Young Briton Stars In Thrilling First Round of 2012 Auto GP Series
Flavio Briatore very complimentary about Kumho-shod championship
The 2012 Auto GP World Series for 550bhp single-seat racing cars got off to a flying start at Monza on March 10/11. The results were particularly encouraging for 21-year old Adrian Quaife-Hobbs from Tonbridge, UK and Pål Varhaug of the same age, who is aiming to become Norway’s first F1 driver. These young guns currently share the championship lead, after each claiming a victory and a third place from the opening two races.
Said Quaife-Hobbs: “In the first race, I had no idea how starting in this car would be, but held the lead into turn one and managed to break the tow early on, building up a 2.5 second lead over three laps. However, the gearbox problem we had suffered earlier then returned, so I had to push really hard to achieve the win. Race two was far more eventful. I got a good start but didn’t have quite the same pace. The team did a great job in the pit stop, changing the tyres very quickly, and when a few cars ahead of me collided I was in the right place to pick my way through for third place. It was a great points haul and I’m naturally very happy to be leading the championship.”
Former F1 boss Flavio Briatore was a noted guest at The Autodromo Nazionale Monza and was very complimentary about the Kumho-shod Auto GP World Series, branding it ‘a winning concept’. Commenting further he said: “Auto GP, with its affordable costs for teams and drivers, is something motorsport really needs. If you look at the F1 feeder series situation right now, you see that some championship budgets are rocketing.
As a result, promising drivers that lack the right financial support may never get the chance to prove themselves, and we could lose future champions without even knowing. Auto GP can fill that gap well. Moreover, it can aim beyond being just an F1 feeder series to becoming a championship with its own strong identity, where the best drivers race for more than one season.”
The next round of the seven round series – again with two races during the weekend – will be in Valencia, Spain on April 1