By taking outright victory in the second of Auto GP’s two races at the recent Imola meeting (June 19/20), 27 year-old Michela Cerruti became the first woman to win a senior International single-seater race since 2008, when the redoubtable Danica Patrick triumphed in the Indy Japan 300.
Driving for the renowned Super Nova team, Cerruti had overcome problems to finish 5th in the first race of the weekend. The championship’s reverse-grid system then saw her start race two from 4thplace, from where she quickly picked off a slow-starting Christof von Grünigen and inflicted an outstanding pass on her team-mate Francesco Dracone before overtaking a spinning Giuseppe Cipriani to assume a lead she was never to lose.
Kumho has been the sole tyre supplier to Auto GP since 2012 and, in recognition of its role as an F1 feeder series (previous champions include current Lotus F1 Team driver Romain Grosjean), is this year providing tyres very close in specification to those used in Grand Prix racing. The company’s European Motorsport Manager Steve Thompson was quick to recognise the significance of Cerruti’s achievement: “This was a truly historic result that was not only great for Michela, but the sport in general. By winning a race outright, she will have put herself firmly on the radar of the top F1 teams.”
With Williams driver Susie Wolff set to take to the track in free practice for the upcoming German Grand Prix, and Simona de Silvestro revving up to drive for Sauber in 2015, it seems the men had better start keeping a closer eye on their mirrors!