Michela Cerruti won a dramatic second race of the opening International Superstars Series round at Monza.
The female racer had been the revelation of the weekend, setting the pace in both practice sessions on Friday in her Romeo Ferraris Mercedes C63 AMG. After finishing second to teammate Max Pigoli in Race 1, Cerruti capitalised upon punctures for both Pigoli and Luigi Ferrara to win the race.
Starting on pole position, Pigoli made a good start to the race, with Cerruti moving into second past the Swiss Team Maserati that had now been transferred into the hands of Andrea Chiesa, who had shared the car with Andrea Bertolini during the weekend. Meanwhile Ferrara, forced to start both races from the eighth row after engine problems in qualifying, made another lightning start just like he did in Race 1 to move up into fifth through the first chicane.
Ferrara soon got past both Francesco Sini's Jaguar and Chiesa's Maserati into third place. The CAAL Racing driver, who won both races at Monza on his series debut last season, then took second from Cerruti.
He soon closed down on Pigoli, and made a move into the Parabolica. The pair ran side-by-side down the pit straight but Ferrara had the legs to take the lead. Pigoli then dropped back into the clutches of teammate Cerruti. The Race 1 winner was forced to concede second place, before suffering a puncture. Almost immediately, Ferrara suffered a puncture himself at the end of the pit straight, heading straight on at the first chicane.
Cerruti got past Ferrara and took the lead, but then lost control under breaking for Ascari, spinning the car. With a large lead over the pursuing Sini, she was able to get the car pointing in the right direction whilst remaining in the lead.
However, she came under intense pressure from Sini, but the Jaguar driver suffered an electrical failure for the second time in the day, which brought his car to a halt in the middle of the first chicane. He got it going again, but lost position to Chiesa, only to take it back before the end of the race.
Cerruti meanwhile held on to take the checkered flag, with Sini second and Chiesa third. Riccardo Romagnoli came through to finish fourth in the second CAAL Mercedes, ahead of the two BMW Team Italia cars of Alberto Cerqui and Stefano Gabellini, which were fighting each other throughout the race. Sandro Bettini stayed out of trouble to finish seventh, with Thomas Biagi eighth after dropping back at the start. Roberto Benedetti was ninth, with Ferrara recovering from his puncture to finish tenth, one place ahead of Pigoli.
Cerruti's win puts her at the top of the drivers' standings. The next round takes place at Valencia on 8th May.
|1||88||Michela Cerruti||Romeo Ferraris||Mercedes AMG C63||27:49.021|
|2||41||Francesco Sini||Ferlito Motors||Jaguar XF||6.902|
|3||46||Andrea Chiesa||Swiss Team||Maserati Quattroporte||7.132|
|4||58||Riccardo Romagnoli||CAAL Racing||Mercedes AMG C63||8.053|
|5||3||Alberto Cerqui||Team BMW Italia||BMW M3 E92||12.625|
|6||2||Stefano Gabellini||Team BMW Italia||BMW M3 E92||13.156|
|7||73||Sandro Bettini||Movisport||BMW M3 E90||35.406|
|8||1||Thomas Biagi||Team BMW Italia||BMW M3 E92||38.359|
|9||24||Roberto Benedetti||RC Motorsport||Cadillac CTS V||1:18.033|
|10||54||Luigi Ferrara||CAAL Racing||Mercedes AMG C63||1:21.099|
|11||18||Max Pigoli||Romeo Ferraris||Mercedes AMG C63||1:53.580|
|12||5||Fabrizio Armetta||Motorzone Race Car||Chevrolet Lumina CR-8||+6 Laps|
|13||11||Andrea Dromedari||Romeo Ferraris||Mercedes AMG C63||+6 Laps|
|14||27||Nico Caldarola||Roma Racing Team||Mercedes AMG C63||+7 Laps|
|Ret||10||Alessandro Kouzkin||Motorzone Race Car||Chevrolet Lumina CR-8||+9 Laps|
|Ret||35||Roberto Papini||Audi Sport Italia||Audi RS4||+11 Laps|
|Ret||32||Isaac Tutumlu||Campos Racing||BMW M3 E92||+11 Laps|
|Ret||12||Francesca Linossi||Movisport||BMW M3 E92||+11 Laps|
|Ret||99||Alex De Giacomi||Movisport||BMW M3 E90||+12 Laps|
|Ret||37||Riccardo Bossi||Audi Sport Italia||Audi RS4||+13 Laps|
|Ret||34||Ermanno Dionisio||Audi Sport Italia||Audi RS4|
|Ret||23||Sergio Hernandez||Campos Racing||BMW M3 E92|
|Ret||48||Johnny Herbert||Romeo Ferraris||Mercedes AMG C63|
|Ret||40||Luigi Cecchi||Ferlito Motors||Jaguar XF|