Enna Superstars: Raffaele Giammaria takes pole on series debut

Raffaele Giammaria took a stunning pole position on his debut in the International Superstar Series at Pergusa in Sicily

Enna Superstars: Raffaele Giammaria takes pole on series debut

Drafted into the Romeo Ferraris Mercedes squad as a late replacement for Camillo Zurcher, the GT Sprint regular backed up his free practice pace by storming to a comfortable pole position.

Giammaria did so by becoming the first man all weekend to dip into the 1m42s bracket, starting with a 1m42.750s effort 10 minutes into the session, before lowering it to a 1m42.589s very late in the going.

The next best was Max Pigoli, the Ferlito Jaguar driver managing a best of 1m43.158s to secure a front-row start. Pigoli has not won a race since taking the season opener at Monza back in April.

Another late addition to the grid, Solaris Chevrolet's Simone Iacone, rounded out a very unexpected top three. Iacone even spent several minutes sitting on top of the sheets before Giammaria's charge, ultimately settling for a solid third place.

Giammaria's team-mate Andrea Larini was fourth, leading home Thomas Biagi, who was impressive in the underpowered Dinamic BMW, and Francesco Sini in the other Solaris Chevrolet.

Title contender Tonio Liuzzi failed to convert his promising practice speed into a qualifying result, the CAAL Racing Mercedes driver recording just the seventh fastest time.

Still, it was much better than his title rival Johan Kristoffersson could manage. With the KMS Audi too heavy to attack the kerbs, the Swede was forced to settle for 14th place, second last of the drivers who actually set a flying lap.

Right at the back of the field, two big names failed to record a time. Just like in free practice one, Gianni Morbidelli found himself sitting the session out after trying to tackle a kerb in the overweight Audi Sport Italia RS5, and breaking a front shock absorber.

And free practice two pacesetter Luigi Ferrara also had a shocker, crashing his Roma Racing Mercedes on his first attempt at a flying lap.

Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Raffaele Giammaria Romeo Mercedes 1m42.589s 2. Max Pigoli Ferlito Jaguar 1m43.158s + 0.569s 3. Simone Iacone Solaris Chevrolet 1m43.562s + 0.973s 4. Andrea Larini Romeo Mercedes 1m43.649s + 1.060s 5. Thomas Biagi Dinamic BMW 1m43.915s + 1.326s 6. Francesco Sini Solaris Chevrolet 1m43.925s + 1.336s 7. Tonio Liuzzi CAAL Mercedes 1m44.356s + 1.767s 8. Max Mugelli Dinamic BMW 1m44.564s + 1.975s 9. Andrea Bacci CAAL Mercedes 1m45.498s + 2.909s 10. Ezio Muccio Ferlito Jaguar 1m45.770s + 3.181s 11. Giovanni Berton Dinamic BMW 1m45.842s + 3.253s 12. Nico Caldarola Roma Mercedes 1m45.845s + 3.256s 13. Christian Fittipaldi Swiss Maserati 1m46.921s + 4.332s 14. Johan Kristoffersson KMS Audi 1m47.118s + 4.529s 15. Mauro Cesari Swiss Maserati 1m47.921s + 5.332s 
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Enna Superstars: Luigi Ferrara keeps Mercedes on top despite crash

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Author Andrew van Leeuwen
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