Ingo Gerstl broke the lap record at the TT Circuit in Assen on the first day with a 1:17.157 min under optimal conditions. Stratford in the Benetton in row 1, Glaser and Schnitzenbaumer start from row 2.
The Austrian Ingo Gerstl (Top Speed) was the first to qualify. Right at the beginning Gerstl used the free track in his Toro Rosso STR1, already in the second lap he managed a 1:17.2 min, shortly afterwards he improved the best time again to 1:17.157. In the following laps he improved in sector 3, but it was not enough for another record time. Nevertheless he set the fastest lap ever driven in Assen – an official lap record (currently: 1:19.371 by Gerstl in 2016) is only valid in the race.
Phil Stratford (Penn Elcom Racing) will start the races (starting time 1st race: today at 16:30 GMT +1) next to Gerstl. The American in the 1997-Benetton had to go into Q2 and was long on rank 3, late (in his 9th lap) he could improve to rank 2. Roy Glaser (Speed Center) held this position until shortly before the end. The FORMULA winner from Hockenheim started in Q1 and improved lap by lap. Finally, Florian Schnitzenbaumer, leader of the FORMULA standings, had nothing against the Swiss. In the end, the Top Speed driver was a second behind Glaser. Thus the two fastest FORMULA drivers were ahead of Wolfgang Jaksch (F Xtreme Racing). However, last year’s winner in the Super Aguri SA06 is a hot tip for the race.
Andreas Fiedler (Fiedler Racing) achieved a respectable result on his return to BOSS GP: The German had injured himself in a crash in Monza, and is making his comeback this weekend in Assen – he starts from 6th place.
Walter Steding (Inter Europol Competition) proved to be really quick this weekend. In the meantime, Steding was even placed 5th. During the session he had to park his Dallara-GP2, so he dropped back to 7th place towards the end.
Peter Göllner and Christian Eicke (both Speed Center) were on the track for a while in a row. The Swiss Göllner had an accident in free practice. The car spun and the GP2 Dallara hit the tyre stacks with its tail. The Speed Center crew managed to set up the spare car in the shortest possible time and get it ready for the following qualifying session. Göllner thanked them and finished eighth. The Speed Center duo blasted Veronika Cicha, who achieved her best qualifying result of the year with 9th place.
Flat curbs and a wide track promise a lot of overtaking possibilities for the afternoon. According to current weather forecasts, it should remain dry despite overcast.