Ingo Gerstl had an almost perfect qualifying session to mark the highlight of the BOSS GP year. Bernd Herndlhofer starts as best of the FORMULA class.
With an outside temperature of 20 degrees and a track temperature of 25 degrees, the eyes were initially directed towards the sky. It started raining again and again in the morning, but for the qualifying of the BOSS GP it remained dry to the delight of most drivers – the Pirelli rain tyres could thus remain on the wheel wagons.
Defending champion Ingo Gerstl (Top Speed) will lead the field into the first of two races at the flying start this evening. With 1:20.939 min he missed the 1:20 mark, but none of Gerstl’s opponents could displace the Toro Rosso STR 1 from first place. Phil Stratford (Penn Elcom Racing) starts from position 2 on the grid. Stratford once locked brakes into the Sachs corner and the Benetton then rolled through the gravel. However, he managed to get back onto the tarmac.
Johann Ledermair, who jumped in yesterday at last minute, has decided not to start today after finishing first in free practice yesterday. Regular driver Thomas Jakoubek will start for Top Speed this afternoon. Bernd Herndlhofer (Top Speed) therefore had one less opponent, with 1:29.382 he was the fastest GP2 driver in his class.
The closest to the Austrian was Monza winner Armando Mangini. The Italian was at the start in Q2, and thus had more time at his side, which the old fox also used until the last second. The experienced pilot and team owner increased steadily, and set the second fastest time in the FORMULA classification with 1:30.0 at the end of the 18 minutes, he starts the 20-minute race at 6.00 pm from second row.
Luca Martucci (MM International) followed his team mate Mangini on his fastest laps around the track. He started from grid position 5, and together with the fastest lady Bianca Steiner from row 3. Steiner could also increase from medium 1:30 laps to 1:30.783, with that she was in the end only 6 hundredths behind Martucci. All drivers in the longer Q2 benefited from an uninterrupted session.
Roy Glaser (Speed Center) in the black-neon-yellow car was also quickly on the way, with rank 7 the Swiss Speed Center pilot is certainly satisfied. The Swiss could be aiming for the podium in the races.
Wolfgang Jaksch (F Xtreme Racing) was allowed to compete in Q1 due to the withdrawal of Ledermair, but with rank 8 he is not where the German could stand. It was certainly unpleasant for Jaksch that his radio cable detached itself from the helmet during the session. His girlfriend Veronika Cichá was also angry: the Czech lost a wheel hub in her outlap and had to give up early.
Florian Schnitzenbaumer (Top Speed) will not be satisfied either: The leader of the FORMULA standings only starts from 11th overall, but could not use the few laps in Q1 as he had hoped.
Christian Eicke and Peter Göllner (both Speed Centers) put their cars in the top 10, which is quite a surprise.
Karl-Heinz Becker (Becker Motorsport) and Gianluca Ripoli (MM International) did a pirouette in the hairpin bend almost simultaneously, but both were able to continue immediately. Becker and his accident opponent from yesterday Walter Steding were on a time chase for a long time in parallel flight – Becker finished 13th behind Wolfgang Jordan, Steding 15th.
Race 1 of 2 on this fourth race weekend of the BOSS GP year starts at 18:00.
Photo: Daniel Glaser