Pole position for Gerstl in the Toro Rosso STR1. FORMULA: Colombo finishes slightly ahead of Faggionato. O’Connell in front in his comeback in the SUPER LIGHTS class.
Thousands of spectators crowded into the Motodrom early in the morning. The Hockenheim Historic is expecting a record number of spectators on Saturday. The qualifying of the BOSS GP Racing Series at the Hockenheimring took place early this morning in perfect spring weather. The best grid positions for the two races were determined.
In the BOSS GP F1 Class there was no surprise: Ingo Gerstl (AUT, Top Speed) took pole position for the second time this year in his 2006 Toro Rosso Formula 1, with a lap time of 1:21.140 min, just slightly behind his pole time from last year. He will be joined on the front row of the grid in both races by German Ulf Ehninger (ESBA Racing) in the Benetton B197.
19 years after his last appearance at Hockenheim, Antonio Pizzonia (BRA, HS Engineering) is back at Hockenheim. The ex-Formula 1 driver will start for the second time this weekend in HS Engineering’s modified World Series Dallara. The Brazilian will be back in the hunt for the Formula 1 cars in his OPEN class race car.
The FORMULA class had never been so close in qualifying. The top 5 were separated by less than one and a half seconds on the fastest lap. The Italian MM International team celebrated a row one “lockout”: Simone Colombo (ITA) beat Marc Faggionato (MCO) by one tenth of a second. Marco Ghiotto (ITA, Scuderia Palladio) follows in 3rd place, who has his usual more difficult time at the Hockenheimring. “Checco” Malavasi (ITA, Scuderia Palladio) and Florian Schnitzenbaumer (GER, Top Speed) also expect to have a chance of a podium finish. The latter, on his return after a break of several years, is to be found at the front of the field right away and was able to set a good lap time despite an aborted second attempt. Alexander Seibold (GER, Seibold Auto + Sport) also had a fantastic qualifying session in his first BOSS GP race in 2023. The German will start from 7th in class in an eye-catching design combination with a homage to Valentino Rossi and Jo Siffert.
In the SUPER LIGHTS, after the solo of Henry Clausnitzer (GER, WF Racing) last time in France, there is a lot going on this time. An outstanding best time was set by Paul O’Connell (IRE, HS Engineering), who is driving an older Dallara with a eight-cylinder engine this year. With a best time of 1:32.368 min he qualified in the middle of the field of GP2 cars. The two newcomers Jody Stadelmann (SUI) in a G-Force-Mugen from Japan and Stefan Eisinger-Sewald (AUT, Red Rose Racing) follow in 2nd and 3rd place on the grid.
The start times are 14:40 on Saturday and 14:05 on Sunday. Both races will be livestreamed.
Already on Saturday morning, the grandstands in the Motodrom were well attended and the open paddock at the Bosch Hockenheim Historic was crowded. Early birds were rewarded with V10 and V8 sounds from the BOSS GP.
Ingo Gerstl (AUT, Top Speed), the BOSS GP champion from 2008, 2016 to 2020, took the first pole position of the year. Unsurprisingly, the man from Salzburg set the superior fastest time in this season’s first qualifying session with 1:21.093 in his Toro Rosso STR1. BOSS GP rookie Zdenek Chovanec-Lopez (CZE, MM International) will start the race alongside him. The 17-year-old with Formula 3 experience was thus the fastest driver in the FORMULA classification. Behind him, his teammate Simone Colombo (ITA, MM International), last year’s FORMULA runner-up, will start the race. Fourth place was taken by Phil Stratford (USA, Penn Elcom) in the 1997 Formula 1 Benetton, who despite a small spin at the start of qualifying managed to finish well ahead.
Due to his high demands, three-time BOSS GP champion Marco Ghiotto (ITA, Scuderia Palladio) in the original GP2 car of Charles Leclerc was somehow disappointed with his 5th place. The Italian already complained yesterday about not coping well with the medium-fast track. Behind him Michael Aberer (AUT, MA Motorsport) will start into race one. Despite two spins, he was able to keep improving until the end of the session and move up to sixth place.
Ulf Ehninger (GER, ESBA Racing) and Paul O’Connell (IRE, HS Engineering) will start the race from row 4. Luca Martucci (ITA, MM International) will only start from grid position nine due to a penalty, Bianca Steiner (AUT, Steiner Motorsport) will start from 10th after little practice time on Friday.
The 17-strong grid will be chased this afternoon by Harald Schlegelmilch (LVA, HS Engineering). After very good practice times, former BOSS GP race winner will only start the race from second-last place on the grid. Already in the outlap the drive shaft broke on the modified World Series by Renault bolide. However, the Austrian team will be able to repair the car before the race start (3:30 p.m. CET). Hopefully, local hero Andreas Fiedler will also be able to do the same, as he and his team will try to fix the temperature problems on his bilious green GP2 car.
The first of two races this weekend will be over a distance of 20 laps. Please remind, that the OPEN class drivers will already see the checkered flag after 15 minutes. BOSS GP’s race 1, like the other races at the Jim Clark Revival at the Hockenheimring, can be followed via livestream from 3:20 p.m. CET today: www.hockenheim-historic.de/en/live