Following rain-hampered free practice sessions, the weather for Saturday’s qualifying were not much better. Dark, grey skies, a damp track and below 10 degrees Celsius are not the most inviting race conditions.
Regardless, all drivers went out immediately in order to get as many laps under their belts as possible, attempting to get acquainted to the conditions.
The OPEN Class saw the Red Bull Ring entirely in Austrian hands in free practice with Peter Milavec on top in FP1 and Bernd Herndlhofer in FP2. That didn’t change in qualifying as Ingo Gerstl (Top Speed) had finally overcome his technical troubles and marked the quickest time in 1:16,868 minutes. However, it looked much easier from the outside than it actually was.
“The new tarmac is so dark that you can barely see the dry patches. It was tough out there today”,
“P1 in my home race is fantastic, of course. It’s a pity I had to sit out FP1, because more track time would have been very useful, especially in these conditions. But I am confident for the race, although Klaas and Bernd will push like crazy”,
Ascari driver Klaas Zwart placed his Jaguar R5 on P2 a tenth off Gerstl’s top time, just ahead of Bernd Herndholfer, who completed the Top 3 in a qualifying session which was characterised by countless yellow flags and spins into the gravel.
Wolfgang Jordan, who placed fifth, expects
“Gerstl, Zwart and Herndlhofer to pull away from us. So I will focus on a dog fight with Peter Milavec. I didn’t get one clear lap together in qualifying, so there is some room for improvement in the race.”
In the FORMULA Class, favourite Christopher Brenier continued to dominate and cruised to top spot.
“I am delighted, as I will start the race from the second row overall, so maybe I can actually challenge some of the OPEN Class drivers.”
Both Philippe Haezebrouck and Gilles Brenier confirmed their good form coming second and third.
Speed Center driver Christian Eicke was suffering from a hydraulics problem in qualifying.
“However, I am confident, we will work it out for the race. Otherwise, I will have to take our spare car.”