Vallelunga - ITA

Bertolini takes pole in the Quattroporte Evo

Mission number one accomplished. Andrea Bertolini secured pole position in qualifying at round eight of the International Superstars Series. Bertolini is turning out at Vallelunga for the private Swiss Team squad together with his team mate, Alessandro Pier Guidi. In today's session, Pier Guidi finished an excellent third on the timesheet.

There are four drivers, grouped within 20 points of each other, still in with a chance of the title at this last, decisive round. Maserati's official driver declared that he wanted to top the timesheet in qualifying and he pulled it off.

Bertolini is one of the four drivers going for the title and currently sits in third spot, 20 points off leader Luigi Ferrara and his Caal Racing Mercedes C63 AMG. The Maserati driver is level on points with Thomas Biagi, driving the BMW M3 E92 from BMW Italia. Second and 11 points ahead is Alberto Cerqui in another BMW Italia BMW M3 E92.

Bertolini will have to go flat out in each race to stay in the title race as long as possible. He will also have to hope that he stays ahead of his rivals and that they don't finish too close to him in the standings.

Bertolini has already made sure of his first objective. His performance was especially important as, in Superstars, the qualifying session decides the grid order for both races. So, as well as giving him an extra championship point, Bertolini will enjoy starting from pole in both races.

Bertolini dominated the qualifying session and was always at the top of the classification. On his first set of tyres he posted a time of 1'39"413 and, on his second set, he set a time of 1'38"812 that saw him take pole by almost half a second. Ferrara, one of his closest rivals, was having engine problems and put in a 12th best time of 1'40"633. The two other pretenders to the crown, Cerqui and Biagi, closed out in 1'39"287 and 1'39"549, good enough for 2nd and 4th, respectively.

Bertolini’s team mate, Pier Guidi, put in another solid display with his 1'39"310. The 20kg weight handicap on his Quattroporte Evo, assigned after the result of the last round, should be borne in mind when considering this lap. Pier Guidi’s qualifying performance means that he will be in an ideal position to challenge for the podium and take points off Bertolini’s rivals.

Swiss Team has operated under the technical direction of Giuseppe Angiulli from the start of the season and benefits from the support of Maserati Corse, led by Maurizio Leschiutta. The squad has prepared superbly for the final two races in the season and is feeling confident, even if the road ahead looks a tough one.

The competition will not only be with Mercedes and BMW as a series of top-quality marques will be putting up a fight with Audi, Cadillac, Chevrolet and Jaguar all appearing in Superstars.