He already won Race 2 in Brno and doing it again in today's Sprint Race in Donington he became the first Auto GP driver to clinch two race wins in 2011: Samuele Buttarelli boasted a really amazing drive, leading the pack from flag to flag and controlling the race like a veteran despite feeling the pressure of Adam Carroll behind him. The only tense moment of Buttarelli's race was the start, when he had to defend himself from a really good start by Bruno Mendez; Samuele anyway kept the inside line in Turn 1 and from then on nobody could challenge him. With some back to back fastest laps, all on the low 1'19" pace, he gained a 2" advantage quickly and then just kept the gap, clinching a result that launched him to third place in the Overall Standings.
Behind the TP Formula driver was Adam Carroll: the brit, who was starting from P4 on the grid, passed de Jong at the start and some bends later took the edge on team mate Mendez, then trying to catch Buttarelli. Anyway, also because of some electrical problems that were causing misfires, the brit couldn't close the gap and had to settle for second place, giving Campos Racing the second podium finish of the season. Fabrizio Crestani was third, grabbing the third podium finish in the last four races: with a good start he passed from P6 to P4, and then on lap 6 he made the most of a slow exit by Mendez from the chicane to take 3rd place, confirming himself as one of the most consistent drivers on the grid. Immediately behind the podium finishers were Jon Lancaster and Luca Filippi: the two drivers of SuperNova were fighting each other for the whole race, the highlight coming at lap 4 when Lancaster passed Filippi at Coppice and the Italian got his place back at the last corner.
Anyway Jon made his way through again on lap 6 and this time Luca didn't manage to fight back: the two closed the race split by just a 0"6 gap, clinching a result that makes both of them and SuperNova happy: Lancaster won the weekend classification and the 60.000 euros of prize money, while Filippi stretched his lead in the championship over Kevin Ceccon to 18 points. Ceccon closed his race behind his Italian rival, but 9" adrift after to a great fight with Giovanni Venturini for 6th place. Kevin won the duel thanks to a good move at the hairpin on lap 15, while Giovanni's chances were hurt a bit a risky choice from Durango: the team opted for a wet oriented setup, as a rain shower seemed likely until some minutes before the race. Anyway it didn't happen, and Venturini had to cope with a not ideal setup for a dry track.
The last point went to Daniel de Jong: the Dutch newcomer didn't have a good start but he was boasting a good drive until he wasn't hit by Rio Haryanto on lap 11. The Indonesian driver was later punished with a 25" penalty, dropping him to last place.
Samuele Buttarelli: "I'm really happy, two wins at this point of the season are an amazing tally, and winning in front of Carroll makes it even better! The race was difficult at the beginning because the guys behind had a great start and I had to defend my position. Once I did that the race became easy, I could really push easily and I quickly built a gap on Adam. From then on I was just in control, I could manage the race as the car was really perfect. So thanks again to TP Formula, they did an amazing job".
Adam Carroll: "Pole position and a second place are really satisfying results for a debut, even if I could have done better. In this Race 2 I had some problems, probably some electrical glitch, that caused the engine to misfire. It was hampering because apart from slowing me down a bit, I never knew in what part of the circuit this was going to happen so getting a steady pace was very difficult. Anyway I managed to put some pressure on Buttarelli and he didn't do any mistakes, so he deserves to be congratulated. I'd also like to say thanks to Campos Racing for giving me this opportunity to come back to full time racing, I'm sure that there's more to come and that we'll see that already in Oschersleben".
Fabrizio Crestani: "Being on the podium again is great. The race itself was pretty fun, I had a very good start and I followed Carroll and Mendez in the first laps, then making the most of a slow exit by Bruno from the chicane to take P3. Looking at the championship the third podium finish in 4 races is good, it shows that our performance is top-notch. We still have a lot to do to climb the Standings, but we will see race by race, as things are getting better and better".
Donington, 17 July, Race 2
1 Samuele BUTTARELLI TP Formula 17 laps in 22:36.788, avg 180.40 km/h
2 Adam CARROLL Campos Racing +2.160
3 Fabrizio CRESTANI Lazarus +3.129
4 Jon LANCASTER Supernova Racing +3.585
5 Luca FILIPPI Supernova Racing +4.139
6 Kevin CECCON Ombra Racing +13.543
7 Giovanni VENTURINI Griffitz Durango +17.670
8 Daniel DE JONG MP Motorsport +23.588
9 Adrian CAMPOS JR Campos Racing +24.331
10 Francesco DRACONE Ombra Racing +42.460
11 Rio HARYANTO Dams +43.251
DNF Bruno MENDEZ Campos Racing
DNF Giuseppe CIPRIANI Griffitz Durango
DNF Pasquale DI SABATINO TP Formula
Fastest lap: Kevin CECCON, Ombra Racing in 1:18.421, media 183.76kph
Weekend Classification: 1. Jon Lancaster 34 (60.000 euro); 2. Fabrizio Crestani 25 (25.000 euro); 3. Luca Filippi e Adam Carroll (7.500 euro)
Drivers Standings: 1. Filippi 98; 2. Ceccon 80; 3. Buttarelli 62; 4. Crestani 57; 5. Venturini 53; 6. Lancaster 51; 7. Onidi e Afanasiev 44; 9. Tambay 40; 10. Haryanto 29.
Under 21 Standings: 1. Ceccon 134; 2. Buttarelli 99; 3. Venturini 85; 4. Haryanto 72; 5. Mendez 61; 6. Tambay 57; 7. de Jong 26; 8. Bizzarri 10.