Gianni Morbidelli - Photo Credit: Superstars Media

Gianni Morbidelli - Photo Credit: Superstars Media

Gianni Morbidelli was unsurprisingly dominant in the first International Superstars Series race at Donington Park, with the dominance of his Audi RS5 backed up by Johan Kristoffersson's drive to second from the back after missing yesterday's action. Home favourite Johnny Herbert completed the podium in his Maserati.

While Morbidelli led comfortably out front, Kristoffersson was surging through the field after flying over to Donington having raced in the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship on Saturday. Despite his complete lack of track knowledge the young Swedish ace, who led the points after his double win in Imola, used the pace of his car to make it up into second place on lap nine of the 17 lap race.

The third Audi of 18-year-old Thomas Schoffler started on the front row alongside Morbidelli, but the German driver stalled at the start of the formation lap and was forced to start from the pitlane.

That meant that fast-starting Jaguar driver Max Pigoli took up second place on the opening lap, with Vitantonio Liuzzi's Mercedes separating Pigoli from his debutant teammate Tom Onslow-Cole, who had qualified third.

The British Touring Car driver got by the ex-Formula 1 star on lap three, holding third behind Pigoli until being passed by the flying Kristoffersson on lap eight. On the following lap he then lost three places to Liuzzi, Herbert and Thomas Biagi in the close fight over third.

Onslow-Cole's race then fell apart however when he suffered a suspension failure, forcing him to pit three laps from the end.

His teammate Pigoli was still running third at that stage, but slipped all the way down to ninth by the end, helped by an off-track excursion. Herbert inherited the final podium spot on his return to the championship, finishing a second ahead of Biagi's BMW with Liuzzi fifth. Schoffler recovered to finish sixth.

Stefano Gabellini (BMW) and Andrea Larini (Mercedes) also got by Pigoli for seventh and eighth respectively. Francesco Sini rounded out the top ten in his Chevrolet Lumina.

Race two takes place at 15.15 and is live on Motors TV.