Zolder Superstars: Laurens Vanthoor hands win to Gianni Morbidelli
|By Andrew van Leeuwen||Sunday, June 23rd 2013, 15:24 GMT|
Gianni Morbidelli took maximum points away from Zolder, after his Audi Sport Italia team-mate Laurens Vanthoor purposely surrendered a healthy lead in the second Superstars International Series race.
Making a one-off appearance for the team, Vanthoor was in a class of his own. From seventh on the grid, he was in the lead after two and a half laps, before building a healthy gap to the rest of the field.
But when Morbidelli finally made his way into second place a little over 10 minutes from the end of the race, Vanthoor's pace significantly dropped.
In the end, Morbidelli breezed past on the run to the finish line, the veteran later admitting that Vanthoor gifted him the win for the good of his championship campaign.
Raffaele Giammaria (CAAL Racing Mercedes) finished third, having led the opening couple of laps thanks to a dynamite start from third on the grid.
Fourth place came down to a scrap between Romeo Ferraris Mercedes driver Thomas Biagi, and series debutant Renaud Kuppens (Scuderia Giudici BMW). In the end Biagi was too strong, the championship leader bagging the valuable points.
Giovanni Berton finished sixth, ahead of Tonio Liuzzi, who had to come from the very back of the field thanks to a trip through the gravel trap at the start of the race.
He was actually ahead of Berton late in the race, but a second trip through the gravel meant the pair swapped positions.
Once again, luck was not on the side of Luigi Ferrara. The Roma Racing Mercedes driver was in the running for third place, before retiring mid-race with a suspension problem after bouncing over a kerb while doing battle with Morbidelli.
Results - 17 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Gianni Morbidelli Audi Italia 28m02.948s 2. Laurens Vanthoor Audi Italia +0.466s 3. Raffaele Giammaria CAAL Mercedes +6.495s 4. Thomas Biagi Ferraris Mercedes +26.394s 5. Renaud Kuppens Giudici BMW +28.995s 6. Giovanni Berton Dinamic BMW +32.307s 7. Tonio Liuzzi Ferraris Mercedes +33.488s 8. Fabrizio Giovanardi Petri Porsche +35.803s 9. Mauro Trentin Dinamic BMW +36.670s 10. Mimmo Schiattarella Solaris Chevrolet +55.198s 11. Andrea Bacci CAAL Mercedes +56.270s 12. Max Mugelli Dinamic BMW +1m00.793s Retirements: Luigi Ferrara Roma Mercedes 7 laps Roberto Benedetti RC Cadillac 3 laps Nicola Larini Petri Porsche 1 lap Francesco Sini Solaris Chevrolet 0 laps