International Superstars Series rookie Johan Kristoffersson has surged into the lead of the championship after a double victory at Imola with the new Audi RS5.
After claiming pole in qualifying on Saturday, the Swedish youngster initially had the Mercedes of Andrea Larini for company during the early laps of Race 1, before his Audi teammate Gianni Morbidelli took second place. The pair battled throughout the second half of the race, but contact damaged Morbidelli's radiator, forcing him to retire on the last lap.
Larini finished eight seconds behind Kristoffersson in a lonely second, with Thomas Biagi completing the podium in third in his BMW. Francesco Sini was fourth in his Chevrolet Lumina, with series debutant Christian Fittipaldi a fine fifth for Maserati to make it five brands in the top five places.
Vitantonio Liuzzi made a good start to take third place at the start, ahead of Morbidelli, but fell back as far as seventh place before inheriting sixth when Morbidelli retired. Stefano Gabellini was seventh in the second of the Dinamic BMWs, ahead of youngsters Andrea Boffo and Thomas Schoffler. Max Pigoli – the championship leader arriving in Imola – was tenth.
Kristoffersson started the second race from eighth on the reverse grid, and actually lost a place on the opening lap to Pigoli. Up front, Boffo held the lead in his Mercedes ahead of Gabellini and Liuzzi, who was then forced to retire to the pits with gearbox failure.
Kristoffersson then began his charge up the order, moving back past Pigoli and then taking one position on each lap to move into second place after seven laps. Boffo provided more of a challenge for him, but Kristoffersson got by on lap ten.
Biagi followed him through a couple of laps later, crossing the line three seconds behind the Audi. Boffo took third ahead of Fittipaldi, who was followed across the line by Schoffler and Gabellini. Larini was seventh, ahead of Nico Caldarola, Mauro Cesari and Sandro Bettini.
Morbidelli had got as high as fifth on lap five behind teammate Kristoffersson, but was handed a drive-through for the way he pushed his way by Fittipaldi.
Kristoffersson holds a two point lead over Biagi, with the next round taking place on 20 May at Donington Park.