Gianni Morbidelli capped off a perfect weekend with his second International Superstars Series race win at Spa-Francorchamps.
As was the case in the first race, the wet track suited Morbidelli's four-wheel-drive Audi Sport Italia RS5. While he was forced to start eighth because of the partly reversed grid, Morbidelli was second by the end of the first lap, and had dispatched a stubborn early leader in the form of Andrea Larini mid-way through the second.
Once in front, it was simply a case of cruising to the finish, Morbidelli's final winning margin a comfortable 11.9 seconds.
CAAL Racing Mercedes driver Tonio Liuzzi finished second, having staged a thrilling battle for the position with the Romeo Ferraris Mercedes of Larini in the first few laps. On lap six, Liuzzi shoved Larini aside to settle the argument, before holding off a late race charge from Mika Salo (Swiss Team Maserati) to make it an all ex-Formula 1 driver podium.
The battle for fourth was thrilling. Larini, Thomas Schoffler (MTM Audi), the Dinamic BMW pair of Thomas Biagi and Stefano Gabellini, and Liugi Ferrara (CAAL Racing Mercedes) all got involved, with Larini's wild ride coming to an end a few laps from the finish after contact in the battle pack.
But the other four kept at it until the end, with Schoffler going from fourth to seventh on the last lap as Biagi nabbed the spot from Ferrara and Gabellini. However, the order was changed again post-race, when Ferrara was handed a 25s penalty for not respecting track limits, dropping him to 12th.
British Touring Car Championship driver Jeff Smith finished a fine seventh in just his second race aboard the Dinamic BMW, with Domenico Caldarola (Roma Racing Mercedes) finishing eighth, and the Ferlito Jaguar pair of Max Pigoli and Domenico Ferlito rounding out the top 10.
In terms of the championship, the race was a disaster for KMS Audi driver Johan Kristoffersson. While Liuzzi went on to take second, Kristoffersson retired at the end of the first lap after copping a whack from Ferrara on the exit of the first corner. Liuzzi now leads the Swede by 19 points.
Results - 10 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Gianni Morbidelli Audi Italia 28m42.438s 2. Tonio Liuzzi CAAL Mercedes + 11.991s 3. Mika Salo Swiss Maserati + 13.537s 4. Thomas Biagi Dinamic BMW + 25.917s 5. Stefano Gabellini Dinamic BMW + 29.255s 6. Thomas Schoffler MTM Audi + 31.638s 7. Jeff Smith Dinamic BMW + 42.490s 8. Nico Caldarola Roma Mercedes + 46.787s 9. Max Pigoli Ferlito Jaguar + 49.007s 10. Domenico Ferlito Ferlito Jaguar + 51.412s 11. Luigi Ferrara CAAL Mercedes + 53.470s 12. Alessandro Garofano Romeo Mercedes + 1m02.380s 13. Walter Meloni W&D BMW + 1m54.190s Retirements: Andrea Larini Romeo Mercedes 8 laps Paolo Meloni W&D BMW 8 laps Mauro Cesari Swiss Maserati 4 laps Johan Kristoffersson KMS Audi 2 laps Francesco Sini Solaris Chevrolet 0 laps Camilo Zurcher Romeo Mercedes 0 laps