Gianni Morbidelli wins all-Audi Superstars pole duel at Spa

Gianni Morbidelli led an Audi one-two in qualifying for the International Superstars Series round at Spa-Francorchamps, after he and Johan Kristoffersson staged a thrilling battle for pole position

Gianni Morbidelli wins all-Audi Superstars pole duel at Spa

With the track drying throughout the session, it was all about timing. And Morbidelli was the master, making the call to switch to slick tyres earlier than anyone else, and consequently setting a time that was a full five seconds quicker than his rivals had gone to that point.

As the rest of the field cottoned on and the times started to tumble, Morbidelli had his challengers, the most promising being KMS Audi driver Kristoffersson. But while the Swede was able to grab top spot, Morbidelli crossed the line literally seconds later to post an unassailable 2m32.340s best, sealing pole position.

Kristoffersson was therefore forced to settle for second, despite improving on his final effort, dropping into the 2m32s bracket with a 2m32.943s.

In conditions that should have levelled the playing field between the four and two-wheel-drive cars, third-placed Tonio Liuzzi still found himself 1.7 seconds adrift of pole in the CAAL Racing Mercedes. The points leader left his run very late; he had been outside the 110 per cent cut-off required to qualify for the race with less than three minutes to go, posting his time within the last minute of the session.

Liuzzi's team-mate Luigi Ferrara was another driver to leave his run late, but did enough in the end to make it an all-CAAL Racing second row.

Mika Salo had hung around the top of the timesheets in the early part of the session when the track was damp, but could not match the Mercedes as the track dried out. He wound up fifth in the Swiss Team Maserati, ahead of Camilo Zurcher (Romeo Ferraris Mercedes), who had a very brief stint at the top during the switchover to slick tyres.

With an all-Audi front row, and all-Mercedes second row, Dinamic BMW kept the theme alive on the fourth row, where Thomas Biagi and Stefano Gabellini qualified seventh and eighth fastest respectively.

Andrea Larini made sure both Romeo Ferraris entries were in the top 10 with the ninth quickest time, ahead of the third Audi of Thomas Schoffler, the German only completing one flying lap on slick tyres
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Ferlito Jaguar's Max Pigoli qualified outside the 110 per cent after completing just two laps. The veteran is still struggling with arm pain following a crash at the Hungaroring a fortnight ago, and it is unclear whether he will take part in Sunday's proceedings.

Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Gianni Morbidelli Audi Italia 2m32.340s 2. Johan Kristoffersson KMS Audi 2m32.943s + 0.603s 3. Tonio Liuzzi CAAL Mercedes 2m34.016s + 1.676s 4. Luigi Ferrara CAAL Mercedes 2m34.305s + 1.965s 5. Mika Salo Swiss Maserati 2m35.007s + 2.667s 6. Camilo Zurcher Romeo Mercedes 2m35.065s + 2.725s 7. Thomas Biagi Dinamic BMW 2m35.112s + 2.772s 8. Stefano Gabellini Dinamic BMW 2m35.324s + 2.984s 9. Andrea Larini Romeo Mercedes 2m35.440s + 3.100s 10. Thomas Schoffler MTM Audi 2m35.531s + 3.191s 11. Paolo Meloni W&D BMW 2m35.673s + 3.333s 12. Francesco Sini Solaris Chevrolet 2m35.952s + 3.612s 13. Domenico Ferlito Ferlito Jaguar 2m36.158s + 3.818s 14. Jeff Smith Dinamic BMW 2m39.714s + 7.374s 15. Mauro Cesari Swiss Maserati 2m41.050s + 8.710s 16. Nico Caldarola Roma Mercedes 2m42.992s + 10.652s 17. Alessandro Garofano Romeo Mercedes 2m44.349s + 12.009s 18. Walter Meloni W&D BMW 2m51.945s + 19.605s 19. Max Pigoli Ferlito Jaguar 2m53.302s + 20.962s 
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