Super Nova brought home valuable points for the AutoGP Teams Championship in Race One this afternoon at Imola, despite the retirement of Pole-sitter Markus Pommer on lap one.Â After a great start Markus had an unfortunate RPM sensor failure, which caused him to lose power half way through the first lap, and although able to limp back to the pits, the problem could not be immediately resolved and his car was retired.Â
Markus said; â€śI had a good start, and I was quicker leading into the first corner but I had a failure with the RPM sensor and that was it.â€ť
Super Novaâ€™s Francesco Dracone made a great start leaping into sixth place into the first corner with teammate Michela Cerruti initially struggling off the line.Â Michela was able to defend her position as she exited the first corner in eighth.Â She was in a determined mood, and fought back hard having climbed to second before her pit stop, chasing leader Sato.Â
Michela lost ground to Sato after her pit stops as she struggled with cold tyres and fell back to fifth.Â She was also experiencing a loss of power, losing a second to a second and a half a lap, making it impossible for her to defend her position, but she was able to hang on until the chequered flag for fifth.
â€śMy race was good.â€ť Commented Michela, â€śI made a bad start with wheel spin and an early gear change, but the car set up was good and I had fast pace so I was able to recover well.Â My pit stop was perfect but I then had a power drop and with the cold tyres I could not maintain my position.Â As long as the problem is solved for tomorrow I am confident I can aim for the podium.â€ť
Francesco was delighted with his result and race pace, saying; â€śIt was a very good race!Â Iâ€™m extremely happy with the team and the car.Â It is a pleasure to be here racing in Imola and Iâ€™m looking forward to Race Two.â€ť
Despite Markusâ€™s retirement he maintains his second place in the Championship standings, although Sato extended his lead further.Â As a result of his early retirement Markus will start from the back of the grid for Race Two tomorrow morning.Â Super Nova teammates Francesco and Michela will start from the second row, third and fourth respectively.
Markus is confident that he will have the pace to come through to earn some much-needed points.Â â€śMy pace has been good in free practice and qualifying so was for sure disappointing to not finish the race.Â Tomorrow I will start from the back, but if I work hard and the strategy is good I hope we can make a good result.â€ť
Team Manager John Sears said; â€śObviously we are very disappointed with the failure on Markusâ€™s car as he had the pace to challenge for the win, it was very unlucky.Â However both Michela and Francsco did a great job and brought home valuable points!Â Iâ€™m convinced that Michela could have fought for a podium if she had not lost engine power.Â Tomorrow our goal is to earn the maximum points possible.Â Hopefully Markus can finish in front of Pal Kiss to maintain his standing in the Championships.Â Michela and Francesco have a good chance of podium finishes with their starting positions.â€ť
Imolaâ€™s Race Two is at 11am local time Sunday morning.