Teen sensation Sergey Sirotkin claimed his maiden Auto GP World Series win in the first race at Valencia.
The Russian beat polesitter Adrian Quaife-Hobbs into the first corner and then began building up a lead that had stretched to five seconds by lap ten. This was despite him being the only driver in the field to start the race on a new set of medium compound Kumho tyres while everyone else began on used softs.
Sirotkin and Quaife-Hobbs both came in for their compulsory pitstop at the end of lap 14, and a quicker stop from the Super Nova team helped their man to close the gap. That would be irrelevant though when the safety car came out with four laps to go after Quaife-Hobbs' teammate Victor Guerin suffered an oil leak, causing him to spin out.
The incident caused chaos, with the chasing Facu Regalia spinning off on the oil, and his Campos Racing teammate Max Snegirev being one of several drivers to run into the gravel. Matteo Beretta slid into Guerin's stationary car, causing the safety car to come out.
The mess was cleared in time for a one-lap dash to flag, with Sirotkin holding on to win ahead of Quaife-Hobbs.
Regalia and Pal Varhaug had taken third and fourth from a slow-starting Guerin at the start. Varhaug got past Regalia after their pitstops, and that became third after everyone had stopped. Daniel de Jong inherited fourth at the safety car, ahead of Sergio Campana and Chris van der Drift – who were the last to come in just as the safety car was called.
Regalia and Snegirev made it home in seventh and eighth places, sealing them front row grid spots for race two. Antonio Spavone and debutant Sten Pentus completed the top ten.
|1||Sergey Sirotkin||Euronova Racing||21 laps in 32:49.721|
|2||Adrian Quaife-Hobbs||Super Nova International||0.969|
|3||Pal Varhaug||Virtuosi UK||3.374|
|4||Daniel De Jong||Manor MP Motorsport||4.831|
|5||Sergio Campana||MLR 71||5.731|
|6||Chris Van Der Drift||Manor MP Motorsport||6.325|
|7||Facu Regalia||Campos Racing||7.301|
|8||Max Snegirev||Campos Racing||7.967|
|9||Antonio Spavone||Euronova Racing||8.300|
|10||Sten Pentus||Virtuosi UK||9.077|
|11||Giancarlo Serenelli||Ombra Racing||9.965|
|12||Giuseppe Cipriani||Campos Racing||10.705|
|13||Yann Cunha||Ombra Racing||11.225|
|14||Michele La Rosa||MLR 71||1 lap|
|15||Peter Milavec||Zele Racing||1 lap|
|16||Victor Guerin||Super Nova International||5 laps|
|17||Matteo Beretta||Zele Racing||5 laps|