Gianni Morbidelli - Photo Credit: Superstars Series

Gianni Morbidelli - Photo Credit: Superstars Series

Gianni Morbidelli looks set to the be the man to beat in the International Superstars Series round at Donington Park this weekend if free practice is anything to go by.

His Audi RS5 carried on the same pace that saw Johan Kristoffersson win both Imola races, with Morbidelli ending up around a second faster than the rest of the field in both sessions ahead of qualifying at the Leicestershire circuit.

In the damp first hour, Morbidelli posted his best time with his final flying lap to finish up 1.020 seconds clear of BMW racer and fellow ex-Superstars champion Thomas Biagi.

Local favourites Johnny Herbert and Tom Onslow-Cole were the next best in their Maserati and Jaguar respectively, but 3.8 and 4.1 seconds off the pace.

Stefano Gabellini clocked the fifth fastest time in his BMW, ahead of Audi youngster Thomas Schoffler and the Caal Racing Mercedes duo of Max Mugelli and Vitantonio Liuzzi.

The second session of 30 minutes saw Morbidelli 0.954s ahead of fellow Audi driver Schoffler., shaving seven seconds off his morning time. The BMWs of Biagi and Gabellini were the next best, 1.4 and two seconds off the pace respectively.

Francesco Sini was fifth in his Chevrolet Lumina, narrowly ahead of Herbert and Jaguar driver Max Pigoli. Liuzzi was eighth with teammate Mugelli and Onslow-Cole completing the top ten.

Qualifying takes place at 17.10.