Navarra, Race 1: first Auto GP win for Leal Great win for Julian Leal in the first Auto GP race on the Navarra circuit. The Colombian driver, who started from pole position, was perfect throughout the race, getting a perfect start first and ...
Navarra, Race 1: first Auto GP win for Leal
Great win for Julian Leal in the first Auto GP race on the Navarra circuit. The Colombian driver, who started from pole position, was perfect throughout the race, getting a perfect start first and then boasting some very quick laps, building an immediate gap on the competition. Only Edoardo Piscopo was able to follow him closely, around 1" adrift, and from lap 9 the Italian even managed to close the gap, arriving right on Leal's tail.
He then served his mandatory pit-stop, hoping to pass the Colombian thanks to the pit strategy, but Trident Racing did an amazing job and with a very quick pit-stop managed to send him on track just in front of his DAMS rival.
Piscopo and Leal ran side-by-side through the first complex of corners, but Leal held firm, also overcoming a restart after a Safety-Car period. The SC was called in on lap 13 to let the marshals remove Tambay's car, stuck after being hit by team mate Charouz. At the restart, on lap 16, Leal closed the door on Piscopo three times, clinching a deserved win.
The Italian driver of DAMS can be satisfied anyway because with his second place he managed to keep Romain Grosjean at bay, stretching his championship lead a bit.
The Frenchman showed again how quick he can be: starting from 8th place after a difficult qualifying he decided for an early pit-stop together with the team and then with a clear track in front of him he was able to lap 1" quicker than anybody else, recovering until 3rd place.
Closing the DAMS trio was Duncan Tappy, finishing in the same 4th position he started from, ahead of Jonny Reid. The kiwi driver, starting from P3, lost five places between the start and the first corners, but thanks to a good pace he was able to recover. He was passed by Jan Charouz at the restart, but the Czech driver got a 25" penalty after the race for two race incidents with Tambay and Bizzarri. Same penalty for Alexander Sims for overtaking under Safety-Car while Carlos Iaconelli was excluded for crashing into Onidi, forcing him to retirement. So 6th place was for Giacomo Ricci ahead of Luca Filippi, with Natacha Gachnang clinching an 8th place that means pole position for Race 2.
Julian Leal: "I'm so thrilled, winning is a great feeling, I really can't explain how I feel now. The race wasn't easy, but I think that I did everything in the best possible way. My start was very good and then I was very quick, with just Piscopo behind me. He managed to close the gap when I was struggling with my rear tyres, but after the pit-stop my car was perfect again and I could keep him at bay, even if it was an hard fight".
Edoardo Piscopo: "I tried to win, but even before the race I knew that overtaking wasn't going to be easy on this track. Anyway I did a good race and finishing ahead of Grosjean I stretched my lead a bit, that's the most important thing".
Romain Grosjean: "After Qualifying we were obviously disappointed, but we knew that the pit-stop was going to be vital to make up some ground. With the team we decided to pit as soon as the window was opened and it worked. Seeing that Piscopo was fighting with Leal I hoped to have a chance to pass them, but I never had a real space to go for".
-source: auto gp