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Sato nets a win in second Auto GP race at Monza

by Jonathan Wallcroft

Photo: Auto GP

After narrowly missing out to Sergio Campana yesterday, early-season pacesetter Kimiya Sato made no mistakes as he secured a victory in only his second Auto GP race from seventh on the grid in a wet race two at Monza.

The race started under safety car due to the conditions and Narain Karthikeyan didn’t get past that, retiring after the first lap as pole-sitter Luciano Bacheta led the first few laps. Sato meanwhile made imperious progress passing Robert Visoiu and Vittorio Ghirelli as the safety car went into the pits to move up to second and was visibly faster than Bacheta immediately afterwards, eventually passing him on lap seven.

Sato immediately pulled away, opening up an eight second gap to second within two laps and continually lapping two seconds faster than everyone else. A yellow flag caused by Giuseppe Cipriani crashing out could not stop Sato as he cruised to victory despite briefly surrendering the lead to Bacheta after his pit-stop.

Sato was followed home by Bacheta and an impressive Ghirelli, who made up for his near miss yesterday to complete the podium. Sergio Campana, Riccardo Agostini, Visoiu, Yoshitaka Kuroda, Michele La Rosa, Antonio Spavone and Meindert Van Buuren completed the points-paying positions.

Aside from Karthikeyan and Cipriani, Maxim Snegirev also retired and Giacomo Ricci was still classified despite stopping on the last lap with Andrea Roda finishing in 11th.

Race results
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap
1 Kimiya Sato Euronova Racing 14 laps in 32:25.073
2 Luciano Bacheta Zele Racing +20.020
3 Vittorio Ghirelli Super Nova International +21.830
4 Sergio Campana Ibiza Racing Team +25.146
5 Riccardo Agostini Manor MP Motorsport +41.792
6 Robert Visoiu Ghinzani Motorsport +47.008
7 Yoshitaka Kuroda Euronova Racing +52.956
8 Michele La Rosa MLR 71 +58.044
9 Antonio Spavone Super Nova International +1:03.175
10 Meindert Van Buuren Manor MP Motorsport +1:05.754
11 Andrea Roda Virtuosi UK +1:10.991
12 Giacomo Ricci MLR 71 +1 laps
13 Giuseppe Cipriani Ibiza Racing Team + 7 laps
Not Classified
Narain Karthikeyan Zele Racing 1 lap
Max Snegirev Virtuosi UK 0 laps