Johan Kristoffersson won the first Superstars Series race at Vallelunga and closed in on Vitantonio Liuzzi in the points standings, narrowing down the gap to just seven points. The Swede was joined on the podium by fellow Audi driver Thomas Schöffler and BMW’s Thomas Biagi, whilst Liuzzi ended up in fourth.
At the start it was Liuzzi who took the lead after a fantastic start in his CAAL Racing Mercedes. The Italian lost the first place just a few corners later though, with Kristoffersson passing him in his Audi RS5. The former Formula One driver tried to defend, but also lost a place to Schöffler, who was able to pass just a few laps later.
It looked like Gianni Morbidelli was going to be the next Audi driver to pass the Mercedes, but the two made contact on the exit of Semaforo, and Liuzzi was knocked sideways by the touch. Morbidelli was therefore up into third but was awarded a drive-through penalty by the stewards and later retired while he was trying to make up for the places lost, hitting a kerb and breaking a shock absorber while he was in ninth.
More drama was to come as Thomas Biagi in the BMW Team Dinamic M3 closed in on Liuzzi, and with just a handful of laps to go overtook the Mercedes at the Tornantino, claiming the final podium spot.
The race was therefore won by Kristoffersson ahead of Schoeffler, making it an Audi 1-2, with Biagi completing the podium. Liuzzi claimed a strong fourth ahead of Camilo Zurcher’s Mercedes and Max Mugelli’s BMW. Series rookie Giovanni Berton managed to finish in seventh on his debut with BMW Team Dinamic, ahead of Giancarlo Fisichella’s Swiss Team Maserati. Paolo Meloni’s W&D BMW and Mauro Cesari in the second Swiss Team Maserati rounded up the top ten.
The brand new Mercedes C63 AMG Coupè in the hands of Nico Caldarola retired on lap 7, when the Roma Racing Team driver was in twelfth.
The second Superstars Series race is scheduled for 16.15 CET.