Onidi clinches Race 2 win at Monza
If yesterday the Auto GP youngsters did send a clear message taking two steps of the podium, today it was Fabio Onidi who gave them the right answer of behalf of the experienced drivers: the driver from Milan clinched a dominating win in the second race of the Monza weekend, keeping first place from flag to flag. Fabio had a very good start from pole position (as he often does) and then steadily increased his advantage; only during the first laps his lead was threatened by an aggressive Adrien Tambay, but lap after lap Onidi stretched the gap, eventually crossing the line with three seconds on the Frenchman.
In doing this, Onidi also climbed to the 3rd position in the championship standings. Behind Onidi, Tambay was second but the real gem of his race was the start: Adrien was P12 on the grid, but he was really quick off the line and then chose to stay on the outside in order to pass a bunch of opponents, taking the inside again to pass Marco Barba and Kevin Ceccon while braking for the first corner. With this stunning move he managed to close on Onidi, putting some pressure on him during the first three laps of the race. Then he had to back off a bit to preserve his tires, and this with Ceccon very close to his tail.
The Italian driver was the only one to start on new rubber, after choosing to save a set for this race together with the team. Kevin made the most of the extra grip passing Barba at the start, and then when he realized that he didn't have a real chance to pass Tambay he settled for 3rd, showing a very cool mind for a rookie.
Barba was in a very similar situation, as he followed the Ombra car very closely, ending the race just half a second adrift from Ceccon and showing a great improvement in performance for the Campos Racing car. Filippi closed the race in sixth place after a good fight with his team-mate at SuperNova, Adrian Zaugg. Samuele Buttarelli took the last point available in P8, ahead of Fabrizio Crestani and Sergei Afanasiev. The Italian driver of Lazarus started from the last row after his retirement in Race 1, and the first part of his race was quite a show: fighting with Bruno Mendez he went off on the grass at high speed, but he was able to re-join and then passed both Mendez and Haryanto on the following lap. Also at the back of the grid the race was very lively thanks to a duel between Francesco Dracone and Giuseppe Cipriani. The pair took the flag with just a 0.3 gap.
So at the end of the Monza weekend Venturini is the first Championship leader of the 2011 Auto GP season ahead of Filippi and Onidi, the three also sharing the weekend prize money winning respectively 60.000, 25.000 and 15.000 euros. Venturini leads also the Under 21 Standings ahead of Ceccon and Buttarelli, while Griffitz Durango leads the teams standings.
Fabio Onidi: "I could have fought for a podium finish also yesterday without some bad luck, so this win is really good for my morale. I have to say thanks to the team because the car was really good: I was able to manage the pressure from Adrien quite easily in the first laps, and then I had a very quick pace. We leave Monza 3rd in the standings, and even if it could have been even better, it's a very good start".
Adrien Tambay: "I'm used to good starts, but this one was great, as passing ten cars in a row doesn't happen so often. Anyway I just did what I always do, trying to understand the grip of the track in the formation lap and then playing with the clutch, also hoping in some good luck. After the start my car was quick but I decided not to attack Fabio immediately, waiting a bit in order to avoid taking risks. Anyway my rear tires faded pretty early, and so I couldn't really challenge for the win. We will have to work with the team on that, in the meantime congratulations to Fabio for the great race".
Kevin Ceccon: "A podium in my first Auto GP weekend is really something great: this is a result that we built together with the team, saving a set of tires on Friday in order to use it today. The most difficult moment of the race was the start, when I saw Adrien coming from nowhere I couldn't do anything to stop him, and he was through. From then on I tried to stay as close to him as possible, but without taking too many risks. A podium finish at my first weekend in Auto GP was too important for me to lose it".
Monza, 15 May, Race 2
1. Fabio Onidi Lazarus 13 laps in 21'15"981
2. Adrien Tambay Gravity - Charouz Dams + 3"076
3. Kevin Ceccon Ombra Racing +3"927
4. Marco Barba Campos Racing +4"467
5. Giovanni Venturini Griffitz Durango +5"427
6. Luca Filippi Supernova Racing +6"984
7. Adrian Zaugg Supernova Racing +7"680
8. Samuele Buttarelli TP Formula +12"218
9. Fabrizio Crestani Lazarus +12"846
10. Sergei Afanasiev Dams +14"602
11. Rio Haryanto Dams +20"888
12. Pasquale Di Sabatino Ombra Racing +22"182
13. Francesco Dracone Emmebi Motorsport +34"558
14. Giuseppe Cipriani Griffitz Durango +34"918
15. Bruno Mendez Campos Racing +1 laps
Drivers Standings: 1. Venturini 32; 2. Filippi 23; 3. Onidi 22; 4. Ceccon 20; 5. Buttarelli e Barba 16; 7. Tambay 13; 8. Afanasiev 12; 9. Di Sabatino 6; 10. Zaugg 3; 11. Mendez 2; 12. Dracone 1.
Under 21 Standings: 1. Venturini 36; 2. Ceccon 28; 3. Buttarelli 26; 4. Tambay 18; 5. Mendez 16; Haryanto 6.
Teams Standings: 1. Griffitz Durango 32; 2. SuperNova e Ombra 26; 4. Dams 25; 5. Lazarus 22; 6. Campos Racing 18; 7. TP Formula 16; 8 Emmebi Motorsport 1.