Vittorio Ghirelli keeps Super Nova in hunt for AutoGP honours

Vittorio Ghirelli secured a second place in the latest AutoGP race in Marrakech.

Vittorio Ghirelli secured a second place in the latest AutoGP race in Marrakech. - Credit: Archant

Two podium places for Super Nova's Vittorio Ghirelli, from the opening four races in the AutoGP series, have kept the reigning champions in the hunt to retain their title in 2013.

The latest races took place in Marrakech after the free practice sessions had been wiped out by adverse weather conditions which left the Moroccan circuit flooded.

However when the competition was able to resume the local team's drivers, Ghirelli and Antonio Spavone, occupied the fourth row after both had suffered spins, the latter stopping the session after his rotation at Turn 2.

In the opening race Spavone kept out of trouble in the concrete lined street circuit to secure fifth place, his best position to date, while his team-mate end up two places further back.

However a post race penalty for passing a rival in a caution zone dropped Ghirelli to ninth place but critically he lost pole position for the reverse grid race two.

Undeterred, Ghirelli raced to an impressive second place in race two keeping out of trouble as he fought his way up the race order.

'I started from the back due to a penalty in race one, but I was able to keep a good pace and avoided the incidents in front,' said Ghirelli.

Most Read

'In the closing stages I also completed some good passes that enabled me to score such a great result. Having the fastest lap of the race is further proof of how well the team performed.'

The result has also ensured he heads to the next round as the leader of the Under-21 category.

An early pit stop saw Spavone lead the second race after a safety car period but he ended up against the concrete wall when he banged wheels with Andrea Roda who was trying to mount a pass for the lead, and earned himself a driver though penalty as a result.

'I slowed for a yellow flag in turn one and Roda got in my slipstream. Then at the braking point for Turn 4 my right rear tyre got caught up with him and I hit the wall, destroying my race,' explained Spavone.

Roda was left angry over the penalty handed out to him: 'I lost a podium for sure and maybe a win,' he said.

A top three place for Roda would have been the first this season for the Old Buckenham-based Virtuosi UK team who had their second driver, Maxim Snegirev, finish in fifth place while Roda ended up seventh.