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Auto GP

Preview: Auto GP Entry List Confirmed Ahead Of Season Opener

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Giacomo Ricci - Photo Credit: Auto GP

Former GP2 racer Giacomo Ricci is among the leading names on the grid this season - Photo Credit: Auto GP

Auto GP organisers have revealed the entry list for the 2012 season, which gets underway at Monza this weekend in support of the World Touring Car Championship.

The entry list is headed by a trio of cars from Spain's Campos Racing. Leading their lineup is Argentine youngster Facundo Regalia, who steps up from Italian F3. He is joined by Russia's Max Snegirev who comes from Formula 2, and 46-year-old restaurateur Giuseppe Cipriani, who raced in the series for Durango last year.

Next up are a new team called MLR71, who take their name from their owner and driver of the number 71 car, Michele La Rosa who made his Auto GP debut at the end of last season. For his teammate he has recruited reigning Italian F3 champion Sergio Campana, who topped the test day at Monza last Friday.

Another new team are Virtuosi UK, run by two former members of Super Nova's now defunt GP2 Series operation. They have Norway's Pal Varhaug, who was out of his depth in GP2 last year as teammate to Romain Grosjean, paired together with 17-year-old Italian Matteo Beretta. The Italian follows in the footsteps of compatriot and last year's series champion Kevin Ceccon by making the move from the European F3 Open.

Also new to the series are Zele Racing from Austria, entering a single car to be driven by ex-GP2 racer Giacomo Ricci, who's experience will mark him out as a contender.

Their GP2 operation may have ceased to be, but Super Nova live on in Auto GP. Leading their lineup is GP3 Series race winner Adrian Quaife-Hobbs, who is partnered by another Italian F3 graduate in the form of Brazilian Victor Guerin.

Euronova make a return to the series and bring with them Russian teenager Sergey Sirotkin, who won the Formula Abarth title with the team last year and won't turn 17 until August. He's joined by another, less exiciting, driver from Formula Abarth, Antonio Spavone.

Ombra Racing were the team that carried Ceccon to the title last year, but with the greatest respect they'll be hard pushed to match such an achievement this year. Chinese driver Adderly Fong joins the series from British F3, while 30-year-old Venezuelan Giancarlo Serenelli will be his teammate, making the journey to European competition after winning the Mexico-based Latam Challenge Series three times in the last four years.

Completing the field is Manor MP Motorsport, a tie-up between successful British team and Manor Dutch outfit MP. Regular MP driver Daniel De Jong returns for a second season in Auto GP, and is joined by Chris van der Drift, whose record in Formula Renault 3.5 and Superleague Formula makes him a leading contender.

The seven-round championship will take place on four different continents, joining the WTCC in making trips to Morocco, Brazil and the United States.

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