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Giovesi wins on Auto GP debut, then loses out to pit stop penalty

by Peter Allen

Photo: Auto GP

Kevin Giovesi beat ex-Formula 1 driver Narain Karthikeyan to win on his first start in Auto GP, only to be later stripped of the victory by the stewards.

GP2 driver Giovesi held second second place in the early stages behind Karthikeyan, who had started from pole following his switch to reigning champions Super Nova.

Karthikeyan made his mandatory pit stop two laps from the end, but a delay meant that when Giovesi stopped one lap later, the Ghinzani driver emerged in the lead, holding on under pressure on the final lap to win by 0.318 seconds.

However, Giovesi was lander slapped with a 60 second penalty after stewards judged that he made his pitstop on the final lap, which is prohibited in the regulations. That relegated him to 13th place and promoted Karthikeyan to a maiden Auto GP win.

“I’m happy to have scored my maiden Auto GP win,” said the 36-year-old. “I found a great feeling with the car and track combination and on such a tough circuit like Silverstone I feel I managed to take the best out of our package.”

Vittorio Ghirelli completed what became a 1-2 finish for Super Nova in second place as he recovered from a poor start to pass Tamas Pal Kiss. Kiss ended up with a podium in his first race at Zele Racing in place of Karthikeyan, leading home Daniel de Jong and series returnee Fabrizio Crestani, who started back in 14th place.

Championship rivals Kimiya Sato and Sergio Camapana took sixth and seventh, while Meindert van Buuren benefited from Giovesi’s penalty to take the reverse grid pole in eighth.

Race results
Pos Driver? Team Time/Gap
1 Narain Karthikeyan Super Nova Racing 14 laps in 25:47.408
2 Vittorio Ghirelli Super Nova Racing +7.852
3 Tamas Pal Kiss Zele Racing +14.057
4 Daniel de Jong Manor MP Motorsport +15.712
5 Fabrizio Crestani Ibiza Racing Team +16.962
6 Kimiya Sato Euronova Racing +18.993
7 Sergio Campana Ibiza Racing Team +22.952
8 Meindert van Buuren Manor MP Motorsport +23.649
9 Robert Visoiu Ghinzani Motorsport +24.607
10 Luciano Bacheta Zele Racing +25.460
11 Maxim Snegirev Virtuosi UK +29.563
12 Yoshitaka Kuroda Euronova Racing +44.938
13 Kevin Giovesi Ghinzani Motorsport +59.682
14 Michele La Rosa MLR 71 +1:30.034
15 Riccardo Agostini Manor MP Motorsport +4 laps
Not classified
Franceso Dracone Super Nova Racing 6 laps
Andrea Roda Virtuosi UK 1 lap