Full of action was the first race of the weekend at the « Zolder Superprix » in Belgium. The two leading drivers of the FORMULA class showed a thrilling battle for the top podium spot. Meanwhile two others had to finish the race early.
18 years young, but very ambitious – this is Indian driver Mahaveer Raghunathan (PS Racing by Coloni Motorsport). Starting from overall position 3 (FORMULA and OPEN class cars start in one grid), Raghunathan showed a strong performance over 16 laps with his Lola Auto GP Gibson Tech 3.4 V8 and a great battle with Salvatore De Plano (MM International Motorsport) with his Dallara GP2 Mecachrome 4.0 V8. At the end it was a neck-to-neck-finish, with De Plano just finishing 2,719 seconds behind Raghunathan at the overall race-time. The best lap time at the FORMULA class was performed by De Plano in 1:22,229 min, while Raghunathan raced his best lap in 1:22,447.
Finishing first meant the first ever P1 for Raghunathan at a BOSS GP race – the young driver was more than pleased with his victory. Overall the Indian has a great outcome this season – seven races, seven podiums (1x P1, 2x P2, 4x P3). Meanwhile De Plano secured his second P2 of the season, his fourth overall season podium (2x P2, 2x P3).
Raghunathan (m.), chased by De Plano (l.) and de Boer (r.) at the start of race 1 at Zolder 2017.
The first podium of the season was achieved by Armando Mangini (MM International Motorsport) with his Dallara GP2 Mecachrome 4.0 V8 on the P3. The gap between team mate De Plano and Mangini was significant (2:18,557 min). But excitement and enthusiasm of the MM International Motorsport team about the podium-double nevertheless was huge. Even a penalty of 30 seconds for Mangini, due to overtaking under yellow flag, didn’t disturb the good mood; the penalty didn’t change the final result anyway.
Unfortunately two drivers finished the race way to early. Wolfgang Jordan (H&A Racing) spun off the track already in the first lap with his Dallara GP2 Mecachrome 4.0 V8. Henk de Boer (De Boer Manx) had to finish the race in lap 9, due to technical reasons with his Dallara GP2 Mecachrome 4.0 V8. The Dutch had shown a good performance so far. Making it to the podium could have been possible for him. De Boer performed his best lap time in 1:23,425, before he had to leave the track.
Armando Mangini waiting for the start signal of the race in Zolder.
« It was a good start and the race went really well. This is my first ever win, so I dedicate this to my grandfather », Raghunathan told us after the podium ceremony. « For the whole race I had some problems with the brakes. De Plano was right behind me all the time, so this was really tough. But at the end I am very, very happy about making it to the P1. » For the second race of the weekend, the young driver « wants to repeat winning again ».
It’s the same for Salvatore De Plano, who wants to attack for the top-position of the podium: « Of course I am very, very happy with finishing as second. It was such a close race, I was directly behind Raghunathan. At the second race on Sunday I will attack again for making it to the P1 », the Italian promised.
Armando Mangini, winning the P3, was more than happy, making it onto the podium: « Fantastico! I am very, very happy! », the Italian was overwhelmed.
Double-podium for MM International Motorsport at Zolder 2017: Salvatore De Plano (l., P2) and Armando Mangini (P3).
Due to the absence of so far leading Johann Ledermair (Ledermair Motorsport) the podium of the FORMULA class looked quite different compared to the first six races of the 2017 Championship. Winning the P1 and achieving a total of 25 points, Raghunathan took over the lead of the overall FORMULA class ranking and has a two-points-advantage now over Ledermair. Will De Plano pass the Austrian after the second race in Zolder too? BOSS GP will be on the track at the « Superprix » again at 12:25 p.m. on Sunday.
The complete result of race 1 at Zolder 2017:
Picture gallery of Zolder 2017: bossgp.com/gallery/zolder-superprix
OPEN class: Race 1 at “Zolder Superprix 2017”: bossgp.com/open-class-race-1-at-zolder-superprix-stratford-losing-drive-zwart-losing-tyre
FORMULA class: Qualifying at « Zolder Superprix 2017 »: bossgp.com/formula-class-qualifying-at-zolder-superprix-raghunathan-and-de-plano-battle-for-fastest-lap
FORMULA class: Practice day at “Zolder Superprix 2017”: bossgp.com/formula-class-practice-day-at-zolder-superprix-2017-raghunatan-taking-the-lead
Schedule for “Zolder Superprix 2017”: bossgp.com/timetable-for-the-zolder-superprix
Start list for “Zolder Superprix 2017”: bossgp.com/start-list-for-the-zolder-superprix-is-set
Standings of season 2017: bossgp.com/standings