Ceccon: “I can stretch my AutoGP lead in Valencia”

The Auto GP drivers used the summer break to enjoy a bit of relax but now, with just two weeks to the Valencia event, it's time to get back to work in order to tackle the Grand Finale of the 2011 season in the best possible shape.It's the same for everybody, and the Championship leader makes no exception: Kevin Ceccon emerged from the Oschersleben round as the new Auto GP leader, two points ahead of Luca Filippi, and he's now getting ready for the final battles.At 17 Ceccon is also the youngest driver in the Series, and in this first part of the season Auto GP wasn't his only commitment: he also raced in GP2 with Scuderia Coloni, contesting 4 events as a replacement for the injured Davide Rigon. With such a busy first half of the season, Kevin was eager to enjoy the August break.  “I definitely needed some rest. The first part of my 2011 was amazing, I had many things to be happy about, from my good shape in Auto GP to my surprise debut in GP2, but it was also tiring, both from a physical and psychological standpoint. I'm not just speaking about managing the pressure, but even changing my objectives weekend after weekend was a challenge. In Auto GP I went on the grid aiming to win races and the Championship, while in GP2 my only target was making no mistakes and covering as many miles as possible, getting acquainted with the working standards of F1's best feeder series. Those were some great months for me, but obviously there was a bit of stress involved, and the summer break was what I needed to shave it off”.How was the restart of your training after this deserved break?“I'm a very lucky guy because Formula Medicine, who manages my training, is located in Viareggio, one of Italy's most renowned holiday spots. So I had some sea and a lot of fun with friends, but I never gave up my training. I just stopped a bit with the gym, preferring some outdoor training instead, but from next week on I will go back to the normal training, in order to arrive in Valencia in top shape. I also need to get some focus back, and to do that I will work as a mechanic in a kart team for a weekend”.Let's go back to the Championship. You are leading with a 2 points gap on Filippi and you clinched one win and three podium finishes. Going a bit more in depth with the numbers, you missed the points just once, Race 2 in Budapest. Not bad...“Not bad, but not enough either. With the  Auto GP points system a two points gap is nothing, especially if behind there's a driver like Luca, who is a benchmark for us all in terms of both speed and experience. Being behind would be worse, that's sure, but I can't count on that advantage, he just needs to get a pole and a fastest lap to cancel it.So, I'm aware of the fact that if I want this title there's still a lot to do, and that I need to up my game in the last two race weekends. If I look back to my season until now I can be satisfied with it, but I have to recognize that I'm leading mainly because I've been consistent.I made no mistakes, and this allowed me to take the edge when my rivals did some, but I have to bear in mind that I'm leading also because Filippi lost an entire event, and the same did Afanasiev, who's not far in the standings.The pace I had in the latest events won't be enough to win the title, the only way to keep the lead will be winning again, and I'm very determined to do that”.The Series will now visit two challenging venues as Valencia and Mugello, what do you expect?“I'm happy that the most important moment of my season will be staged in Valencia. I raced twice on the Ricardo Tormo circuit when I was in F3 and I also had various test sessions there,   so I have a very good knowledge of the circuit and I love it. I know that Auto GP is a very different beast from the F3 car, so I will have to scrap all my reference points, but I'm very confident: if there's a track where I can up my game as I said before, it's Valencia. It's the best chance I will have to stretch my lead, even if I know that the Championship will be decided in Mugello.Things will be trickier for me there, because I never raced on that track and I saw it for the first time just some weeks ago, as I went to watch a friend who was racing. I look forward to it because with its fast corners, the uphill and downill section it has always been one of the drivers' favourites, but I also know that debuting on such a technical layout won't be easy. Anyway this won't prevent me from doing my best. I worked hard to get on top and knowing that my objective is so close gives me a further boost”.