Three-time Campionato Italiano Superstars champion Gianni Morbidelli has withdrawn from this weekend’s season finale at Pergusa, stating his Audi Sport Italia-run RS5 is uncompetitive on the high kerbs and with full weight.
The three Audis suffered throughout Saturday, with MTM Audi driver Thomas Schöffler also forced to miss qualifying, whilst 2012 STCC champion and current points leader Johan Kristoffersson in the KMS-run RS5 qualified second-to-last on the grid, 4.5 seconds off pole position.
Morbidelli broke his Audi’s suspension twice on Saturday, failing to set a time in qualifying, and has decided not to take part in the event.
“Short weekend in Sicily,” he said on his Twitter account. “I am packing up and going back home. Shocks broken in FP1 this morning and again in qualifying. It’s frustrating!”
“At ultra-quick Pergusa venue you’re done if you can not jump over the current kerbs. With the current RS5 weight our equipment can’t survive,” he explained.
“I won several races at Pergusa, but if you recall Super Touring days back then chicanes around the lake used to have cones to slow cars down. Possibly they respected teams and their budget more in those days even though the average Super Touring team was wealthier than in Superstars. Breaking parts and shocks trying to post quick laps costs money, race teams do not swim in gold these days. Rubber cones are cheap (though).”