Report: Free Practice Hockenheim F1
The first kilometres in the Motodrom are completed: The BOSS GP is ready for the biggest event in its history.
As always, Friday was about qualification for Q1 in tomorrow’s qualifying (start: 10:40 a.m.) session for the BOSS GP front runners . Ingo Gerstl (Top Speed) set today’s best time with 1:22.731 min in the second practice session. A time under 1 minute 20 seconds is expected from the Toro Rosso driver tomorrow. Phil Stratford (Penn Elcom Racing) was clearly behind, but also had less training time. The American had to park his Benetton F1 on the track. A problem with the brake cylinders caused the front wheels to lock, Stratford’s Benetton could only be towed by crane.
Johann Ledermair made the story of the day: The former champion and winner of the double in Spielberg replaced the absent Thomas Jakoubek at Top Speed. Actually, the Austrian had only come to Hockenheim as a guest. Ledermair set the best time in the FORMULA class from a standing start. The toughest opponents for Ledermair come from the same team: Bernd Herndlhofer was only a tenth slower than Ledermair. The ambitious Austrians will provide us an exciting fight for the rest of the weekend.
Championship leader Florian Schnitzenbaumer (Top Speed) placed 3rd, and the German was already successful at Hockenheim in April. In the second practice he rolled out early – a fate he shares with Johann Ledermair and Bianca Steiner. Gerstl, Stratford, Ledermair, Herndlhofer, Schnitzenbaumer – these five will be the first to get on the track tomorrow in qualifying and thus have an open track at their disposal. The remaining 14 drivers must go into traffic ten minutes later.
Wolfgang Jaksch (F Xtreme Racing), last winner in Monza, got along well in the first training and tried different lines. In the second practice session he spun off the track at high speed already in the first laps – car and driver remained undamaged. The fourth starter in the top class is Hans Laub (Speed Center). From FP1 to FP2 he improved by more than five seconds. The link-up to the other OPEN drivers will be possible tomorrow.
Armando Mangini (MM International) was inconspicuous, but again consistently well on the way. The Italian enters the Formula 1 weekend exhilarated by his home win at Monza. Team mate Luca Martucci has settled in well to the BOSS GP as the ninth of today. The debutant usually starts in Italian Formula 3; at the GP2 premiere he was more than properly on the road.
Best FORMULA pilot from Team Speed Center was Peter Göllner in 10th place, Roy Glaser at his comeback and Christian Eicke complained about the Red Flags, which stolen a lot of track time. Karl-Heinz Becker (Becker Motorsport) and Walter Steding (Inter Europol Competition) collided in the first practice session. Becker’s bolide was damaged at the suspension, but for the afternoon the damage was repaired. The race control blamed Steding for the incident. ‘Piter’, who was again bothered by technical problems, did not manage to set a time.
Schedule for tomorrow, July, 21st 2018:
18:00–18:25: race 1
Pictures: Daniel Glaser