Vitantonio Liuzzi thrilled the 31,000 spectators at Monza, taking his first win in the Superstars Series after starting from the back of the grid in race one. The Italian came home ahead of Max Pigoli and Francesco Sini, who remarkably made it to the podium from the tenth row.
The rolling start saw pole man Nico Caldarola retain the lead ahead of Mika Salo and Liuzzi, who gained three places at the start. Liuzzi almost immediately passed Salo and started attacking fellow Mercedes driver Caldarola for the lead. The CAAL Racing driver managed to take the lead right before the Parabolica, whereas Gianni Morbidelli overtook Salo at the first chicane for third, but was passed back shortly after that.
On the second lap Johan Kristofferson retired for a technical problem, most likely an oil leak, which forced him to park his Audi RS5 at the Roggia chicane.
On lap three Salo passed Caldarola, but Andrea Larini, who had overtaken Morbidelli at the first chicane, missed the braking point and tapped the Roma Racing Team Mercedes into a spin; Larini was later punished with a drive through for the contact.
From the fourth lap on Mika Salo started chasing Liuzzi, closing the gap down to less than one second before making a mistake at the Roggia after four laps, breaking his left rear suspension and spinning on the outside of the corner. The incident triggered a Safety Car period.
At the restart Liuzzi was attacked by Morbidelli and Pigoli while Biagi, now in fourth, was passed by Francesco Sini. With two laps to go, an oil pump problem forced Morbidelli to slow down, promoting Pigoli and Sini to second and third respectively. The Audi Sport Italia driver was overtaken by Biagi as well, who finished fifth.
Liuzzi won the race ahead of Pigoli and Sini, followed by Biagi and Morbidelli, making it five different manufacturers in the first five places. Caldarola came sixth ahead of Larini, who climbed up to seventh after the penalty, with Stefano Gabellini, Andrea Boffo and Mauro Cesari rounding up the top ten.
Max Pigoli now leads the standings with 39 points, courtesy of a win and a second place. Liuzzi follows with 34 points, ahead of Biagi on 22 and Larini on 21.
The Superstars Series comes back at Imola in three weeks time on April, 22nd.