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Algarve Superstars: Gianni Morbidelli extends winning streak

Gianni Morbidelli wins Algarve Superstars 2013Gianni 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


     Fabrizio Giovanardi   Petri Porsche          4 laps
     Christian Montanari   Adria Jaguar            1 lap
     'Diabolik'            Adria Jaguar           0 laps
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Morbidelli takes fourth straight win
Ferrara gets surprise Superstars pole
Liuzzi dominates Algarve practice