Race 2 : Swedish racer Kristoffersson takes Italian, International Superstars titles at Pergusa
In an highly-spectacular Race Day, Swede Johan Kristoffersson clinched both the International Series and the Italian Championship titles plus the “Rookie of the Year” competition.
Kristoffersson had already clinched the Italian championship in addition to the rookie one by the end of Race 1, although he was leading by only six points in the International series' standings. The crown went up for grabs in Race 2, and the Audi Sport KMS racer succeeded after an unexpected turn of events forced his main rival Vitantonio Liuzzi to retire. The Italian, fielded aboard a works-supported Mercedes C63 AMG for CAAL Racing, settled for second at the end of an exciting season-long battle. Kristoffersson did not have it easy though, as he was involved in a crash with Nico Caldarola (Mercedes C63 Coupé) and forced to follow most part of the race from the sidelines. At that point, Liuzzi only needed a top-5 position to seal the deal but it was not done yet. While Kristoffersson seemed unhopeful, a crash with fellow Mercedes man Andrea Larini put Liuzzi out of contention, triggering a surprising finale for 2012. Kristoffersson prevailed by just four points over Liuzzi, with Thomas Biagi scoring third place in the International standings and second place in the Italian ones. He also swept the "Rookie of the Year" competition and the longed-for 100.000-euro money prize for the 2013 SUPERSTARS season.
The two SUPERSTARS races were won by Raffaele Giammaria, who made an outstanding series debut aboard a Romeo Ferraris-prepared Mercedes C63 AMG. The roman provided his team with a perfect performance. In Race 1 he topped Pescara-based Francesco Sini, running with the Solaris Motorsport Chevrolet Lumina and Liuzzi. In Race 2, the podium was rounded out by Luigi Ferrara, who also ran for Mercedes at his second 2012 comeback in the series, and Team BMW Dinamic's Thomas Biagi, who battled with Simone Iacone for third. Eventually, the Chevrolet driver was penalized for making contact with Biagi and lost the final podium position.
Race 1: Raffaele Giammaria vince all'esordio Gara 1 con la Mercedes
Three different car brands shared the top-three at the fast Sicilian venue, hosting the final round of the 2012 season. The pole went to championship newcomer Raffaele Giammaria, who set a fastest mark of 1’42"589 to edge Jaguar's Max Pigoli, running for Team Ferlito aboard an XF model. Another rookie proved equally impressive: Simone Iacone lined-up on the second Solaris Motorsport Chevrolet Lumina and ended up with a valuable top-3 position as all the top championship contenders faced unexpected trouble.
Current points leader Johan Kristoffersson, fielded on the Audi Sport KMS RS5, took only 14th while his main contender, Vitantonio Liuzzi, settled for seventh aboard his manufacturer-supported Mercedes C63 AMG. As a consequence, the title challenge has become even more unpredictable than expected. Thomas Biagi, campaigning a BMW M3 for Team BMW Dinamic, has not surrendered by any means as he's determined to take full advantage of his championship chances on Race Day - Race 1 will be taking-off at 11:15 AM, followed by Race 2 at 16:15 PM.
In addition to all the weekend's regular activities, a press conference was held to preview the return of international racing at Pergusa. The conference featured speeches from FG Group President Maurizio Flammini and Ente Autodromo di Pergusa President Tullio Lauria. A salute also came from Enna's Mayor Paolo Garofalo and from Enna Province President Giuseppe Monaco. The conference offered a great occasion to reunite the series promoters, the track's representatives and the local authorities in what has become a sensational comeback for top-notch car racing in Sicily.