After a turbulent race, Ingo Gerstl secured the double victory at the Red Bull Ring – great duels on the track ensured action – Schlegelmilch winner in the FORMULA class.
Just before the start it had started to drizzle slightly, but it remained dry for the start of the race. The start was spectacular, Marco Ghiotto (ITA, Scuderia Palladio) attacked at the start but had to leave the racetrack and lost positions. Phil Stratford (USA, Penn Elcom Racing) in the Benetton was worse off, he lost the car out of turn 1 and had to end his race. The same fate befell title contender Luca Martucci (ITA, MM International) after spinning between turns six and seven – this incident caused a safety car period.
At the restart, the leader, Ingo Gerstl (AUT, Top Speed), was able to keep his top position. Behind him, however, there was a lot going on: Ghiotto spun at the exit of the last corner but was able to get the GP2 Dallara going again on his own. Afterwards, he put in a fantastic recovery, which unfortunately was not rewarded. Already in 7th place, he was given a 30-second time penalty after overtaking under yellow. Simone Colombo (ITA, MM International) suffered the same fate.
Both had overtaken Andreas Fiedler (GER, Fiedler Racing) after the Jaguar had dropped out under yellow flag and never relinquished the position. Gerstl and Schlegelmilch (LVA, HS Engineering) dueled at the front, but the Latvian was never quite able to catch up in the comparatively slower WSbR car. In only his second BOSS GP race, the Latvian won the FORMULA class ahead of Fiedler and the excellent Walter Steding (GER, Scuderia Palladio). In the OPEN class, two places on the podium were vacant after the retirement of the Jaguar and the Benetton. These were snatched by Ulf Ehninger (GER, ESBA-Racing) in the second Benetton B197 and Anton Werner (GER, Ryschka Motorsport) in the IndyCar Dallara. Werner managed to make it onto the podium directly at the first race weekend. Behind Ghiotto, Michael Aberer (AUT, MA Motorsport) finished a strong fifth in his first race in 2021.
In the OPEN Class, Ingo Gerstl now leads ahead of Ulf Ehninger. In the FORMULA Class Marco Ghiotto continues to lead, now already 34 points ahead of Andreas Fiedler and another six points ahead of Simone Colombo. The next BOSS GP weekend will take place in Misano at the end of June. It will be the first appearance of Europe’s fastest racing series at the World Circuit Simoncelli.
Drying track confronted teams and drivers with difficult decisions in the first race of the weekend: Gerstl fights his way to victory, Ghiotto triumphs in the FORMULA class.
It stopped raining before the start of the race. The track dried out more and more. However, this confronted the teams with difficult challenges. Many places on the track were already dry, a few were still wet. The field was split in the tyre choice between Pirelli P-Zero (slick) and Cinturato (rain). Gerstl (AUT, Top Speed), like many of his competitors in the front, put on the slicks. A decision that turned out to be the right one. As there was no more rain, drivers with rain tyres were at a loss.
Gerstl was unable to pull away at the front, with Phil Stratford (USA, Penn Elcom Racing) and Marco Ghiotto (ITA, Scuderia Palladio) following the leader like a shadow. However, a real overtaking opportunity did not arise during the race. The sensation man from qualifying, Harald Schlegelmilch (LVA, HS Engineering), could not keep up the initial pace and dropped back to 4th overall.
Riccardo Ponzio (ITA, Adriatica Competition) in the Jaguar R3 was able to redeem himself after his spin in qualifying. He drove some of the fastest laps on the track and finished the race in 6th place overall and 3rd in the OPEN. At the front, Gerstl secured the win by six tenths ahead of returnee Stratford, who could get back on the podium after a year’s compulsory break. Ghiotto completed the podium and was also the clear winner in the FORMULA class. Schlegelmilch and Luca Martucci (ITA, MM International) were the other two to complete the podium.
There was another surprise for the pilots after the race: the overall championship victory ceremony from 2020 was held. For all pilots, it is now time to focus once again, as the second race of the weekend starts at 15:55 local time.
The clouds over the Red Bull Ring opened their floodgates on Saturday morning and provided an exciting qualifying session. Gerstl on pole position, Schlegelmilch fastest FORMULA driver at BOSS GP debut.
Saturday arrived and the expected weather worsened, which did not dampen the driving in qualifying. The BOSS GP drivers showed their class as 19 drivers out of the 20 entered went out on track in their Big Open Single Seaters even in these poor conditions — with four freshly fitted Pirelli Cinturato rain tyres, of course. Qualifying was not divided into Q1 and Q2 due to the rain, so there was only one 30-minute session in which all cars hit the track.
At the beginning Marco Ghiotto (ITA, Scuderia Palladlo) set top times and was able to take the lead. The lead did not last long, because the sensation of the qualifying, Harald Schlegelmilch (LVA, HS Engineering), promptly took over first place. The Latvian makes his debut in the BOSS GP this weekend and is involved right from the start. The former Formula 3 and Lamborghini Super Trofeo driver is piloting a World Series by Renault bolide of the Austrian team HS Engineering this weekend. Just as all the cars were on fast laps, Phil Stratford (USA, Penn Elcom Racing) in the Benetton B197 slid into the run-off area with a spin at the final corner. Stratford was able to resume driving after returning to the pits, but Andreas Fiedler (DEU, Fiedler Racing) and Riccardo Ponzio (ITA, Adriatica Competition) in the Jaguar suffered a different fate. They found the end of their qualifying in the gravel at the same time. Neither car was damaged, however, and nothing should stand in the way of a start in the race.
After the red flag had been waved, all available drivers went out on the track again. Ingo Gerstl (AUT, Top Speed) put his Toro Rosso STR1 on pole. Schlegelmilch and Ghiotto completed the top 3. Simone Colombo (ITA, MM International), who had already shown a good performance in the rain at the opening round in Mugello, also started the race from row 2. Florian Schnitzenbaumer (GER, Top Speed) and Walter Steding (GER, Scuderia Palladio) were surprisingly strong after a long break from racing, finishing 5th and 6th respectively. But now it is the race pace that counts, the first race starts today at 11:35 am local time.
The BOSS GP with pictures for the ages? Impressive show run with Formula 1 cars and IndyCars on Friday.
Usually, the Red Bull Ring is home to the Formula 1 World Championship and MotoGP, but this weekend the BOSS GP Racing Series is a guest in Styria. After the six-week break since the Season Opening in Mugello, the track time was used extensively on Austria’s most beautiful racetrack and enough kilometres were recorded — the weather also played along on this Friday. It stayed dry all day, so all the drivers were able to test their cars extensively. Especially for the first-time starters, every metre on the 4.3-kilometre track around the iconic bull counted. Among others, Anton Werner (GER, Ryschka) drove a Chip Ganassi IndyCar from the mid-2000s today.
At the start of the second practice session, there was a memorable moment in BOSS GP’s history: there was a phalanx of Big Open Single Seaters on track that had not been seen for a long time, with the two Benetton B197s, the Sauber C30, a Jaguar R3, two Toro Rosso STR1s, Vettel’s winning STR3 car and two Ryschka IndyCars. During this showrun, impressive footage of man and machine was captured by a camera team and will soon be shown on the BOSS GP social media channels.
In total 22 drivers set a time today. Ingo Gerstl (AUT, Top Speed) dominated both practice sessions in his 2006 Toro Rosso. Riccardo Ponzio (ITA, Adriatica Competiton) in the Jaguar R3 was second fastest in the combined times from the first and second practice session. Marco Ghiotto (ITA, Scuderia Palladio) was third fastest FORMULA driver today. Rounding up the top five were Simone Colombo and Luca Martucci (both ITA, MM International). These five have gained a bit of an advantage that way, they will have the track to themselves in Q1. Depending on the weather conditions, it will be decided tomorrow, Saturday, whether qualifying will start in two groups as usual or whether there will be a 30-minute session with all drivers. The chances of rain are increasing until tomorrow. In any case, there will be two races on Saturday (11:20 and 15:55).
Swift comeback of BOSS GP in Spielberg: After two years, Europe’s fastest racing series returns to Austria for its home race with a special highlight.
Several thousand horsepower will meet on the Formula 1 racetrack at the Red Bull Ring next Friday and Saturday. In a flawless programme, 24 Big Open Single Seaters – Formula 1, IndyCar, GP2, World Series by Renault and Formula 3000 – will make a stop in Styria. Sebastian Vettel’s winning car from 2008, the Toro Rosso STR3, a Jaguar R3, two Benetton B197s (including Gerhard Berger’s), a Sauber C30 from 2011 and finally, once again, an IndyCar will be a feast for the eyes and ears. With Ingo Gerstl (STR1-F1, Top Speed), Bianca Steiner (GP2, Steiner Motorsport), Christian Ferstl (F2, Top Speed), Thomas Jakoubek (GP2, Top Speed) and Michael Aberer (GP2, MA Motorsport) there are also five local drivers on the starting grid.
The STM waterjet race on 20 and 21 May 2021 is a 2-day event– on Friday there will be two practice sessions, on Saturday a qualifying in addition to both races. A special highlight is a separate show run for Formula 1 and IndyCars on Friday afternoon. The Formula 1 racetrack in the Alps replaces the Jim Clark Revival at the Hockenheimring, which was cancelled in May. The Red Bull Ring was last on the race calendar of the BOSS GP Racing Series in 2019. The race winners back then: Phil Stratford (USA, Penn Elcom Racing) and Ingo Gerstl (AUT, Top Speed). Many drivers and fans are happy about the return of the Big Open Single Seater to the Austrian iconic circuit. At the same time, the STM waterjet race at the Red Bull Ring is also the home race of the championship sanctioned by the Austrian Motorsport Federation. Other series on the agenda include the Drexler Formula Cup and the Suzuki Swift Cup Europe in addition to the GT race cars from the P9 Challenge. Unfortunately, no spectators are allowed on site, but they can follow the event via the BOSS GP social media channels.
Timetable STM waterjet Race Red Bull Ring:
Friday, 21. May 2021 11:00–11:30 Free Practice 1 15:20–15:35 Show Laps OPEN class 15:35–16:00 Free Practice 2