Morbidelli Takes Comfortable Donington Pole While Brits Share Second Row

Gianni Morbidelli - Photo Credit: Superstars Media
Morbidelli's rivals will be hard-pushed to see something other than the rear of his Audi tomorrow - Photo Credit: Superstars Media

Gianni Morbidelli and Audi Sport Italia continued their domination of the Donington Park round of the International Superstars Series by taking a comfortable pole position, while British aces Tom Onslow-Cole and Johnny Herbert qualified third and fourth.

Morbidelli had been around a second ahead of the rest of the field in the two practice sessions earlier in the day, and finished qualifying seven tenths of a second ahead despite only completing three flying laps.

His fellow Audi RS5 driver Thomas Schoffler demonstrated the pace of the new car around the Leicestershire circuit – the 18-year-old qualifying on the front row in his MTM-run car.

Behind the two Audis, British Touring Car star Onslow-Cole qualified in third place on his first day in the Ferlito Motors Jaguar XFR, but 1.569 seconds away from Morbidelli. He defeated fellow home racer Herbert by less than a tenth of a second – the former Grand Prix star making his return to the series aboard a Maserati Quattroporte.

Onslow-Cole's qualified two-tenths ahead of his teammate and Monza race winner Max Pigoli, who qualified in fifth place. Vitantonio Liuzzi was sixth in his Romeo Ferraris Mercedes, just 0.009s shy of Pigoli. Sharing the fourth row will the Dinamic BMW pairing of Thomas Biagi and Stefano Gabellini.

Francesco Sini took ninth in his Solaris-run Chevrolet Lumina, ahead of Italian rookie Andrea Boffo of Roma Racing Team Mercedes.

Johan Kristoffersson, who leads the standings after his double victory last time out at Imola, missed today's running as he was racing in the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship – which he also leads. He will fly to Donington in time to start tomorrow's races, and judging by the pace of his Audi RS5 he could well be in line for a top result even though he's never turned a wheel in anger at Donington before.

The two races take place at 10.15 and 15.15 BST, with live coverage on Motors TV UK.