Serenelli targets 2012 Auto GP commitment Giancarlo Serenelli was among the drivers taking part in the latest Auto GP test in Magione. The driver from Venezuela went on track on both days with Ombra Racing, in order to have all the time to work with the team and get acquainted with the 550 bhp boasted by the Zytek engine. He had a steady improving trend on both days, and the experience definitely boosted his confidence in the Series as the right choice for a next step in his career. Serenelli is one of the most interesting South American drivers: already a two time-champion of the F.Latam Challenge (2008 and 2010) he is on the way to securing the title a third time (he leads the standings with a 64 points gap with just two races to go) and for 2012 he is looking for a top-notch scenario and a quick and challenging car: after driving Auto GP in Magione he knows that the Series can provide both.
In Magione you had the opportunity to drive the Auto GP car for two days. What were your impressions?
"The performance of the car is impressive, but despite this it gives you a lot of confidence right from the first laps. You feel that you can trust the grip, you can feel what it's doing, so you quickly get to drive it in the right way to make the most of it. You have to brake very late into the corner, because with all that power getting out of it quickly is never an issue. In this, people says that it's very similar to GP2 so it's exactly what I'm looking for. It's also a very demanding car from a physical point of view, I will need to push very hard with my training because the steering it's heavier compared to what I'm used to, but this will also be a good step for me, also thinking about GP2 and F1".
What's your opinion on the Series, after following it in 2011 and then driving the car in Magione?
"The most important thing for a driver is being sure that everybody is playing in the same league, with the same cards, and from this standpoint I have no doubts about Auto GP. In 2011 they had seven different polemen in 7 events, and 9 different drivers clinched wins, this is the best proof that nobody has a technical advantage there. Besides this, racing in a competitive grid is vital, and if you look at the level of the field in the Magione test, with F3 champions and expert racers such as Filippi and Ricci, it already tells you that it's the right scenario to grow as a driver. Furthermore, you get a big prize money and you need just a fraction of the budget you would need for GP2 of for even less competitive championships, so it's definitely the right choice for me".
In 2012 Auto GP will be the only open-wheel Series to race in Europe, USA and South America. This has a role in your choice?
"Surely it has. You know, coming to race against the best drivers in Europe is a sort of mandatory step for a South American driver. Anyway, it has some drawbacks: being so far from home it makes difficult to interact with fans in your Country, to involve them in what you're doing, and sometimes the same goes for the sponsors who are supporting you. With Auto GP this won't be the case, partly because the races are broadcasted in our country, but mainly because the Brazilian event will be like an home race for us, with all the positive consequences you can imagine. That's why I think that there will be many South American drivers interested in doing the Championship, also considering that it will be the only "Worldwide" open-wheeler Series apart from F1. From my side, competing in the Championship is my aim and I'm working hard with my staff to make sure that everything will be in place for that".