Auto GP returns to Imola this week-end

The fifth edition of the Auto GP championship has reached its half point. The series, which runs powerful cars with Lola chassis and 550hp Zytek engines, will approach its fifth round of the season at Monza. Teams and drivers will face another prestigious stage where legendary, where Formula 1 battles went on. With his 114 points, Kimiya Sato lines-up as the championship leader. The Japanese 24-year-old driver from Kobe is the reigning runner-up and returned to Euronova Racing after having also served as a test driver for Sauber in Formula 1. He now has a priority commitment to the GP2 Series and, for this reason, he won’t be available for all the Auto GP events. Despite having missed Monza, Sato won three times and dominated at Budapest with a double victory. His first opponent is Markus Pommer, 9 points down, running for championship-winning team Super Nova. The German performed well by scoring two wins, two poles and four podium finishes. Tamas Pal Kiss is right behind him, four more points back. The Hungarian is the leading driver for Zele Racing but has a lone win, at Le Castellet. Running in 4th place overall, Kevin Giovesi is the best Italian in standings. Giovesi runs for FMS, which replaces Eurotech, and while he has one win to his toll, his tough start at Marrakech jeopardized his position in standings, as he stands 32 points behind Sato. At his second Auto GP season, Andrea Roda is 5th for British team Virtuosi UK. The Como-based man went on the podium twice so far and he tops Super Nova’s female racer Michela Cerruti. In an improving season for her, she recently got the first podium finish at her hometown track in Monza. Michele La Rosa is in 7th. His best result came in Morocco with a second place. In Marrakech he edged another series regular, Giuseppe Cipriani, who sits 9th in standings. The top-10 is also rounded out by Sam Dejonghe who is 8th, and Japanese Yoshitaka Kuroda. More Italian drivers are expected to shine on home soil. Super Nova’s Francesco Dracone is currently 13th in standings while three Italian teams are expected on the grid: Euronova Racing, FMS and MLR71 Racing. On a side note, the first half of the 280.000€ prize money for this season have been allocated and Sato is the leading beneficiary (40.000€). And 140.000€ are still up for grabs. After Imola, the Auto GP championship will continue in its international march, landing at Zeltweg, Nurburgring and Estoril. All of them are famous tracks which tied their success to Formula 1. The last three rounds will be key in deciding the 2014 Auto GP Champion.

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