Briton Adrian Quaife-Hobbs has won the 2012 AutoGP Championship with two races still remaining. Displaying a dominant performance in both free practice sessions and qualifying, the 21 year-old topped the times in all three, to net his fifth pole position in the series.
In the races, the Tonbridge racer was unable to add to his tally of five previous victories. However such has been his dominance in the 14-race series, the former Formula Renault and GP3 racer cannot be beaten regardless of his results in the final rounds at Sonama, California in September.
Once again Quaife-Hobbs proved the pacesetter in practice to serve notice of his intention to take the title for Supernova Racing. Powering the Zytek V8-engined Lola to a record three consecutive AutoGP pole positions, Quaife-Hobbs knew he just had to finish ahead of nearest title rival Pal Varhaug, however the former T-Cars Champion still wanted to finish his season on a high.
Lining up on the front row for race one, the BRDC Member didn’t get the best of starts, dropping down to fourth, but a strong opening lap soon saw him back up into third place, and quickly pushing for second. At the mandatory pit stop for fresh tyres however, his chances of securing another podium were ended with a problem replacing the right rear wheel, which cost him valuable time and eventually netted sixth at the flag.
On the top eight reverse grid, he lined up on the second row for race two and a lightening start allowed him to leapfrog the front-row starters and take the lead. For 19 laps, Quaife-Hobbs was the class of the field, gradually extending his advantage over the field ahead of his mandatory tyre stop. With race victory in his sights though, and in an otherwise faultless race, he missed the braking point on the entry to the pits, clipping the grass and hitting the tyre barrier, his race over.
“Naturally I’m very happy to have won the series, with two rounds remaining, but I really wanted to win the series with a race victory," said Adrian. "Our pace in practice and qualifying showed that once again we were more than capable of doing that, but for a number of problems, we were denied that in race one.
“In the second race, everything was going really well but I just misjudged the braking on the entry to the pit lane.”
The final rounds of the AutoGP series, championship previously won by Lotus F1 racer Romain Grosjean, will take place at Sonama, USA, over the weekend of 22&23 September.