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Category: Formula Abarth Europe

Luca GhiottoA blink of an eye. In the final race of the 2012 Formula Abarth, 45 thousands of a second made an huge difference for Prema Powerteam as Luca Ghiotto, who was in contention for title, finished in second behind Antonio Giovinazzi and was forced to settle for the runner-up spot in standings. On the other hand, with opposite results, Prema would have been in the position to claim the championship pending an appeal for early decisions. Eventually, the race was the ultimate judge and Brazilian Nicolas Costa scored both the Italian and European title in front of Ghiotto. The final part of the season let Prema Powerteam bitter as they scored 11 wins in 24 races, seven by the Italian and four by Bruno Bonifacio.

The third Prema car at Monza was driven by regular Giorgio Roda who obtained an eighth and a sixth position giving positive impressions while he did not finish in the third race.

Angelo Rosin – Team Principal
“The 2012 season gave us a lot of great moments as well as some disappointments and doubts over some issues that, in my opinion, transcended the pure sporting context. I want to congratulate Costa, who constantly put us under pressure this season, as well as our drivers Ghiotto and Bonifacio, who put up a great challenge and would have deserved much more than they got. Now we’re looking forward to our future challenges”.

Campionato Italiano – Final standings
1. Costa 194; 2. Ghiotto 175; 3. Zonzini 160; 4. Urrutia 158; 5. Bonifacio 157; 6. Joerg 122; 7. Gomez 88; 8. Ramsay 71; 9. Roda 46; 10. Furlan 34.

European Series – Final standings
1. Costa 263; 2. Ghiotto 246; 3. Bonifacio 219; 4. Urrutia 207; 5. Zonzini 200; 6. Joerg 176; 7. Gomez 123; 8. Ramsay 96; 9. Roda 72; 10. Amado 49.

Prema PowerteamThe 2012 season is down to the last three races. The Monza racetrack will be hosting the final round of the Formula Abarth Series, valid for the European Series and the Italian Championship, and Prema Powerteam is aiming at both titles with its regular drivers Bruno Bonifacio and Luca Ghiotto. The young Italian racer is holding second place in both series, followed by his Brazilian team-mate.

“We’ll have to attack since qualifying – explained Team Owner Angelo Rosin – and return to the performance levels we showed in the first part of the season. We have the qualities needed to succeed and I’m looking forward to it, but our rivals are really competitive and they’re definitely going to challenge us”. Giorgio Roda will also try to get into the leading pack and confirm the progress showed so far.

The practice session for the round at Monza will be held at 13:05 on Friday, followed by qualifying at 18:20. Race 1 will be starting on Saturday at 11:30 AM while the second, 15-minute one will be taking-off at 18:15 PM. The closing race of the season will start at 11:45, on a 30-minute distance + 1 lap. All the weekend’s races will be televised live on TV network Rai Sport 2 and on www.acisportitalia.it/ABARTH .

Formula Abarth European Series: 1 – Nicolas Costa 244p. 2 – Luca Ghiotto (Prema) 227p. 3 – Bruno Bonifacio (Prema) 215p. 4 – Emanuele Zonzini 185p. 5 – Santiago Urrutia 171p.
Italian Formula Abarth Championship: 1 – Nicolas Costa 170p. 2 – Luca Ghiotto (Prema) 157p. 3 – Bruno Bonifacio (Prema) 154p. 4 – Emanuele Zonzini 145p. 5 – Santiago Urrutia 124p.

Bruno BonifacioBruno Bonifacio is currently leading the Formula Abarth International Series at his second year in the championship with Prema Powerteam. After having fought his way with team-mate Luca Ghiotto, he’s ready to fight for the big prize in the final stint of the season starting from Imola. As he prepares to go back on-track, he stopped by to answer a few questions.

Did you expect to be on top in standing at this point of the season?
“Honestly, yes. I worked really really hard this winter in the Formula Toyota Series in New Zealand and in testing, so we knew we would have had great potential and a real chance to fight for the top spots during the season”.

You will be battling with your team-mate Luca Ghiotto in the final few races. How is your relationship?

“We have a pretty good relationship and we have been used to work with each other since last season. We exchange information in testing and even though we fight on-track, there are absolutely no issues between us”.

Do you have team orders at Prema?
“We’re free to battle each other and definitely there are no team orders. I always try to play as clean as possible though, because making stupid mistakes between us would hand our rivals a great advantage. They are not that far from us in terms of the championship”

Do you see other potential contenders for the 2012 title other than Ghiotto?
“Costa is older than us and also has a lot of experience. I don’t expect him to back down easily. I noticed that Urrutia has been making big steps forward in the last few races. It’ll be a tough battle down the road to the final part of the season”

Did you already set some goals for the rest of your career?
“First of all I want to stay 100% focused on the Formula Abarth championships, and then I’ll think about the future. In the next few years I want to progress without overreaching myself. I learned a lot recently but I’m young, I’m still 17 and I’ve plenty of time to manage my future”.

Antonio SpavoneThe last weekend has been raced the Formula Abarth European and Italian Event in one of the Formula 1 World Championship circuits and in one of the most prestigious World circuits like Spa-Francorchamps.

The Team JD Motorsport, which won last year on this track, this time had a particular unlucky Qualifying Session with both its Drivers out of the “top 8”: Riccardo Agostini spun damaging his tyres before he could get the best grip while he was trying to improve his lap time so that he finished with the 10th lap time, and Antonio Spavone complained about brake problems finishing with the 16th place on the starting grid.

In spite of the difficult positions at the start Riccardo and Antonio had two very good races closing a lot the gap they had and getting important points. In Race 1 Agostini overtook some cars having the possibility for fighting for the Podium, too, than he was 5th under the chequered flag; at the same time Spavone closed the gap from the 16th place until the 12th.

In Race 2 JD Drivers had been very strong getting the 7th place with Agostini and a good 10th with Spavone which looked for and defended it until the last corner.

The next Formula Abarth Event for Team JD and its Drivers (26th-27th-28th August) will be in Austria at the Red Bull Ring, until few time ago Formula 1 circuit, too, and it will be valid only for the European Series.