Johan Kristoffersson turned his first International Superstars Series pole position into his first win, with a thrilling race one victory at Imola.
The young Swede led every lap of the 25-minute timed race, but he did not have things his own way. His Audi Sport team-mate Gianni Morbidelli ensured the pair had a spirited intra-team battle for the lead throughout the race.
It took until the last lap for the dispute to be settled. Having constantly niggled at the back of Kristoffersson's car - to the point where the leading Audi's rear bumper was hanging off - Morbidelli went for one last tap on the final lap. The contact seemingly knocked a fuel line out of place in Morbidelli's car, sparking an impressive fireball and ending the veteran's race on the spot.
With the Audi pair having left the rest of the field miles behind, Kristoffersson could limp to the line, taking his first Superstars win, and the first win for the new-for-2012 Audi RS5.
Andrea Larini (Romeo Ferraris Mercedes) finished a distant second, while Morbidelli's retirement was also good news for hometown hero Thomas Biagi, who snared the final place on the podium in his underpowered Dinamic BMW.
Francesco Sini (Solaris Chevrolet), Christian Fittipaldi (Swiss Team Maserati) and Tonio Liuzzi (CAAL Racing Mercedes) finished fourth, fifth and sixth respectively, following an exciting battle for the minor places. Stefano Gabellini (Dinamic BMW) was less than a second behind the three-way battle at the end of the race, but had to settle for seventh.
Andrea Boffo (Roma Mercedes) finished a very distant, yet very significant, eighth place. With the top eight to be reversed for the start of Sunday's second race, the 17-year-old will start from pole position, alongside Gabellini.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
1. Johan Kristoffersson Audi Italia 27m39.500s
2. Andrea Larini Romeo Mercedes + 8.039s
3. Thomas Biagi Dinamic BMW + 13.888s
4. Francesco Sini Solaris Chevrolet + 20.293s
5. Christian Fittipaldi Swiss Maserati + 26.685s
6. Tonio Liuzzi CAAL Mercedes + 27.750s
7. Stefano Gabellini Dinamic BMW + 28.478s
8. Andrea Boffo Roma Mercedes + 35.225s
9. Thomas Schoffler Audi Italia + 35.706s
10. Max Pigoli Ferlito Jaguar + 46.936s
11. Max Mugelli CAAL Mercedes + 49.622s
12. Mauro Cesari Swiss Maserati + 49.889s
13. Paolo Meloni W&D BMW + 51.226s
14. Sandro Bettini Dinamic BMW + 51.346s
15. Andrea Perlini Todi BMW + 1m38.992s
16. Walter Meloni W&D BMW + 1m39.799s
17. Gianni Morbidelli Audi Italia + 1 lap
18. Francesco Ascani Todi BMW + 1 lap
Nico Caldarola Roma Mercedes 10 laps
Gianni Giudici Giudici BMW 10 laps
Ananda Mikola Ferlito Jaguar 6 laps