Posted in Auto GP
Round 5 of Auto GP in Imola saw a historic win for Michela Cerruti who cruised to an outstanding maiden win. The 27-year-old female racing driver managed to overcome some preliminary problems to end the weekend in truly spectacular fashion. Michela had taken a solitary win in the Italian GT Championship last season on the same track, showcasing her performance levels at Imola and cementing her position as a top Auto GP contender.
During the qualifying stage, there were downshifting issues that resulted in a 4th place start on the grid in Race 1. After successfully catching up to her rivals, a pit stop ended her fight for the podium and resulted in 5th place.
Race 2 was an altogether different story. After starting from the second row due to a reversed top-8 grid format, Michela took over a slow starting Chistof von Grunigen. During the third lap Francesco Dracone was overtaken and an ill-timed spin by Giuseppe Cipriani ultimately allowed Michela to take the lead. From there, Michela maintained this position and became the first woman to win an international open-wheel race since 2008, Danica Patrick who won in IndyCar previously held the title.
“I’m absolutely on cloud nine. I don’t think there are words to describe how I feel now! I really want to thank the team because they did an outstanding job at the pit-stop, the car was perfect and everything went well on-track. Keeping Kevin Giovesi at bay for the whole race hasn’t been easy but I did it and now I won my first open-wheel race! Also, I’m able to celebrate on the same track where I won last season in Grand Touring competition, so I have another beautiful trophy…Celebrating today’s result with my team, my family and my friends is so exciting. I want to thank everybody who supported me along the way and I hope we will be celebrating for more wins soon!”