Saturday, September 28, 2013

Superstars: Hard qualifying and bad BoP for Audi Sport Italia at Imola

By Tarek Ramchani

The Superstars Series is at Imola this weekend for the penultimate round of the season. Battle is raging for the title between Audi and Mercedes-Benz.With Audi Sport Italia fielding no less than three Audi RS 5 quattro cars. Unfortunately that was not enough as the official Audi Italia dealer team faced an extremely hard qualifying session this afternoon.

Team's regular Gianni Morbidelli is joined this weekend by Davide Di Benedetto and Giuseppe Cipriani. The car is coming from a successful British round at Donington park last time out. Following Morbidelli's strong performances in the UK, Superstars Series organizers adjusted the Balance of Performance. The Audi RS 5 quattro once again penalized and slowed down. The three drivers had two very difficult free practice sessions earlier today. Things did not improve in the qualifying session as the Audi drivers were not able to match the pace of the rivals from AMG Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Gianni Morbidelli qualified his #45 RS5 quattro in eighth place. His team-mate Davide Di Benedetto ended in ninth place with car #46. Giuseppe Cipriani was twelvth with the #47 Audi.

The two races are set for tomorrow and it will be hard to see Audi Sport Italia drivers battling for the top spots. The Balance of Performance changed a lot of times this year in Superstars Series and each time hitting the RS 5 quattro. With only two meeting left, this is very difficult situation for title contender Gianni Morbidelli.

Photo credit: Audi Sport Italia