Narain Karthikeyan secures double podium with win in Race 2 of Auto GP
Narain Karthikeyan inherited victory in the second Auto GP race after Kevin Giovesi was given a 25-second post-race penalty at the Mugello Circuit here Sunday. The Indian's win in fifth round of the championship came after a third place finish in race one on Saturday.
Super Nova driver Karthikeyan has boosted his chances of winning the championship after securing a double podium at the 5.2 km circuit, considered one of the fastest in the world with an average speed of 200 kmph in the Auto GP car.
The fastest lap of 1:35.790 gave Karthikeyan an extra point along with the 20 he earned from the win. The first race effort fetched him 15 points and he lies fourth in the standings with 96 points, behind leader Sergio Campana, Kimiya Sato and Vittorio Ghirelli.
The former Grand Prix driver was satisfied with the result but rued the problem he encountered in race one where he was forced to start from the pits after claiming pole position.
“Had it not been for the throttle issue yesterday, I could have had gone from here with more points. Overall, I am pleased with how the weekend went. I still bagged the maximum points than any other driver, helping me close the gap in the championship,” Karthikeyan told IANS.
Race two on Sunday saw the Indian starting fifth as per the reversed grid, after having finished third on Saturday. After an action-packed 16 laps, Karthikeyan crossed the line in a close second and was promoted to the top spot a little later when stewards penalised race winner Giovesi for gaining an advantage after going off the track to pass other cars on the opening lap.
It was the second time Karthikeyan inherited the win from the Ghinzani driver after he was awarded victory at Silverstone as result of a pitlane violation by Giovesi. The remaining Auto GP rounds take place in Nurburgring (Germany), Donington Park (Britain) and Brno (Czech Republic).