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Category: Auto GP

Adrian Quaife-HobbsBriton Adrian Quaife-Hobbs continued a dominant performance in the AutoGP World Series with victory and second place in the latest rounds in Budapest, Hungary on 5&6 May. His stunning pace in both races, in which he posted the fastest lap in both, has allowed him to extend his series lead to 43 points.

The 21 year-old set the pace in both free practice sessions on Friday, before notching up a third pole position in qualifying later that day, for the opening round on Saturday. Although his victory in race one ultimately proved dominant, the Tonbridge racer bringing his SuperNova Zytek V8-engined Lola home 29 seconds ahead of his team-mate, the start was not as straightforward as he would have liked.

At the lights both Quaife-Hobbs and his team-mate struggled with wheelspin and were passed by Pål Varhaug and Sergey Sirotkin, the latter arriving at Turn 1 far too quickly and running wide, forcing Adrian slightly off line. This allowed Varhaug to take the lead, but Sirotkin responded, reclaiming the position at Turn 2.

The pair continued their battle for the lead with Quaife-Hobbs keeping a watching brief, and when the duo collided at the last corner of the opening lap, Adrian was in prime position and wasted no time in seizing the place. His dominant pace over the course of the race was impressive, extending his advantage to more than 20 seconds before the mandatory pit stop on lap 15.

Rejoining the track still in the lead, he was thereafter never headed, as he consistently posted the fastest lap to take a convincing third victory – his sixth podium finish from seven rounds.

Sunday’s race saw him take up eighth place on the reverse grid line-up and a superb start allowed him to overhaul three cars to head into turn one in fifth place. By the second corner he was up to fourth, in among a three-car battle for the runner-up spot.

A crash involving another car on lap two necessitated the deployment of the safety car and at the restart Adrian made a brilliant move to claim third place. For several laps the leading trio were locked in a three-way battle for position, until Varhaug and Quaife-Hobbs both found a way past the erstwhile race leader, Adrian getting the better exit from the last corner to gain second place on the inside of Turn 1.

From then on the battle for victory proved hard-fought with the duo never separated by less than a second. A superb pit stop by the SuperNova team on lap 14 brought Adrian out in super quick time, however an even better one by his rival allowed Varhaug to just hold on to the lead, exiting the pits by the smallest of margins.

Over the remaining five laps, Quaife-Hobbs continued to pile on the pressure, several times the pair running side-by-side as they jostled for position. On the penultimate lap, the relentless charge forced the Norwegian into a mistake, which allowed Adrian one final chance to wrest the lead. However Varhaug had overboost in reserve and gradually extended his advantage on the very last lap, Quaife-Hobbs crossing the line still just 0.8seconds behind.

“It’s been a good weekend overall and it’s great to come away with an extended series lead,” said Adrian. “The start in race one didn’t go entirely as planned; I’d practiced a couple of starts during the pre-grid and warm up laps and I saw that the grip was good, I had no wheelspin at all, so I thought that using a bit more throttle in the real start would have been good, but I was wrong and I had too much wheelspin.

“The start was the only bad moment of that race and I knew that my advantage was such that I could have passed both at the pit-stop, just staying out a couple of laps more than them if it was the case.

“Second place in race two after winning on Saturday isn’t bad, but at the same time I’m naturally disappointed because I came just 0”8 tenths shy of the perfect weekend. I had clinched the fastest lap time in each session, the fastest lap in both races, I won race one, so I was just missing this race two win to achieve something that had never been done before in the championship history.

“We came very close to making it, but Pål (Varhaug) held on well. It was good race, hard-fought but fair, I enjoyed it. I will always go for a win if there is a chance, I want to win races because I’m also sure that it’s the best way to secure the title. I’m not going to take stupid risks, that’s obvious, but I’ll never back off if I see that a win is possible.”

The next rounds of the 14-round series will take place at Portimao, Portugal over the weekend of 2&3 June.

For more information click onto www.quaifehobbs.com and follow the latest news and live timings on www.autogp.org and http://www.supernova-racing.com/ with live twitter feeds.

Adrian Quaife-HobbsAdrian Quaife-Hobbs took his fifth consecutive podium finish with second place in the opening round of the AutoGP World Series at Marrakech on Saturday. A close-fought fourth place in the second race on Sunday earns the Tonbridge racer a 29-point championship lead after six rounds.

Marking his first time at the African track, Quaife-Hobbs was quickly on the pace, posting the fastest time in the final practice ahead of Friday afternoon’s qualifying session. After starting well and looking good for a repeat of his pole starts of the opening two rounds, red flags proved troublesome for the BRDC Rising Star. Fastest in each individual sector, Adrian was nonetheless unable to capitalise on his pace, as three times his flying lap was ended prematurely relegating him to the third row for race one.

The opening race on Saturday was a nail-biting affair right to the flag, the young Briton losing out by only 0.186 of a second after five frantic wheel-to-wheel racing laps. The race started well for the 21 year-old, with a storming getaway putting him third off the line.

However the supersoft tyres quickly began to cause problems for Adrian, so another early pit stop strategy by the SuperNova team came on lap four. The team once again did a sterling job to turn the 550bhp, Zytek V8-engined Lola round quickly, allowing Adrian to resume in third place with the lead two drivers yet to stop for tyres.

By lap 13 all the field had taken their mandatory tyre change, but a slow stop for the early race leader Pal Varhaug saw him exit in third place, with Adrian now in a good position to challenge new leader Sergio Campana. The fight for victory proved highly entertaining with Quaife-Hobbs piling on the pressure over the final three laps. The pair went side-by-side several times, but without the benefit of overboost Adrian was just unable to make the move stick, trailing the eventual winner by less than two tenths of a second at the finish.

Race two had Quaife-Hobbs start from seventh, and by lap three he was up to sixth before making his pit stop a lap later. Rejoining in fifth place, Adrian was well-placed to take up the battle for the final podium spot, joining Varhaug and Giacomo Ricci in the fight for third place.

Ricci tried to pass Varhaug on lap 18, but had to back off which allowed Adrian to make the most of the opportunity, with a brilliant move around the outside at Turn 3. Steadily applying pressure to Varhaug at the last chicane on the final lap, Adrian eventually got on the inside, for third place.

They both braked as late as possible but Adrian locked up, pitching his car sideways and into the kerb, while Varhaug cut the chicane. Quaife-Hobbs consequently got a bad exit from the corner, allowing Ricci to pass him. Varhaug crossed the line in third place ahead of Ricci and Quaife-Hobbs, but after the race was penalised 25 seconds for cutting the chicane, dropping him to seventh and giving Adrian fourth.

“We knew that from fifth on the grid a good start was needed for any chance of a podium finish, and luckily I got away well,” said Adrian. “My first laps were difficult; we opted to start on very old tyres and that meant that I lost five seconds to Campana before my stop. Once I changed to new softs, I knew I really had to push. I did it, and if it wasn’t for Spavone, who made me lose at least a couple of seconds cutting the chicane when I had already gone through, I think that I would have gone past him when he pitted. Instead, I was right on his gearbox when he came out of the pit-lane.

“In the first couple of laps I tried to understand if he was leaving some gaps, but when I saw that he was struggling with traction I decided to attack. I tried as hard as I could without risking crashing and one time I did manage to get onto Sergio’s inside, but he had some power-boost to spare and was able to get ahead. I had used all mine in the first part of the race, and so there was nothing I could do.

“Race two was equally exciting particularly towards the end when I started to close on Varhaug. On the final lap I thought it was possible to get fourth, but I locked up and had a bad exit from the chicane allowing Ricci to get me. But overall it’s been a good weekend. I got the second biggest points haul from the weekend, we are only into the third event with four still to go, so I just want to concentrate on winning races. Everybody can still be a title contender at this stage, so winning is the best thing you can do to keep your rivals at bay.”

Quaife-Hobbs, who remains the only driver to have secured two series wins courtesy of victory in Monza and Valencia, will resume his bid for honours in Hungaroring, Hungary over the weekend of 5/6 May.

For more information click onto www.quaifehobbs.com and follow the latest news and live timings on www.autogp.org and www.supernova-racing.com with live twitter feeds.

Facu RegaliaThe Campos Racing´s Argentinean driver, after another good start overtaking some cars, had tyres issues and then a slow pit stop which prevented him to repeat as good results as in Valencia.

Facu Regalia hasn´t had an easy race in Marrakech today. After his retirement during yesterday´s race, Campos Racing´s driver was aiming to gain the maximum number of places to score points for the overall classification of the Auto GP. And at the beginning race two was quite positive for his team and himself, because “I overtook some cars. Starting from the 15 place on the starting grid, I have overtaken no less than five cars and then two more on the outside. When I was in 9 place, I pushed quite hard but then I´ve had problems with my tyres and, in addition, my singleseater was suffering from severe understeer today”.

Then, when he pitted on sixth lap, his mechanics had problems to change a wheel losing over ten additional seconds. “The race started well for us, despite my car today wasn´t the best possible. However our problem during pit stop finished our options to complete a good result. After my pit stop, I have had a good race pace, recovering around two seconds per lap with drivers ahead but this compound doesn´t last for many laps. At the end my tyres were struggling with graining and my only chance was to finish the race”, Regalia explained after a finish in 10.

Regalia, second placed in Valencia, had a very different meeting in Morocco, because “everything began in a wrong way on Friday. Then my spin yesterday when I hit the wall and almost no chances for today´s race. In my opinion yesterday a podium finish wasn´t out of reach and today I could have scored points for the overall classification. But this is racing. Next meeting for us in the Auto GP will in Hungary next month, but before I have to make my debut in European F3 Open”, Regalia said while thinking in Formula 3 racing, his next step in two weeks time.

To follow everything concerning Facu´s career in motorsport, please check his profiles on Facebook and Twitter: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Facu-Regalia-2010/286971396026 and @facuregalia.

Facu RegaliaThe Campos Racing´s driver, after making a good start overtaking three rivals on lap one, lost control of his car and collided with the wall at an early stage of the race.

Facu Regalia didn´t have an easy Saturday´s race in Marrakech, where is held the third meeting of 2012 season for Auto GP. Campos Racing´s driver, who was 9 on the starting grid after a troublesome qualifying session yesterday due to mistake with tyre strategy, felt confident at the start with his chances for a good result. And the race started quite well when lights went off. A good start coming from this young Argentinean driver who overtook no less than three cars on lap one. Regalia explained that “I made a good start, overtaking three rivals, to be P6 at the end of lap 1. But Chris van der Drift was in front of me, and his race pace wasn´t the pace, so my aim was to overtake him as soon as possible because other rivals were making a gap ahead”.

However, problems begun to appear while trying an overtaking manoeuvre on van der Drift, a well-experienced driver, due to low grip levels. “I overtook him but sadly yellow flags were waved so I was forced to give him back my fifth place to avoid a penalty. I was in his slipstream again very soon and I overtook him but, sadly, while speeding up my car spun. I hit the wall and my race was over on lap 3. It was my mistake because I wasn´t expecting that oversteer from my car there. Now it´s time to learn about it. I feel upset because I think a top-4 finish was quite possible with chances for podium even. Tomorrow it´s going to be hard but, once again, I will try to complete a good race”, Argentinean driver explained at the end.

Tomorrow´s race starts at 15,30 (CET) and it will be broadcasted by Eurosport 2 live.

To follow everything concerning Facu´s career in motorsport, please check his profiles on Facebook and Twitter: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Facu-Regalia-2010/286971396026 and @facuregalia.

Facu RegaliaThe Campos Racing´s driver, after his maiden podium finish two weeks ago in Valencia, approaches a new meeting of the Auto GP Series at Marrakech Street Circuit. His aim is to fight for another podium.

Facu Regalia will race next weekend in the third meeting of the Auto GP, one of the international championships where he is contesting with Campos Racing. At the wheel of his Lola B05/52-Zytek Regalia has ahead two new races in Morocco, at Marrakech Street Circuit. This meeting is important because for first time an urban circuit is going to host a meeting for Auto GP series.

Campos Racing´s driver travels to Africa very motivated after his second place in Valencia, two weeks ago, when he completed a strong race despite a bad start. “It is a new chance for us to keep learning and improving our performance, because to learn is my aim right now while I am battling against former GP2 drivers. My podium was a morale booster and it is a help to keep working hard, improving on a race by race basis. Our knowledge on Kumho tires and how they work grew and Marrakech is another chance for everyone at Campos Racing”, Regalia explained. He added that “I like urban tracks. Nobody raced here before now and, under the circumstances, I feel confident after my performances at other street circuits such as Macau or Valencia Street Circuit, being competitive since the beginning. I am looking forward to race there and, if it is possible, to clinch another podium”.

The schedule for this meeting starts on Friday with two free practice sessions and qualifying, while Race one and Race two will be on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

follow everything concerning Facu´s career in motorsport, please check his profiles on Facebook and Twitter: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Facu-Regalia-2010/286971396026 and @facuregalia.

Adrian Quaife-HobbsAdrian Quaife-Hobbs has extended his AutoGP World Series lead with an impressive victory in the second double-header round of the series in Valencia this weekend to take his fourth successive podium finish. Second place in the weekend’s opening race, from his second consecutive pole position, also extends the 21 year-old’s series lead to 21 points.

The Tonbridge racer set a searing pace in testing at the Spanish track on Thursday with the quickest lap, before posting the second fastest time in practice on Friday. The Super Nova racer then converted that to pole position in Saturday’s crucial qualifying to earn a front row start for the first of two 40-minute races.

As the field of 550bhp, Zytek V8-engined Lolas headed out onto the grid, tyre choice was to prove critical to the outcome of the race. Adrian’s original plan was to go out on a fresh set of medium tyres, but with his rivals opting for used soft tyres, the decision was taken to go the conservative route and follow suit.

However in the closing minutes prior to the formation lap, fellow front row driver Sergey Sirotkin, was able to make a late call and switch to medium tyres, giving him extra grip off the line and allowing him to get the jump on Adrian at the start.

With that advantage and despite Adrian’s best efforts to close down the gap over the opening laps of the race, it was left to the compulsory pit-stop to offer him any hope of clawing back the deficit. A superb stop by the Super Nova team, and a rapid in and out lap by the Briton did indeed allow him to reduce the gap from four and a half seconds to just one and half seconds.

A safety car period four laps from home helped to close the advantage. However with just one racing lap remaining when the race resumed, Adrian was unable to challenge for victory, crossing the line less than a second adrift, but extended his series lead.

In the weekend’s second race, which featured a reverse grid for the top eight in race one, Adrian lined up seventh. A lightening getaway allowed him to make up four places before the first corner and a superb pit-stop strategy early on meant he could make the most of his strong pace on a clear track.

Emerging from the mandatory pit stop in ninth place, Adrian quickly capitalised on the better tyres and started gaining a second a lap. After all the stops had been completed, he found himself in the lead by an amazing seven seconds, going on to take a well-deserved second series win.

“We were quick straight out of the box in testing, and in the first practice we ran on very used tyres, just bedding in the pads,” said Adrian. “In the second I was on the pace again, and so was really confident going into qualifying. However we’d never tried the new-spec soft tyres before and therefore we had some decisions to make but the Super Nova engineers got it right for pole position.

“In the race though, we didn’t quite get it right. I was supposed to go out on the fresh set of mediums, but then we saw that everybody, including Sergey, was on the used soft tyres. We decided to go conservative and do what the others did so we switched to the softs just before going to the grid but unfortunately it was the wrong choice. I think that was the turning point. With new tyres Sirotkin, on mediums, had much more grip than me at the start and in the opening laps, and that’s what made the difference.

“We managed to close the gap at the pit-stop, with a quick in and out lap and a superb job by the team, but the soft tyres in the extreme temperatures were wearing really quickly, so I didn’t have a real chance to fight.

“We definitely didn’t expect to be up in third at the first corner, but I made a great start. And as we’d committed to starting on old tyres, I stuck to my pre-race strategy, which was to come in early. After that I had a clear track and pushed like it was qualifying. It worked well because after the stops I’d built up a seven second gap but my only thought was to keep pushing as much as I could.

“We knew that a podium finish was possible but victory was more than we could have hoped for and was a welcome surprise. To have two pole positions, two wins, four podiums from four rounds, and leading the championship is a good place to be as we head into the next rounds in Morocco in two weeks time.”

The next round at Marrakech, Morocco will take place on 15th April, marking Adrian’s first visit to the African track.

For more information click onto www.quaifehobbs.com and follow the latest news and live timings on www.autogp.org and http://www.supernova-racing.com/ with live twitter feeds.

Adrian Quaife-HobbsAdrian Quaife-Hobbs enjoyed a dream start to the 2012 season, with victory and third place in the opening two rounds of the AutoGP World Series at Monza this weekend, to take his first ever single-seater double podium. The 21 year-old from Tonbridge, Kent, only confirmed his plans to contest the Italian rounds on Thursday, heading out to the historic Grand Prix circuit that evening.

In Friday’s two practice sessions, Adrian adjusted well to the 550bhp, V8 engined Lola to set the third fastest time in both. Later that day, after some fine-tuning to the Super Nova machine, Adrian quickly established himself as the pacesetter posting the fastest lap early in the session, before pitting for new tyres.

After inevitably briefly dropping down the order Adrian returned to the track and quickly regained the number one spot, improving by six tenths of a second to claim his maiden pole position in the revamped series, which visits three continents in 2012.

On Saturday Adrian made the best use of the prime grid spot to get the jump on the rest of the field in the weekend’s opening 14 lap race, and built up a healthy advantage by the midway point as they approached the pit-stop window. Stopping for the compulsory rear tyre change on lap eight, his first ever in competitive action, the team and Adrian performed a slick operation, to get him back on track still leading.

Thereafter, the BRDC Rising Star cruised to a comfortable victory, despite struggling with a niggling gearbox issue that had plagued him through qualifying, to take an early championship lead.

Sunday’s second race featured a reverse grid for the top eight finishers from race one, which resulted in a fourth row start for Adrian. A good getaway off the line allowed him to hold eighth into the first corner and by lap two he’d gained two places.

Entering the pits in sixth place, a sterling job by the team turned him round quickly, however with the leaders all pitting on the same lap, there was a short delay in rejoining, which saw Adrian unable to gain any places.

For three laps Adrian enjoyed a close-run five-car battle for position, until lap 11 when several cars collided, but in the ensuring chaos a controlled drive allowed him to pick his way through the debris and up into third place, which he held to the flag.

“Practice went really well, we continued the form from the previous week’s test and after finishing third in both sessions I was confident going into qualifying of a good result,” said Adrian. “We tweaked the car in between practice and qualifying and did a short opening stint to warm the tyres, which was good enough for P1. I pitted for new tyres and naturally lost the place momentarily and on my second run, I improved by six tenths to retake the pole, which was a great start to my first weekend in AutoGP, and a repeat of my pole here last year, in GP3.

“In the first race, I really didn’t have any idea how it would be starting in this car, as we naturally hadn’t had any time to test that prior to the race, but I made a perfect start to hold the lead into turn one. I managed to break the tow early on and build up a 2.5 second lead over the first three laps. However on the fourth lap, the gearbox problem we suffered earlier returned, which meant I was losing time in the first sector as I couldn’t change up quickly from first to second gear. So I had to really push hard on the rest of the lap to keep the advantage.

“Race two was far more eventful. I got a good start to hold position but didn’t have quite the same pace as I had the rest of the weekend. The team did a great job in the pit stop, changing the tyres very quickly, however we were in a train of five cars and all came in together so I had to be careful not to collide with them when we rejoined so we lost a little bit of time coming out.

“Despite that we were in a good position to be challenging for a podium finish and when a few cars ahead of me collided, I was in the right place to pick my way through and get third place. All in all it was a really good points haul and I’m very happy with the weekend and to be leading the championship.”

Adrian has now confirmed that he will contest the remaining rounds of the AutoGP World Series, with Supa Nova starting with the next round at Valencia, Spain on 1 April. The remaining rounds are: 15 April, Marrakech (Morocco); 6 May, Hungaroring (Hungary); 3 June, Portimao (Portugal); 22 July, Curitaba (Brazil); 23 September, Sonama (USA).

Facu RegaliaArgentinean driver, at the wheel of a Campos Racing´s singleseater, made a good start and ran fifth since the beginning. Finally, after Sergio Campana was penalized due to rules infringement, Regalia finished in fourth.

Facu Regalia completed today his first race in the Auto GP World Series, driving a Lola B05/52-Zytek lined up by Campos Racing. Argentina´s driver, who is 20 years old, made a good race in the early stages. His start was good and avoided any kind of accident with other drivers being fifth. He had a battle with Holland´s Daniel de Jong but Regalia kept his fifth place.

By the halfway point, Regalia was the first among front-runners making his pit-stop. A small mistake, by reason of braked too late, cost him half second and his chances to be fourth at the end. Regalia was quite quick by the end of the race, setting his fast lap in lap 14. “At the beginning, with cold tyres, my car was suffering from understeer. I kept my fifth place but my mistake during the pit-stop, where I have to improve this year because is new for me, cost me half second and fourth place. At the end, although my race pace was better than de Jong´s one, it was almost impossible to overtake him. In addition, his car was suffering an oil leak and it was dangerous”, Regalia explained afterwards. Finally, Sergio Campana was penalized due to rules infringement and Regalia was 4 in his maiden race in Auto GP World Series.

British Adrian Quaife-Hobbs won race 1, while both Pal Varhaug and de Jong surrounded him on podium. Tomorrow is scheduled race two, starting at 11.45 (CET). Regalia will start on the third row.

To follow everything concerning Facu´s career in motorsport, please check his profiles on Facebook and Twitter: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Facu-Regalia-2010/286971396026 and @facuregalia.

Facu RegaliaArgentinean driver, who is racing with Campos Racing in 2012, finished 8th during today´s qualifying session at Monza, where Auto GP kicks off. A puncture prevented him to improve a bit his performance.

Facu Regalia completed today his first qualifying session ever in the Auto GP, a world championship which starts at Monza this weekend. Argentina´s driver, at the wheel of Campos Racing´s Lola B005/52-Zytek, ran two free practice sessions in the morning, finishing 6 twice.

Then, the qualifying session began at 16.00, and Regalia set a time of 1:37.581. His time was eighth fastest despite a problem with one of his rear tires prevented to improve the time. “In the morning my car was suffering from oversteer, but we could solve it. Another point where we focused our interest on was the new overboost, introduced by Auto GP this year. It is a bit troublesome system and we had a few issues here. Finally, in qualifying I had a puncture and with three laps to go It was almost impossible to improve my previous time. Maybe, 1:37.0 was not out of reach but I think a fifth place on the starting grid was our limit today”, Regalia explained at the end.

Tomorrow is scheduled race 1, which starts at 11.45 (CET). There, Regalia “will try to finish the race above all. My aim is to avoid any mistake, because I need to gain experience. Of course I will try to overtake some cars in front of me, but my mind is on Sunday´s race, when the grid is determined by the finishing order of the first race, with the top eight positions reversed”.

To follow everything concerning Facu´s career in motorsport, please check his profiles on Facebook and Twitter: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Facu-Regalia-2010/286971396026 and @facuregalia.

Facu RegaliaFirst meeting ever for Argentina’s driver in the Auto GP championship. After a good pre-season, Regalia and his team -Campos Racing- will try to achieve as good results as possible.

Facu Regalia kicks off his 2012 season next weekend, a year when he will drive for Campos Racing in two different championships: Auto GP and European F3 Open. Argentina’s driver goes to Italy for first meeting scheduled by Auto GP, because of Coloni´s championship starts at Monza. This circuit, one of the most well-known venues in motorsport, held official pre-season tests last week and Regalia finished 5 at the end.

“I feel motivated and strong focus on my first meeting in the Auto GP. I have worked a lot last weeks, and I have a good mental and physical condition. I think everything is set to fight for a good result at Monza”, Regalia explained. Regalia, who is 20 years old, added that “my team, Campos Racing, is working hard too. I hope to have a bit of good luck with us over the course of the meeting, and not to have mechanical issues. Likewise, I hope a good performance coming from new Kumho tyres used this year. At the end of this weekend, I want to leave Monza with a smile. My main aim is to finish both races”.

The timetable starts tomorrow with both free practice sessions, just before qualifying session which is scheduled at 16.00 (CET). Both races will be on Saturday (1 race at 11.45) and Sunday (2 race at 11.45).

To follow everything concerning Facu´s career in motorsport, please check his profiles on Facebook and Twitter: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Facu-Regalia-2010/286971396026 and @facuregalia.