Quaife-Hobbs wins AutoGP title, Pizzonia takes Race 2

 Adrian Quaife-Hobbs became the third Auto GP champion today in Curitiba, following in the footsteps of previous title winners Romain Grosjean and Kevin Ceccon.The Briton crashed out of a race that he was dominating on lap 19, misjudging the braking point after entering the pit-lane and hitting the tyre wall. Despite this bitter ending, the 5th position clinched by Pl Varhaug meant that the SuperNova driver still ended the weekend with a 55 points lead on his Norwegian rival, 7 more than the 48 that will be available in Sonoma for the last round of the Series.

Quaife-Hobbs crash was a dramatic turn of events in a race that until that moment had offered a great show with a close battle between the SuperNova driver and Antonio Pizzonia. At the start Adrian took the lead from third spot on the grid while the home hero made an amazing getaway passing from P8 to P3. When Pizzonia passed Rafael Suzuki for 2nd place it became clear that his intention was to challenge for the win but on the other hand Quaife-Hobbs was already pushing hard posting laptimes in the high 112 range. The gap between the two never got bigger than 1 until the end of lap 7, when Pizzonia elected to pit and a wheelnut issue on the rear left tyre costed Ombra Racing a 5 delay in releasing the car. With SuperNova opting for a late pit-stop the two drivers werent seeing each other anymore but the battle continued nevertheless: Quaife-Hobbs had a 35 gap on Pizzonia, enough to exit in front of him with a mistakeless pit-stop, but when he entered the pit lane with 4 laps to go he missed the braking point and clipped the grass, losing control of the car and hitting the tyres.This meant that Pizzonia inherited the lead and crossed the line with a 8 advantage on Chris Van der Drift and Daniel de Jong: the Manor MP Motorsport pair sealed the podium with a great performance: the kiwi driver started in fourth place and and then got third passing Suzuki early on, while his ducth team-mate recovered from P8 relying on the great race pace that he had already shown yesterday.Sirotkin took the flag in 4th place after a very consistent showing, closing the race ahead of Pl Varhaug. The Virtuosi UK driver, who was starting from 7th on the grid, tried an early pit-stop strategy changing tyres on lap 4, but that didnt give him a clear track as he had hoped. Stuck behind Sirotkin for the whole race, he managed to post the fastest lap of the race after Quaife-Hobbs crashing, but it wasnt enough to keep title hopes alive.Rafael Suzuki improved yesterdays result with a good sixth place, finishing ahead of Max Snegirev and Sergio Campana, while Francesco Dracone and Giuseppe Cipriani rounded out the top ten.Curitiba, 22 July, Race 21     Antonio PIZZONIA         Ombra Racing                23 laps in 28:44.3162     Chris VAN DER DRIFT     Manor MP Motorsport     +8.021 3     Daniel DE JONG             Manor MP Motorsport     +9.2644     Sergey SIROTKIN           Euronova Racing           +13.662 5     Pal VARHAUG                Virtuosi UK                   +14.651 6     Rafael SUZUKI               Ombra Racing               +30.0397     Max SNEGIREV              Campos Racing              +39.8358     Sergio CAMPANA            Euronova Racing            +40.1979     Francesco DRACONE       Virtuosi UK                    +57.03810   Giuseppe CIPRIANI         Campos Racing              +1 LAP11   Michele LA ROSA            MLR 71                         +1 LAP 12   Adrian QUAIFE-HOBBS    Supernova International    +4 LAPSFastest lap: lap 22 by Pl Varhaug in 112549, avg 183, 35 kphDrivers Standings: 1. Quaife-Hobbs 205 (Champion); 2. Varhaug 150; 3. Sirtokin 140; 4. Van Der Drift 127; 5. De Jong 78; 6. Regalia 68; 7. Campana 66; 8. Guerin 46; 9. Pizzonia 45; 10. Snegirev e Ricci 30; 12. Spavone 27; 13. Serenelli 26; 14. Cipriani 18; 15. Pentus 14; 16. Suzuki e Dracone 12; 18. Cunha 8; 19. Fong 4; Sistos e La Rosa 2.Under 21 Standings: 1. Quaife-Hobbs 224; 2. Sirotkin 181; 3. Varhaug 172; 4. De Jong 109;  5. Regalia 96; 6. Spavone 74; 7. Guerin 66; 8. Cunha 24; 9. Beretta 9; 10. Sistos 6.Teams Standings: 1. SuperNova 251; 2. MP Manor 205; 3. Virtuosi UK 159; 4. Euronova 158; 5. Campos Racing 115; 6. Ombra 95; 7. MLR71 63; 8. Zele Racing 44.

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