Review of day 1 at the Pirelli Masters in Austria.
The BOSS GP drivers used the practice sessions on Thursday to get familiar with the 4.3-kilometer track and to find the fastest drivers for Q1 tomorrow.
Ingo Gerstl (AUT, Top Speed) secured the best combined time with a 1:11.996 min. The Toro Rosso pilot targeted the BOSS GP record time of 1 minute 10 seconds from last year in the second free practice. A gearbox failure at the very beginning of the session stopped this plan. But tomorrow record champion Gerstl will definitely be at the start again.
The 16 other pilots had no major problems: Phil Stratford (USA, Penn Elcom Racing) set the best time in the second free practice session with 1:17.078, even though the Benetton driver only completed one installation lap in the first practice session.
The fastest FORMULA driver in today’s session was BOSS GP rookie Alessandro Bracalente (ITA, Speed Center). He was followed by Florian Schnitzenbaumer at his comeback. The reigning BOSS GP FORMULA champion will probably start 2019 only on this one race weekend. With the fourth-best total time he can compete tomorrow in Q1. Also qualified for Q1 is Sergio Ghiotto (ITA, Scuderia Palladio).
Brother Marco (ITA, Scuderia Palladio) failed like Hockenheim double winner Andreas Fiedler (DEU, Fiedler Racing) at the cut by a few tenths of a second. But tomorrow in Q2 the two will have more driving time at their disposal to complete a fast lap. Luca Martucci (ITA, MM International) was faster than fellow countryman Salvatore de Plano (ITA, Top Speed) today, and thus confirmed his performances at the Red Bull Ring from last year.
The qualifying for the 17 pilots will take place tomorrow at 10:45 am. Today’s top 5 start in Q1 (8 minutes time), the remaining drivers in Q2 (20 minutes time). The fastest driver from the two combined sessions will be the first to start the race at 3:30 pm.