Tonio Liuzzi takes maiden Superstars race win on debut weekend at Monza
|By Andrew van Leeuwen||Sunday, April 1st 2012, 15:00 GMT|
Tonio Liuzzi soared into Superstars title favourte status with an impressive win in the second race of the season at Monza.
With the top eight finishers from race one reversed for the start of race two, Liuzzi found himself sixth on the grid. But the Mercedes driver did not stay there long, surging through to second in the first few corners before passing polesitter Domenico Caldarola into the Parabolica towards the end of the first lap.
Once in front Liuzzi was able to control the race, particularly following the demise of Mika Salo. The Finn had looked to be the only driver in the field capable of running with Liuzzi, and sat second for most of the race. But with eight of the 25 minutes remaining his Maserati had a rear-right wheel problem, sending Salo into a wild spin and out of the race.
Salo's misfortune worked into the hands of race one winner Max Pigoli, who made a late charge into second place in the closing laps of the race. Francesco Sini was third, another driver to seemingly appear from nowhere in the last few laps to grab an unlikely podium.
Series stalwarts Thomas Biagi and Gianni Morbidelli finished fourth and fifth respectively, while Caldarola had to settle for sixth after being punted off the road by Andrea Larini on the third lap. Larini was handed a drive-through for his troubles, but still managed to finish seventh.
Stefano Gabellini finished eighth, ahead of 17-year-old debutant Andrea Boffo and Mauro Cesari in the second Maserati.
Results - 13 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Tonio Liuzzi CAAL Mercedes 26m58.452s 2. Max Pigoli Ferlito Jaguar + 1.153s 3. Francesco Sini Solaris Chevrolet + 1.602s 4. Thomas Biagi Dinamic BMW + 3.190s 5. Gianni Morbidelli Audi Italia + 3.219s 6. Nico Caldarola Roma Mercedes + 4.816s 7. Andrea Larini Romeo Mercedes + 5.468s 8. Stefano Gabellini Dinamic BMW + 8.996s 9. Andrea Boffo Roma Mercedes + 9.391s 10. Mauro Cesari Swiss Maserati + 14.505s 11. Walter Meloni W&D BMW + 21.687s 12. Leonardo Baccarelli Todi BMW + 22.243s 13. Andrea Perlini Giudici BMW + 45.792s Did not finish: Max Mugelli Mercedes 11 laps Paolo Meloni W&D BMW 10 laps Mika Salo Swiss Maserati 8 laps Thomas Schoffler Audi Italia 5 laps Johan Kristoffersson Kristoffersson Audi 1 lap Gian Maria Gabbiani Ferlito Jaguar 1 lap Niccolo Mercatali MRT Chrysler 0 laps Sandro Bettini Dinamic BMW 0 laps