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Sato takes fifth win of season at Spielberg

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
Photo: Auto GP

Photo: Auto GP

Auto GP championship leader Kimiya Sato increased his lead in the points by winning the opening race of the series’ sixth round at Spielberg.

Sato had a bad start from pole, losing out to his title rivals Tamas Pal Kiss and Kevin Giovesi,but the Euronova racer managed to fight his way back into the lead later on in the race to claim a tenth victory in his two years in Auto GP.

The Japanese driver opted for an earlier mandatory stop and, when race leader Kiss stopped a few laps later, he rejoined just ahead of Sato.

Sato then found a way past Kiss on lap 14 for what would be the lead of the race once the stops cycled through. From that point on, it was smooth sailing for the points leader, who comfortably controlled the remainder of the race on his way to the checkered flag.

Despite pressure from teammate Andrea Roda, Kiss managed to keep second at the line, with the Italian settling for third. Roda’s compatriot Giovesi opted for a late stop and ended up just fourth, narrowly keeping Markus Pommer at bay over the closing laps.

Shinya Michimi took sixth ahead of Christof von Grunigen and Michele La Rosa, who will start race two from reverse-grid pole.

Giuseppe Cipriani and Salvatore Deplano completed the list of classified finishers in ninth and tenth.

Super Nova’s Michela Cerruti was the only retirement of the 23-lap race, with her race ending in the first corner.

Race results
Pos. Driver Team Time/Gap
1 Kimiya Sato Euronova Racing 23 laps in 32:06.607
2 Tamas Pal Kiss Virtuosi UK +3.924
3 Andrea Roda Virtuosi UK +4.218
4 Kevin Giovesi FMS Racing +5.540
5 Markus Pommer Super Nova International +5.788
6 Shinya Michimi Euronova Racing +13.631
7 Christof von Grunigen Zele Racing +18.556
8 Michele La Rosa MLR 71 by Euronova +43.203
9 Giuseppe Cipriani Ibiza Racing Team +1:12.689
10 Salvatore Deplano FMS Racing +1 lap
Not classified
Michela Cerruti Super Nova International +23 laps