Starting from ninth on the grid, Japanese driver Kimiya Sato stormed through to win the opening race of the Hungarian weekend of the Auto GP World Series. The b came through to beat home hero Tamas Pal Kiss into second place, the Zele Racing driver having led before the pit stop window.
Sato made a good start to make up five places on the opening lap at the Hungaroring, while pole sitter Markus Pommer of Super Nova International lost out to Pal Kiss for the lead at the first corner. Sato then passed Sam Dejonghe’s Virtuosi UK entry for third on lap seven, and then caught up with Pommer. On lap eleven, the German was despatched by the Japanese driver for second.
Kiss in the lead would pit on lap thirteen, as would Pommer from third. Unfortunately for the German, his pit stop was messed up, and it cost him and his team-mate Michela Cerruti a lot of time. His left rear wheel ended up in the fast lane of the pit lane after the clutch of his car was released before the wheel was fastened properly. He was later given a 35 second penalty after the race that relegated him from sixth to tenth.
Sato remained on track and pitted with three laps to go, and came out in the lead of the race, much to the dismay of the Hungarian fans who were hopeful of a home win for Pal Kiss. The Hungarian chased down the new leader but finished 1.215s shy at the end.
Andrea Roda took his first podium finish in Auto GP with third place for Virtuosi UK, ahead of Kevin Giovesi in the leading Eurotech Engineering machine in fourth and Dejonghe in fifth. The second Zele Racing machine of Yoshitaka Kuroda would inherit sixth after Pommer’s penalty, while Michele La Rosa of MLR71 by Euronova would take seventh. The other two Super Nova International cars of Vittorio Ghirelli and Cerruti would end up eighth and ninth, classified ahead of their penalised team-mate.
Hungary Race 1 Result
|1||Kimiya Sato||JPN||Euronova Racing||37m20.978s|
|2||Tamas Pal Kiss||HUN||Zele Racing||+1.215s|
|3||Andrea Roda||ITA||Virtuosi UK||+13.172s|
|4||Kevin Giovesi||ITA||Eurotech Engineering||+23.250s|
|5||Sam Dejonghe||BEL||Virtuosi UK||+30.985s|
|6||Yoshitaka Kuroda||JPN||Zele Racing||+1m05.333s|
|7||Michele La Rosa||ITA||MLR71 by Euronova||+1m10.672s|
|8||Vittorio Ghirelli||ITA||Super Nova International||+1m10.862s|
|9||Michela Cerruti||ITA||Super Nova International||+1m28.461s|
|10||Markus Pommer||GER||Super Nova International||+1m28.547s|
|11||Loris Spinelli||ITA||Eurotech Engineering||+2 Laps|
|12||Giuseppe Cipriani||ITA||Ibiza Racing Team||+5 Laps|