Imola: Charouz-Gravity race 1 report

Adrien Tambay wrote a fantastic story on the Italian Imola track where he scored the first victory for the Charouz Gravity Racing team in the AutoGP Series and to make it even more exciting it is the same place where his father Patrick won Formula...

Adrien Tambay wrote a fantastic story on the Italian Imola track where he scored the first victory for the Charouz Gravity Racing team in the AutoGP Series and to make it even more exciting it is the same place where his father Patrick won Formula 1 Grand Prix in a Ferrari in 1983.

Imola has become a really unique place for Tambay's family today. When Gilles Villeneuve, one of the most loved drivers of Ferrari tifosi, had a fatal accident during qualifying at Zolder on 8th May 1982, it was Patrick Tambay who replaced the Canadian in the famous team. One year later Patrick Tambay won Grand Prix at Imola carrying the famous 27 number on the red car, the number deeply associated with the Canadian. Sunday 1th May 1983 painted unforgettable emotions for thousands of tifosi and it was the most emotional day of the whole illustrious career for the man who won.

Patrick Tambay came back to Imola for he first time this weekend since he had finished his racing career. He is accompanying his son Adrien who is learning the racecraft in the AutoGP series in the Czech-Luxembourg Charouz-Gravity Racing team. And for once he again had a very good reason to celebrate.

Adrien Tambay success was based on a good qualifying where he set the second time and secured a place in the first row. His teammate Stefano Coletti was fifth and Charouz-Gravity Racing team was the only one with two drivers in the top 5. Jan Charouz started the race from 10th place and Walter Grubmueller was 11th.

The start of the race was not ideal for Adrien who lost one place but he quickly reversed the trend. Mandatory pitstops started after 4th laps and while rivals were loosing time Charouz-Gravity mechanics were extremely quick and he returned as the first driver among those who already stopped. Adrien took the lead after last rival pitted. He was under a small pressure from Pantano but the Italian did a mistake and the Frenchman took the flag.

Stefano Coletti dropped down to 12th after the start but he fought back to seventh under the flag. Sunday's race has reverse grid for the first eight drivers which means first row for him, Tambay will line up eight. Jan Charouz and Walter Grubmueller jun. did not finished Saturday's race.

Adrien Tambay: "My qualifying was not perfect but still was good enough. It was clear from the beginning that it will be big fight with Pantano. He pitted earlier while we decided to stay out and keep pushing. The pitstop was perfect and I returned in front of him but had to withstand his pressure. I did the job and I was just controlling my position in the last laps and was focused not to do any mistake. I am overjoyed, it is a great victory."

Stefano Coletti: "I was satisfied after the qualifying because we fulfilled our aim to be in the top 5. If I had not done a small mistake it could have been even third. I did not have a good start and almost stalled on the grid. I was down on 14th place. It was quite hot there and was not easy to keep the car under control. I managed to get 7th which brings second place on tomorrow's grid. I hope for much better start and finish the whole weekend with a good result."

Jan Charouz: "It is really pity. I had to retire on the first lap already due to broken driveshaft. It is costly as I have to start from the back of the grid. It will not be easy but I will fight till the end. "

Walter Grubmueller jun.: "I was happy with the car because we did a step forward comparing to Brno. Furthermore I did a good start and gained three places. I was behind a very close group and it was clear the pitstops would decide the race. When I came back from the pits one of the rivals closed in. I tried to push to the maximum and spun out on cold tyres. That was the end of my race."

-source: cgr

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About this article
Series Auto GP
Drivers Patrick Tambay , Gilles Villeneuve , Jan Charouz , Stefano Coletti , Adrien Tambay