Algarve Superstars: Gianni Morbidelli extends winning streak
|By Andrew van Leeuwen||Sunday, July 21st 2013, 10:37 GMT|
Gianni Morbidelli won his third Superstars International Series races on the trot in race one at the Algarve autodrome.
The Audi Sport Italia driver started the race second, but slipped to fourth on the run to the first corner, a result of his RS5 being out-dragged by the more powerful Mercedes.
But he did not stay in fourth for long. Within a couple of laps, Morbidelli was already back past Romeo Ferraris Mercedes driver Thomas Biagi, before barging past Biagi's team-mate Tonio Liuzzi a handful of laps later.
That just left polesitter and early leader Luigi Ferrara, who, just seven minutes into the race, had built up a three-second lead.
Unfortunately for the Roma Racing Mercedes driver, it was nowhere near enough, Morbidelli cutting the lead to nothing in the space of two laps, before diving into the lead when Ferrara locked up into the hairpin with 10 minutes of the race remaining.
Once in front, Morbidelli was clear to charge to a 3.2-second win.
The lock-up was not the last of Ferrara's woes. Having lost sight of Morbidelli almost immediately, he then found himself losing more places in the last five minutes, a problem slowing his C63 and leaving Ferrara back in seventh at the finish.
That was good news for Liuzzi and Biagi, who went on the finish second and third respectively, having battled hard for minor podium places across the last four laps.
Max Mugelli put in an impressive drive to finish fourth, ahead of his Dinamic BMW team-mate Giovanni Berton.
Francesco Sini was sixth after a quiet race in the Solaris Chevrolet.
Results - 15 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Gianni Morbidelli Audi Italia 28m43.907s 2. Tonio Liuzzi Ferraris Mercedes +2.066s 3. Thomas Biagi Ferraris Mercedes +2.346s 4. Max Mugelli Dinamic BMW +5.531s 5. Giovanni Berton Dinamic BMW +13.775s 6. Francesco Sini Solaris Chevrolet +18.554s 7. Luigi Ferrara Roma Mercedes +38.011s 8. Mauro Trentin Dinamic BMW +38.066s 9. Jonathan Giacon Adria Audi +42.538s 10. Alessandro Battaglin Adria Audi +1m06.091s 11. Andrea Bacci CAAL Mercedes +1m15.286s 12. Gianni Giudici Giudici BMW +1m36.166s 13. Andrea Perlini Giudici BMW +1m41.665s Retirements: Fabrizio Giovanardi Petri Porsche 4 laps Christian Montanari Adria Jaguar 1 lap 'Diabolik' Adria Jaguar 0 laps