Pantano targets strong Imola performance He was under the spotlight for his Auto GP debut, but the first series weekend wasn't a good one for Giorgio Pantano. The Italian driver left the Brno track without a single point, a disappointing result...
Pantano targets strong Imola performance
He was under the spotlight for his Auto GP debut, but the first series weekend wasn't a good one for Giorgio Pantano. The Italian driver left the Brno track without a single point, a disappointing result that was completely unexpected, especially after a good start in the Thursday testing sessions. Pantano used that track time to get acquainted with the car and was immediately on the pace, clinching the 7th time in the Friday free practice with old tires, while most of the other drivers were on new rubber. Despite this, Giorgio was only 9th in qualifying, and his weekend actually ended after a crash with Iaconelli in Race 1, meaning a start from the bottom row in the second race.
That's why Pantano is already thinking about the Imola event, aiming for a strong comeback in the series standings. Thinking about the May 23 weekend, the SuperNova driver is in a very good mood, because he knows exactly the reasons for his difficult start: "I have to say that in Brno until Friday the weekend was going exactly as I expected. My target was learning the car and the track, both completely new to me, and I had the right feelings straight away, also thanks to SuperNova. They know the Lola very well, so they immediately went for the right set-up choices. Obviously there was still a margin for improvement, but I was quite happy about the car I had for qualifying".
So, what went wrong? "I just got stuck behind slower cars, not once but three times. Actually, each one of my tries was ruined by a slower driver being on the racing line".
In the first race, then, the crash with Iaconelli meant game over: "It's a race incident, nothing more, but throwing the everything in the bin at the second corner of the first lap is a real pity. The most annoying thing is that I'm sure I was going to fight for podium without the crash, my race pace was really good. Moreover, being the grid of the second race determined by Race 1, my chances were reduced to zero after that crash".
That's why Pantano looks forward to Imola: "I know the track very well, and I have good memories. In 2005, I missed pole position by just .005, so I know how to drive a flyer there, and I expect to be on top from the very first laps".
And Giorgio knows how to do that: "Imola is a real racetrack, with some really tricky spots that you can't find on the new circuits, and I'm sure that with an high power and downforce car like Auto GP it will be a real challenge. I think that the `Acque Minerali' and the `Variante Alta' chicanes will be vital for a good lap, jumping on those kerbs in the right way can make a huge difference".
-source: auto gp