A worthy final for the fastest racing series in Europe: In today’s sunny Spielberg Champion Ingo Gerstl also won the second race and the recovered Salvatore De Plano the FORMULA ranking.
Ingo Gerstl (AUT, Top Speed, Toro Rosso STR1) did not dominate the race as usual but was for a long time in tandem flight with Phil Stratford (USA, Penn Elcom, Benetton B197). It was not until lap 11 that Gerstl really took off and extended his lead. With 1:13 min he was by far the fastest car on the racetrack. Phil Stratford finished his first full season satisfied with his eleventh podium position, only Gerstl had been on the podium more than once. Hans Laub (DEU, Speed Center, Forti FG-03) was third in the OPEN by a big margin, but also finished the race today – not a matter of courteous fact with the highly complex Formula 1 cars.
For Salvatore De Plano (ITA, Top Speed, Dallara GP2) the FORMULA was the end of a tailor-made season. De Plano had been the favourite for the championship, but at the first race in Hockenheim he collided with Florian Schnitzenbaumer (DEU, Top Speed, Dallara GP2) so unhappily that De Plano injured his back. After a long absence De Plano made his racing comeback only in Brno. This time he also had to give up his usual car at MM International. Instead De Plano started at the Austrian Team Top Speed. Yesterday he spun off track overmotivated, today he managed the decisive manoeuvre already in turn 1. Inside he successfully defended against Marco Ghiotto (ITA, MM International, Dallara GP2) at the flying start and did not give up the lead until the end. Marco Ghiotto was in last year’s Formula Two championship car of Charles Leclerc but was not able to keep up with De Plano during the rest of the race. But he took place 2 easily.
Luca Martucci (ITA, MM International, Dallara GP2) got close to Marco Ghiotto in the end. Martucci had to start from the very back after being moved to the back for an infringement at yesterday’s start. From there the way led straight to the podium. On top of that he set the fastest race lap. Three Italians came on the podium of the FORMULA class!
Yesterday’s surprise winner Alain Valente (SUI, Speed Center, Dallara GP2) was much more inconspicuous today than yesterday. Nevertheless, the 21-year-old confirmed his great talent with 4th place. Andreas Fiedler (DEU, Fiedler Racing, Dallara GP2) was at times on the podium, but towards the end of the race the runner-up in FORMULA had to slow down. On rank 5 he brought the car to the finish.
Gianluca Ripoli (ITA, MM International, Dallara GP2), Sergio Ghiotto (ITA, MM International, Dallara GP2), Peter Göllner (SUI, Speed Center, Dallara GP2) and Christian Eicke (DEU, Speed Center, Dallara GP2) fought the most interesting fights throughout the race and obviously had the most fun. In the order Ripoli, S. Ghiotto, Göllner and Eicke they crossed the finish line. Eicke fixed with rank 9 in the last race of the season also the overall 3rd place in the FORMULA standings.
Florian Schnitzenbaumer was not present today. Schnitzenbaumer had to undergo a shoulder operation in a few days and therefore renounced further strains. Schnitzenbaumer already fixed the championship title in yesterday’s race. With Ingo Gerstl (OPEN) and Florian Schnitzenbaumer (FORMULA) two drivers of the Top Speed team finish the BOSS GP 2018 season on the first places.
Quotes after the race:
Ingo Gerstl (1st place OPEN): « This race was important, that’s how it has to be. A perfect finish for my season and also for the whole series. Now the BOSS GP is really taking off. »
Phil Stratford (2nd place OPEN): « Unfortunately, I only brought a pocket knife with me to this fight, Ingo a jet fighter. »
Salvatore De Plano (1st place FORMULA): « I am totally happy. I managed the first corner much better today. That was the right end of my season after the accident in Hockenheim. That helps me through the winter and is important for my head. Next year I will try it again. »
Pictures: Michael Jurtin/BOSS GP