With the AutoGP cars being the old A1 Grand Prix cars Adam Carroll felt right at home and put it on pole
It was a staggering Auto GP debut for Adam Carroll. The brit, that until this morning had never driven the car prepared by Campos Racing, managed to keep all his rivals at bay in Qualifying clinching pole position with a 1'16"891 that left the closest of them all, Luca Filippi, 3 tenths adrift. The Italian driver of SuperNova had posted a 1'17"196 that was worth the lead with 5 minutes to go, but just some seconds later a spin by Cipriani forced Race Direction to suspend the session with a Red Flag.
This turned the last 4 minutes of the session in a mini-qualifying that seemed an ideal situation for Carroll: in the only quick lap that he had available, Adam improved his time by 4 tenths, while Filippi and SuperNova were forced in the pits by a fuel pick-up issue.
With Carroll and Filippi sharing 1st row, Buttarelli is opening the second one: the Italian of TP Formula already showed in the Free Practices that he had the pace to get a great result, and he confirmed that with a 1'17"331 that was enough to be the quickest driver of the Under 21 Trophy and grab 3rd place overall. Buttarelli finished ahead of Jon Lancaster, who was in the top spots for the whole session, and Kevin Ceccon, 5th with 1'17"733.
Behind Ceccon was the Lazarus duo, with Fabrizio Crestani (1'17"768) ahead of Fabio Onidi (1'17"966): the pair was dominant in Free Practice, but then in Qualifying they struggled and couldn't repeat the same performances, probably due to colder temperatures that changed the track behavior a lot. P8 and P9 went to the Campos Racing pair formed by Bruno Mendez and Adrian Campos Jr., while Daniel de Jong closed the top ten crowning a good debut, with no mistakes and a steadily improving trend. Giovanni Venturini, who is still looking for the good set-up with Griffitz Durango, will start from 6th row with Pasquale Di Sabatino, with Giuseppe Cipriani, Francesco Dracone and Rio Haryanto closing the group.
The Indonesian driver of DAMS completed only two laps as he went off track in the first minutes of the session. Now drivers and teams are preparing for tomorrow's Race 1: it will be 21 laps long, starting from 10.45 (local time) and it will be broadcasted live, as usual, by Eurosport.
Adam Carroll: "I've never been the one who underestimates the competition, and I couldn't have done that in a top-notch series as Auto GP. That's why, even if I knew that I could do well, I wasn't taking this pole for granted; it arrived thanks to a really amazing lap, in which I improved my previous laptime by 4 tenths! It was already a good lap, so being able to go so much quicker surprised me, but this means that my feeling with the car and with the Michelin tires is already very good".
Luca Filippi: "Pole position would have been better and in normal conditions I think that I would have been able to fight for it in the last 4 minutes, but with SuperNova we decided not to try because a fuel pick-up problem was slowing us a bit. Any way first row is great, and tomorrow we will be in full attack mode".
Samuele Buttarelli: "It's a pity because the Red Flag came out in my best moment: I had just improved my laptime and I could go even quicker than that, at least one tenth that would have put me in front of Filippi, on 1st row. Anyway I'm satisfied with my performance, I showed again that I can fight on a par with anyone".
Donington, 15 July, Qualifying
1 Adam CARROLL Campos Racing 1:16.891 2 Luca FILIPPI Supernova Racing 1:17.196 3 Samuele BUTTARELLI TP Formula 1:17.331 4 Jon LANCASTER Supernova Racing 1:17.558 5 Kevin CECCON Ombra Racing 1:17.733 6 Fabrizio CRESTANI Lazarus 1:17.768 7 Fabio ONIDI Lazarus 1:17.966 8 Bruno MENDEZ Campos Racing 1:17.986 9 Adrian CAMPOS JR Campos Racing 1:18.115 10 Daniel DE JONG MP Motorsport 1:18.285 11 Giovanni VENTURINI Griffitz Durango 1:18.354 12 Pasquale DI SABATINO TP Formula 1:18.387 13 Giuseppe CIPRIANI Griffitz Durango 1:19.451 14 Francesco DRACONE Ombra Racing 1:20.915 15 Rio HARYANTO Dams 1:25.229
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