Super Nova driver Adrian Quaife-Hobbs crashes Auto GP title party
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs was heading for his sixth victory in the Auto GP series when the Norfolk-based Super Nova racer crashed on the approach road to the pits – but he was still crowned champion.
When asked for his feelings regarding winning the title without crossing the line Quaife-Hobbs replied: 'It's a bit weird, frankly. On one side I'm really down because that's not how you want to win the title after such a dominating season.
'I was headed for a win and would have celebrated the title on the top step of the podium, that's how it was meant to be. I'm sure that in a couple of days I will have forgotten this race and I will just be happy about the title.'
The Super Nova racer held a dominant advantage at head of the field in the second race at Curitiba, Brazil, and elected to make his mandatory pit stop late. But while approaching the pit lane he put a wheel on the grass and speared into the safety barrier, banging the steering wheel in frustration.
Pal Varhaug, driving for the Old Buckenham-based Virtuosi UK team, did his best to take the title fight to the final round of the season with second place to local racer, and a former Grand Prix driver, Antonio Pizzonia in race one as Quaife-Hobbs was hindered by a sticking wheel at his pit stop.
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In the final race Varhaug could do no better than fifth place, leaving him trailing the new title holder by 55 points with only 48 on offer at the final round.
A slip-up by Alex Brundle's team cost the King's Lynn racer a 10-second stop and go penalty in the opening GP3 race in Germany.
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The race was halted due to flash flooding of the circuit and when racing resumed the Carlin Motorsport squad failed to fit Brundle's tyres in time, for which he was penalised.
The local racer did as instructed and took the punishment, but as it was while the safety car was still circulating it was deemed to be outside of the regulations and he was therefore removed from the results.
'Interesting day,' remarked Brundle. 'Stop and go then eventually excluded from the race.'
There was little racing in the second event, after a spate of accidents.
'Safety car out for most of race two but still managed to get from the back of the grid to P13 though,' reported Brundle.