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Ceccon pips Filippi to Auto GP title

For a proud Italian, there was nothing better for Ceccon than managing to seal the deal on home ground. "Clinching the title in Italy made everything even more special, with so many people coming to Mugello just to support me," he said. "They were great in cheering me after the race: the roar they made at the prize giving when I raised the Trophy is something I will never forget, as well as the faces of the Ombra Racing guys that worked so hard to give me a top car."

Ceccon's decision to clear the decks and concentrate on Auto GP had paid dividends: conversely, Filippi's decision to skip the Auto GP round at Oschersleben (which clashed with the GP2 weekend at Hungary) had proved to be the decisive factor.

Now, though, Ceccon is once more looking toward the bright lights of the GP2 feeder series for his next challenge. He was at last week's testing session at Jerez, actually alternating with Filippi in the Coloni ahead of their Mugello showdown. Fortunately it wasn't as awkward as it might have looked from the outside, as it seems that the two Italians have developed a real bond over the course of the year.

"Filippi, in particular, is a real friend: he helped me a lot at the start of the season, never saying no if I needed any help. Yesterday, instead of being pissed off for losing the title by just 3pts, he was happy for me. And at night we went out together to celebrate, together with Tambay, who is another really nice guy."

Ceccon got his four-round outing in GP2 this year as a last minute replacement for Colini's lead driver Davide Rigon, who was injured in a crash in the first GP2 sprint race of the year at Turkey. Despite the unexpected opportunity, Ceccon was sensible enough to know that Auto GP was the more realistic proposition for him in 2011 - and that the four weekends he drove in GP2 this year will be invaluable in helping him secure a full-time feeder series ride in his own right next year.

"After doing my job on track in the best possible way, it's up to the people who work with me to find the right backing for the next aim," said Ceccon, before admitting: "That obviously is GP2.

"Romain Grosjean, who won the Auto GP title before me, this year clinched the GP2 title in dominant fashion," he pointed out. "Obviously that wouldn't be my aim next year: if I manage to get to GP2 at just 18, I will have one full year to learn without pressure, and that would be mega, really."

The gleam in the eye at the prospect of GP2 and that mention of Renault's Grosjean speaks volumes about Ceccon's ultimate ambitions: a spot on the F1 grid by 2015 or so.




Related Pictures

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Kevin Ceccon, celebrating becoming 2011 Auto GP champion (Picture credit: Auto GP Media]
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Alexander Rossi (USA, Racing Engineering). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 6. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 25 July 2015. Daniel de Jong (NED, MP Motorsport) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Cars line up on the grid for the race. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Alexander Rossi (USA, Racing Engineering), Jordan King (GBR, Racing Engineering) & Mitch Evans (NZL, RUSSIAN TIME) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) celebrates his win in parc ferme. Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) celebrates his win on the podium. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident), celebrates on the podium with Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) and 4. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Alexander Rossi (USA, Racing Engineering) leads Jordan King (GBR, Racing Engineering) and the rest of the field at the start. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Alexander Rossi (USA, Racing Engineering) celebrates on the podium with Jordan King (GBR, Racing Engineering). Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Matthew Parry (GBR, Koiranen GP) crashes into a wall. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) crosses the line to take the win. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 22 August 2015. Race One Press Conference. Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International), Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) and Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 22 August 2015. The Safety car is deployed Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Thursday 20 August 2015. Daniel de Jong (NED, MP Motorsport). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.
Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 22 August 2015. Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) celebrates his win in Parc Ferme. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 22 August 2015. Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix), leads Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International), Kevin Ceccon (ITA, Arden International) and the rest of the field at the start of the race. Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service.

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