Fabio Onidi won Race 2 of the Auto GP season opener at Monza, leading from pole position until the end of the race for Lazarus.
The Italian was kept honest by Adrien Tambay in the opening laps of the race after the Frenchman made a lightning start but Onidi would go on to cross the finish line with an advantage of three seconds over Tambay.
“I could have fought for a podium finish also yesterday without some bad luck, so this win is really good for my morale,” said Onidi after the race. “I have to say thanks to the team because the car was really good.
“I was able to manage the pressure from Adrien quite easily in the first laps, and then I had a very quick pace. We leave Monza third in the standings, and even if it could have been even better, it's a very good start.”
Tambay began the race down in 12th on the grid after his Race 1 retirement, but made a good getaway, moving past opponents down the outside on the run to the first chicane. He then switched to the inside under braking to move into second place behind Onidi.
“I'm used to good starts, but this one was great, as passing ten cars in a row doesn't happen so often,” said Tambay. “Anyway I just did what I always do, trying to understand the grip of the track in the formation lap and then playing with the clutch, also hoping in some good luck.
“After the start my car was quick but I decided not to attack Fabio immediately, waiting a bit in order to avoid taking risks. Anyway my rear tyres faded pretty early, and so I couldn't really challenge for the win. We will have to work with the team on that, in the meantime congratulations to Fabio for the great race.”
Kevin Ceccon moved up to third place at the start and the 17-year-old remained there for the rest of the race to score his maiden podium finish. He revealed afterwards that his tyre strategy over the weekend was crucial to the result.
“A podium in my first Auto GP weekend is really something great,” said Ceccon. “This is a result that we built together with the team, saving a set of tyres on Friday in order to use it today. The most difficult moment of the race was the start, when I saw Adrien coming from nowhere I couldn't do anything to stop him, and he was through.
“From then on I tried to stay as close to him as possible, but without taking too many risks. A podium finish at my first weekend in Auto GP was too important for me to lose it.”
Marco Barba finished just behind Ceccon in fourth for Campos Racing, with Race 1 winner Giovanni Venturini finishing in fifth. Luca Filippi beat his Super Nova teammate Adrian Zaugg to sixth, with Samuele Buttarelli rounding out the top eight for TP Formula.
Venturini leads the drivesrs' standings after the opening weekend of the season, with Filippi second and Onidi third. The trio also shared the weekend's prize money, winning 60000, 25000 and 15000 euros respectively.
The next round of the championship takes place at the Hungaroring in three weeks time on 4/5 June.
Final race results after 13 laps:
1. Fabio Onidi Lazarus 21:15.981
2. Adrien Tambay Gravity – Charouz Dams + 3.076
3. Kevin Ceccon Ombra Racing +3.927
4. Marco Barba Campos Racing +4.467
5. Giovanni Venturini Griffitz Durango +5.427
6. Luca Filippi Supernova Racing +6.984
7. Adrian Zaugg Supernova Racing +7.680
8. Samuele Buttarelli TP Formula +12.218
9. Fabrizio Crestani Lazarus +12.846
10. Sergei Afanasiev Dams +14.602
11. Rio Haryanto DAMS +20.888
12. Pasquale Di Sabatino Ombra Racing +22.182
13. Francesco Dracone Emmebi Motorsport +34.558
14. Giuseppe Cipriani Griffitz Durango +34.918
15. Bruno Mendez Campos Racing +1 lap