While Le Castellet and its Circuit Paul Ricard continously are heating up, BOSS GP teams went on track for Qualifying at Saturday morning at temperatures of about 27°. Under best conditions Qualifying brought some “strange failures”, as Harald Michel, Official Scrutineer of BOSS GP Championship, recapped the session.
At first the Top 8 drivers of Fridays practice day – Ingo Gerstl (Top Speed), Rinus van Kalmthout (Mansell Motorsport), Johann Ledermair (Ledermair Motorsport), Mahaveer Raghunathan (PS Racing by Coloni Motorsport), Florian Schnitzenbaumer (Top Speed), Wolfgang Jaksch (F Xtreme Racing Team), David Moretti (Griffith’s) and Salvatore De Plano (MM International Motorsport) – entered the 5.842 km long track.
Two drivers left the Qualifying unplanned. While Wolfgang Jaksch with his Super Aguri SA06 failed due to a major driving error already early, Johan Ledermair in his GP 2 Dallara was stopped by a technical problem. “The car had an fatigue fracture”, Ledermair wasn’t pleased by his unexpected exit, “our team will work out on that. We hopefully will fix the problem until the race on the afternoon”. Nevertheless – with a 1:49.560 min he raced onto start position 3 for the race this afternoon before he had to exit. No technical problem, but a “clear driving error I made”, stopped Wolfgang Jaksch already in round 3. “I was delayed by Moretti in the first round. So I really had to push hard the following round, to improve my time. I managed to overtake him, but misjugded my braking phase afterwards; so I missed to take the turn properly and got stucked in the gravel trap”, Jaksch summed his performance up. “Luckily I made at least one counted lap”, he adds, starting with a 1:54.722 min lap-time on start position 6.
The two exits slowed down leading Ingo Gerstl, who raced onto pole position nevertheless. “If everything runs smoothly, I improve my time each round. So for the Qualifying I targeted a 1:40′ lap-time. Unfortunately we had to slow down twice during the Qualifying, which only gives us 8 minutes, to race a best time”, Gerstl summarized the Qualifying. “Of course I’m fine with starting from pole-position. But actually there could have been potential for a much better time on the track”, the current leader of the OPEN class made his point. He now is “looking forward to great race and especially the duel with Rinus van Kalmthout”. The 16 years old Dutch raced onto position 2 in his GP2 Evo Dallara.
In the second stage of the Qualifying the Top 9 until Top 18 entered the Paul Ricard track. Two more early exits by Karl-Heinz Becker (Becker Motorsport) already in round 2 and Peter Göllner (Speed Center) in round 7 made it 4 out of 18 drivers quitting the Qualifying earlier than planned. “Yes, we had some strange failures at this Qualifying”, Scrutineer Michel summed it up. “But apart from this fact Qualifying went well, we are satisfied with the performance of the grid.”
Started in the second chapter of the Qualifying, Armando Mangini (MM International Motorsport) with his GP 2 Dallara managed to improved time and position into to Top 8 field and moved forward in the starting grid; he will now start from position 8 in the afternoon.
The starting grid for season race 5 is set, and will be led by the “usual suspects”. The setup of Ingo Gerstl holding the pole position, followed by Rinus van Kalmthout on position 2, Johann Ledermair on third position promises an exciting top of the field.
Kick-off of the race is at 2:30 p.m. See and follow BOSS GPs Instagram channel for live updates and coverage.
Practice day at Paul Ricard: bossgp.com/practice-day-at-paul-ricard-results/
Photo gallery from Paul Ricard 2017: bossgp.com/gallery/paul-ricard-gt-open-euroformula-open/