AutoGP, Ceccon “Under 21 title was my first aim”
The Valencia weekend saw Auto GP award the first title of its season, with Kevin Ceccon clinching the Under 21 Trophy. It was a well deserved success for the Italian driver, who led this special classification from the second round of the Series and managed to win it with still one event to go thanks to a great consistency. Here are his feelings after this first Trophy:“I'm really happy of this Under 21 title. Today that I'm leading the Overall classification of the Series somebody could see it as a secondary objective, but it would be a big mistake. We shouldn't forget that at the start of the season, when I decided to race in Auto GP, the Under 21 Trophy was my primary aim. It was the only realistic one, because I didn't believe I would have been fighting for the main title at my first season in the Championship, and it had a fantastic prize, a GP2 test I'm looking forward to. I was aiming at this, and clinching it with one event to go was a great achievement. Furthermore, it's good to have something that reminds where we were starting from”.What do you mean?“I mean that when I decided to race in Auto GP, I did it because I felt that it was the right step for my growth as a driver, but I didn't imagine that it would have happened so quickly. Then podium finishes came, then an incredible chance of debuting in GP2, then even the lead in the Auto GP standings with a real shot at the title.Going too far with your mind, losing it a bit, was definitely a risk. This Under 21 Trophy reminds me that I'm very young, just 17, and that even if I already achieved a lot, I have plenty of time to keep growing, and not only as a driver”.Keeping your feet on the ground is the right attitude, but this doesn't change the fact that a lot of GP2 Team managers are thinking about your name for next season. What does this mean for you?“I take this with a mix of satisfaction and surprise. Frankly I still don't have a clear plan for 2012 and GP2 is a matter of budget also, but knowing that people from there is looking at me with interest is surely something that makes me proud.Auto GP was a key stone to achieve this and it worked much more than I was expecting. Looking at the media impact, now I'm known in international motorsport also, not only in Italy, and that's vital for my career.From a sporting standpoint it has helped me even more: I passed from racing in the European F3 Open, a decent championship but surely not the benchmark in F3, to challenging experienced drivers like Filippi and Carroll and already established youngsters as Tambay and Afanasiev. My former fellow competitors made different choices for their future, and looking to how their careers are developing, it seems that Auto GP is giving me a clear advantage in terms of awareness. Then making the most of it it's up to me”.You came out from the Valencia weekend with the fifth podium finish of the season and you managed to stretch your lead to 7 points on Afanasiev and 15 on Filippi. Is that enough to feel safe?“No, with 46 points up for grabs there's no reason to feel safe, but being ahead gives me a tiny margin to manage the situation. Anyway it won't be easy: Afanasiev is on fire, and looking to what Haryanto is doing maybe DAMS now has a little edge on the competition in car performance. Then, you shouldn't underestimate Filippi. Luca is now one of the top three drivers in the GP2 field and if his performance will be good also in Monza, as I frankly hope, he will be really charged-up in Mugello. Surely being 15 points adrift is not ideal, but it's not enough to rule out such a talent. Anyway, in whatever shape they will arrive in Mugello, they will have to cope with me. I've never raced there, but I'm sure that working together with Ombra Racing we will be quick straight out of the box. And fighting for the title will be a further boost, that's sure”.