Liuzzi (Mercedes) takes late Superstars pole at Slovakia ring
Thanks to a sensational last-gasp attempt in today’s qualifying at Slovakia Ring, Vitantonio Liuzzi, running a Mercedes C63 AMG for Team Mercedes-AMG Romeo Ferraris, scored the pole for the Superstars International Series Race 1 at the brand-new venue near Bratislava. The Pescara-based man, who had dominated in the early part of the session, initially lost the lead to Max Mugelli (BMW M3 E92 – Team BMW Dinamic) and Luigi Ferrara (Mercedes C63 AMG Coupé – Roma Racing Team), but managed to rebound by breaking the 2’10” barrier (2’09″552). Ferrara (2’10″636) eventually took 2nd in front of Berton (2’10″683). Mugelli ended up in fourth followed by the Petri Corse Porsche Panamera S of Fabrizio Giovanardi. Tomas Biagi, slowed down by the 40-kilo ballast on his car due to his wins at Monza and Brno, settled for 6th to top Gianni Morbidelli (Audi RS5), Andrea Bacci (Mercedes C63 AMG), Andrea Larini (Jaguar XF) and Mauro Trentin (BMW M3 E92). As happened in the first practice sessions, when the Chevy Camaro of Francesco Sini and the Jaguar XFR of Andrea Larini went off-track, the action was stopped for a contact by Leonardo Baccarelli (Mercedes C63 AMG).
Qualifying proved equally eventful in the GTSPRINT INTERNATIONAL SERIES, with the first segment stopped by a crash involving the Ferrari 458 Italia of Mario Cordoni (Ombra Racing Team) before the chicane. When the action re-started, it were home racers Andrj Studenic and Patrik Tkac to prevail for Race 1 (2’03″175) while Lubomir Jakubik and Michael Vorba took second for Team RPD Racing in an all-Ferrari front row sweep. The second segment handed the Corvette Z06 R or RC Motorsport a valuable pole spot for Race 2 with Roberto Del Castello and Piero Necchi. Glauco Solieri (Porsche 997 GTS3 Autorlando Sport) also got a front row in Q2 followed by the MTM Audi R8 of Thomas Schöffler and Antti Buri.
GTSPRINT racers will once again be the first to go out for Race 1 on Sunday at 9:15. Race 2 will be held in early afternoon at 14:14. The two SUPERSTARS races will take-off at 12:00 and 16:10. While the people on-track will be able to witness a great day of racing, the fans at home will benefit from a widespread TV coverage plan including 210 broadcasters and 195 territories. Local networks Sport 5, covering all the races live, and Slovak TV (with the broadcast starting at 15:30), will be the key players in an all-SUPERSTARS afternoon for the Slovakian race fans.
SUPERSTARS | QUALIFYING (top-5): 1. Liuzzi (Mercedes C63 AMG) 2’09.552; 2. Ferrara (Mercedes C63 Coupé) 2’10.636; 3. Berton (BMW M3 E92) 2’10.683; 4. Mugelli (BMW M3 E92) 2’10.784; 5. Giovanardi (Porsche Panamera S) 2’10.857.
GTSPRINT | QUALIFYING 1 (top-5): 1. Studenic – Tkac (Ferrari 458 GTS3) 2’03.175; 2. Vorba – Jakubik (Ferrari 458 GTS3) 2’03.886; 3. Schöffler – Buri (Audi R8 LMS GTS3) 2’04.999; 4. Solieri (Porsche 997 GTS3) 2’05.716; Cordoni – Mantovani (Ferrari 458 GTS3) 2’06.047.
GTSPRINT | QUALIFYING 2 (top-5): 1. Del Castello – Necchi (Corvette Z06 R GTS3) 2’04.947; 2. Solieri (Porsche 997 GTS3) 2’05.091; 3. Schöffler – Buri (Audi R8 LMS GTS3) 2’05.906; 4. Croce (Ferrari 458 GTS3) 2’06.475; 5. Vorba – Jakubik (Ferrari 458 Italia) 2’07.826.