edged Super Nova team-mate Michela Cerruti, who had led the pack in the opening stages. Virtuosi UK drivers San Dejonghe and Andrea Roda didn’t end up too far away while Yoshitaka Kuroda (Zele Racing), Michele La Rosa (MLR71 by Euronova) and Giuseppe Cipriani (Ibiza Racing Team) rounded out the top-10. The latter was penalized with a drive-through for having crossed the white line exiting the pits. Eurotech’s youngster Loris Spinelli also suffered from some bad luck as he stopped at the end of the formation lap for a mechanical issue.

The next challenge for the Auto GP teams and drivers will be at the Hungaroring in two weeks. On the 1st of May, six Auto GP cars will be starring in a parade in central Budapest together with the WTCC cars and a Formula 1 brought by Red Bull for a promotional event.
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Photos Auto GP.
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