Surprise in qualifying at the Red Bull Ring: Stratford and Bracalente in row 1.
Phil Stratford (USA, Penn Elcom Racing) took pole position in both BOSS GP races at the Pirelli Masters 2019, putting a BOSS GP crowd favourite at the front of the field: Stratford’s Benetton B197 is a real eye-catcher. Since last year, the car also has the signature of his ex-pilot Gerhard Berger on it’s painting. For Stratford, the pole position is his first in the BOSS GP. It’s also a conciliatory result, as last year he was unable to compete in the season finale on this circuit due to a gearbox failure.
With a fabulous time of 1:17.332 min Alessandro Bracalente (ITA, Speed Center) fought his way into the front row. This also makes the BOSS GP rookie the fastest pilot in the FORMULA class.
Florian Schnitzenbaumer (DEU, Top Speed) and Marco Ghiotto (ITA, Scuderia Palladio) will start from row 2. Ghiotto was fastest in the second qualifying group. Little by little he improved his times, at the end he set the very good time of 1:19.158. Similarly well managed Armando Mangini (ITA, MM International) his Pirelli P Zero tyres. The experienced Italian also drove his fastest time at the very end of the 20-minute session and starts alongside Andreas Fiedler (DEU, Fiedler Racing). Yesterday Fiedler complained about problems in the first of the two left corners at the Red Bull Ring. But with 5th place in qualifying the championship leader will be able to have a serious say about the victory
Sergio Ghiotto (Scuderia Palladio), Luca Martucci (MM International), Gianluca Ripoli (MM International) complete the Italian package in places 7 to 10.
Salvatore de Plano had to change to the spare car this morning. Instead of his yellow-red GP2 Dallara he drives the rest of the weekend with a black-and-red car. Although he only completed seven laps, de Plano was able to finish in the top 10.
Philippe Haezebrouck finished eleventh, beating Inter Europol team mate Walter Steding by a narrow two-tenths of a second.
Thomas Jakoubek (AUT, Top Speed) is starting the race in 13th place. Ulf Ehninger (DEU, ESBA Racing) in the second 1997-Benetton starts the hunt in 14th place. Ehninger was able to rewind 14 laps without any problems and collected valuable kilometres for him in a Formula 1 racing car he was not used to yet.
The Swiss Speed Center drivers Peter Göllner and Christian Eicke start from 15 and 16.
Ingo Gerstl (AUT, Top Speed) had to move to the second qualifying group after an engine change. With only two laps, OPEN leader Gerstl didn’t set a qualifying time. Gerstl will start from the very last position in the race as it looks.
Race 1 will take place today, Friday: Start is at 15:30. Race 2 follows tomorrow at 15:45 o’clock, before there will be a warm-up at 10.