Local teams finish on top in Auto GP in Budapest
17:23 11 May 2012
Norfolk teams dominated the latest round in the Auto GP series with victory in the opening race extending Adrian Quaife-Hobbs’ championship lead while Pal Varhaug took an exciting win in race two.
In the opening race at Budapest Quaife-Hobbs was sharing the front row with his Super Nova International team mate Victor Guerin but both made poor starts allowing Varhaug to sneak past when Quaife-Hobbs was forced wide by the fast starting Sergey Sirotkin.
Sirotkin fought by Varhaug at the next corner with the pair clashing at the conclusion of the opening lap dropping Varhaug to fifth place, where the Virtuosi UK driver finished complete with bent suspension.
This left Quaife-Hobbs in charge and he didn’t squander his opportunity and ran out an easy winner for the Griston based team.
“The start was the only bad moment of my race and the only mistake I did today,” said the winner. “Obviously I wasn’t happy, but at the same time I knew my advantage was such that I could have passed both at the pit-stop, just by staying out a couple of laps more than them.”
Guerin followed his team leader across the line after Sirotkin succumbed with a late transmission problem and Daniel De Jong stalled his car during his pit stop.
In the reversed grid second race Varhaug and Quaife-Hobbs had to fight their way through to the head of the race before slugging it out for victory.
The Super Nova racer pitted first in an attempt to outsmart his rival but Varhaug was turned around by the Old Buckenham squad quickly enough for him to keep the lead and, despite a minor penultimate lap error, fended off the championship leader for victory.
“We had seen from yesterday that Adrian had an edge in terms of pace, and so we knew that if we pitted early he would have tried to pass us with some laps in clean air,” said the race two winner. “That’s why we did our pit-stop as late as possible, keeping him behind all the time. It worked. The team did a great job, getting me a little extra gap.”
Richard Jenkins had seemed to always be the bridesmaid of the Locost Championship but the Norwich racer was propelled into the winner’s circle with a commanding double victory in the latest races at Brands Hatch.
“It was almost a perfect weekend,” said Jenkins, who started his first race from pole position and made a brilliant start which underpinned his first winner’s garland.
“I got a poor start and was pushed down to fifth after the first corner,” added Jenkins after race two. “I then kept everything smooth and progressively battled back to take first by half distance, and then drove away from the rest of the pack.”