Tag: Formula 1

Report: Hockenheim Qualifying

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.

Bianca Steiner in her GP2 car

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

Pictures: Angelo Poletto/BOSS GP

Formula 1 ”just for fun”

Ulf Ehninger from Tübingen in Germany surprisingly won the BOSS GP OPEN class title in 2021. We spoke to the defending champion ahead of the season opener in Hockenheim (6-8 May 2022) to discuss the speciality of running a classic Formula 1 car.

Let’s look back to 2021: What are the strongest memories of your masterpiece?

ULF EHNINGER: “Probably that we made it at all! We didn’t even realise it until Monza. It was only when Thomas Hummer from Pirelli told me at the podium ceremony that we had a chance that we started thinking about it. Before that, we wanted to be completely relaxed about it – it was just for fun. I learned that if I take the pressure off, it works better. Ingo Gerstl helped me to understand the set-up of the car. I didn’t feel comfortable in the car for a long time, now I feel the car and its limits much better.”

Was verbindet dich mit dem Benetton B197?

EHNINGER: “The car is great, I often stand languishing in front of it. Actually, the car is much too beautiful to drive. You should know, that it’s probably also the Formula 1 car with the most kilometres worldwide!”

What do you need to be able to do to drive a car like that?

EHNINGER: “James Hunt once said, ‘big balls’. Before I get into a car like this, I have quite a mental dilemma When you sit in it, however, it’s gone. But it’s still a huge challenge to drive it. After the first free practice session I’m completely blown away – and confronted with a lot of impressions – that takes a lot of effort. Gerstl pulls the trigger, I have to feel my way. Engineer Dario Pergolini helped me a lot with his analysis tools. I can’t even describe the feeling of driving such a racing car. Acceleration is the quickest thing to get used to, but I’ll never get used to the cornering speeds.”

How did it come about in the first place? You don’t buy a Formula 1 car in a supermarket …

EHNINGER: “I drove endurance races for a long time. But my dream was always to drive a Formula 1 racing car, which I wanted to do for my 50th birthday. The fact that I now own and drive one myself and have already driven almost 3,000 kilometres in it – that’s a dream come true. I drove a sports car in the Jim Clark Revival at the Hockenheimring in 2018. We broke the drive shaft. After the repair, we walked through the paddock late at night. As we passed Phil Stratford’s pits, a sticker said ‘Sale’. Rather jokingly, we then called the number and ended up with Kevin Mansell and Phil Stratford, who informed us about the car the very next day. It then took some time, as the car was in the USA, until we could get started. But our goal has always been to run the car ourselves and not have another team look after it.”

That sounds good, but not easy.

EHNINGER: “I do most of the work myself and also drive the truck. The search for parts can be very tiring, it can take three months to find something. In winter, everything is checked – every sealing ring, the entire chassis for possible damage and so on. The spare parts have to be rebuilt. We are currently working on a solution to increase the short running times of the gearbox. After the race at the Red Bull Ring (3-5 June 2022, note), the engine will then come in for an overhaul.”

Why can’t you get enough of it anyway?

EHNINGER: “I think it’s nice to spend a race weekend together with others. I have been super well welcomed into the BOSS GP. It was always said that only the rich ‘snobs’ race there – but it wasn’t like that. So we enjoy spending a weekend like this as a community rather than attending track days somewhere anonymously. Last year the Italians invited us for dinner, and even though we didn’t know Italian and they didn’t know German, we had a delicious evening of conversation.”

Your team ESBA Racing originally comes from endurance racing, how are you set up?

EHNINGER: “As you rightly say, ESBA already existed before the Benetton, roughly since 2016. We had already bought a truck for it, which we still use today to spend the night at the race tracks. Jochen, with whom I’ve been friends for over 30 years, has been with me from the beginning. When I’m driving, he’s with me. When he rides, I’m with him. I met Jens through a friend. He has become a valuable team member and is now also involved with Glickenhaus. He’s passionate about Benetton, and without him it wouldn’t work at all. Then there is Dario, who has brought professionalism to the team.

Can you briefly summarise your racing career so far?

EHNINGER: “Career is perhaps a little overstated (laughs). More than 20 years ago, I really wanted to race on the Nordschleife. Together with friends we built a BMW E36 M3 – without much time or money. Later I also drove an Audi and a Porsche – even the 24 Hours of the Nürburgring twice. The Nordschleife is certainly the greatest track there is.

What I like about the BOSS GP Racing Series is the way the people tick, that you can have fun together and that politics is in the background. With Pirelli, we have a strong partner and are certainly on the right track. I wish, more being done for young talent.”

What are your plans for the new season?

EHNINGER: “In addition to a few races in the BOSS GP, I will also try to drive another historic race car a few times, namely a V8 Star bolide (German silhouette series from the early 2000s, note) – the original Hasseröder car from Harald Grohs.”

Photos: Angelo Poletto/BOSS GP

First look at 2022

Seven race events on the calendar for the BOSS GP Racing Series in 2022. Among them the return to France.

The 28th season of the only true Big Open single seater series will start at the beginning of May and not end until November 2022, which should ensure a largely trouble-free season even under the circumstances of the COVID pandemic. The provisional race calendar includes only Formula 1 and MotoGP level circuits. This guarantees a modern infrastructure and high safety standards.

The first two of 14 races in 2022 will take place at the Jim Clark Revival at the Hockenheimring on 6, 7 and 8 May. This is followed by the home race of the Austrian-registered racing series at the Red Bull Ring on 4 and 5 June. One of the season highlights is the return to “Paul Ricard” for the French Historic Grand Prix (17-19 June).

Start of race 2 at Paul Ricard 2017.
Memories: BOSS GP 2017 in Le Castellet

Another race is listed for July, but confirmation is still pending. This race is intended as a replacement for the 2021 event at the Nürburgring, which had been cancelled due to the flood disaster in the nearby Ahr Valley.

From 9 to 11 September, the BOSS GP Racing Series will once again run as the main act at the Masaryk Racing Days in Brno. The season ends with an Italian double: first at “Forza Fanatec” in Mugello from14-16 October, then at Misano (4-6 November) for the “Pirelli Grande Finale”.

More news about the 2022 season coming soon on www.bossgp.com and on our social media channels Facebook and Instagram.

Pictures: Michael Jurtin/BOSS GP, Michael Kavena/BOSS GP

Report Race 1 Spielberg

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.

Award Giving Ceremony for the 2020 season: f.l. Ehninger, Martucci, Ghiotto, Gerstl, Steding and Ponzio

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.

Photos: Angelo Poletto/BOSS GP

Here we go!

Our preview for the BOSS GP Season Opening 2021 at Mugello Circuit on April 9, 10 and 11.

The BOSS GP Racing Series makes it possible: The upcoming weekend will mark the start of the new season for teams and drivers with their Formula 1, Formula 2, Formula 3000 and Auto GP bolides. At the season opening of Europe’s fastest racing series, one of the most beautiful racetracks in the world awaits the youngsters and gentlemen of BOSS GP. The 5.245-kilometre track in Mugello (built in 1974) is owned by Ferrari and traditionally hosts the World Motorcycle Championship. Last year, the circuit in Tuscany also hosted a Formula 1 race for the first time. The sequences of curves are usually smooth and fast, the topography hilly – all in all an absolute favourite track for many race drivers.

After a few years of abstinence, Mugello was added back into the Big Open Single Seater race calendar last year. The Cuvee Sensorium Grand Prix became the season finale in October 2020. The first race was dominated by the duel for the FORMULA championship title between Luca Martucci (ITA, MM International) and Marco Ghiotto (ITA, Scuderia Palladio). Although Martucci won his first BOSS GP race, second place was enough for Ghiotto to defend his title. In rainy conditions again, a lot of courage and skill was demanded of the drivers in race 2. Both were combined by Andreas Fiedler (GER, Fiedler Racing), who added a surprising overall victory to a rather disappointing season.

The fact that the BOSS GP Racing Series can start the season as originally planned is also thanks to the race organiser Gruppo Peroni, who is hosting the event at Mugello. The support line-up of BOSS GP includes the one-make trophies Lotus Cup Italia, the Mitjet Italia Racing Series as well as sports prototypes, historic race cars and Porsche regularity classes. Due to the pandemic situation, the paddock and grandstands are not open to fans. BOSS GP hopes to welcome spectators back in our paddock soon.

Timetable BOSS GP Season Opening Mugello:

Friday, 9 April 2021
10:35–11:05          Free Practice 1
14:10–14:40          Free Practice 2

Saturday, 10 April 2021
10:05–10:35          Qualification (8+20 minutes)
15:55–16:15          Race 1 (20 minutes)

Sunday, 11 April 2021
10:00–10:10          Warm-up
14:30–14:55          Race 2 (25 minutes)

The starting list BOSS GP Season Opening Mugello 2021:

Armando Mangini (ITA)MM InternationalDallara GP2
Luca Martucci (ITA)MM InternationalDallara GP2
Simone Colombo (ITA)MM InternationalDallara GP2
Salvatore De Plano (ITA)MM InternationalLola Auto GP
Ingo Gerstl (AUT)Top SpeedToro Rosso STR1 F1
to be announcedTop SpeedDallara GP2
Marco Ghiotto (ITA)Scuderia PalladioDallara GP2
Walter Steding (GER)Scuderia PalladioDallara GP2
Nicolas Matile (MCO)Zig-ZagLola Auto GP
Marc Faggionato (MCO)Zig-ZagDallara GP2
Giulio Tine (ITA)ColacinoLola T96 50
Walter Colacino (ITA)ColacinoLola T96 50
Ulf Ehninger (GER)ESBA RacingBenetton B197 F1
Andreas Fiedler (GER)Fiedler RacingDallara GP2
Bruno Jarach (EST)Esti MotorsportDallara GP2
Alexander Seibold (GER)Alexander SeiboldDallara GP2
Gianluca De Lorenzi (SMR)GDL RacingLola Auto GP

Report Race 1 Mugello

FORMULA: Martucci beats Ghiotto, Gerstl ahead of Ehninger in the OPEN class

The BOSS GP drivers have a lot to tell after this race. Of all things, it started to rain at the start of the warm-up lap on the 5.4-kilometre-long Mugello Circuit. To ensure a safe start to the race and to give the teams time to change to rain tyres, the race was stopped once again and started a few minutes later behind the Fanatec Safety Car. But not everyone switched from slicks to the Pirelli Cinturato rain tyres during the break. Nicolas Matile (MCO, Zig-Zag), Salvatore de Plano (ITA, Coloni) and Bruno Jarach (EST, Eesti Motorsport) took the risk, but their tyre choice turned out to be a mistake as soon as the race was started. At various points around the track it began to rain more heavily again. The changing conditions subsequently made it incredibly difficult for the drivers to find the right pace. But the BOSS GP drivers did an outstanding job and managed to keep their powerful Formula 1, Formula 2 and Auto GP cars on track.

Behind the Austrian Ingo Gerstl (winner of the OPEN class) in the Toro Rosso F1, Luca Martucci (ITA, MM International) and Marco Ghiotto (ITA, Scuderia Palladio) fought an epic battle for the victory in the FORMULA class. In lap 1 Ghiotto first passed Martucci. At mid-race, the action came to a head: After a few tentative attempts, Martucci made the decisive manoeuvre at over 300 km/h on the start-finish straight. Nearly there was contact. But the duel was not over yet, because now Luca had to be up front in difficult track conditions. Marco followed only a few metres behind and tried to pass Martucci once again. To show how close it was between Martucci and Ghiotto: The best lap time of the two was only 0.003 seconds separated (in favour of Ghiotto). But it was no longer enough for the championship leader, instead Martucci’s team had reason to cheer this time. It was the first victory ever for the tall Italian in the BOSS GP Racing Series, and what a victory that was!

Marc Faggionato (MCO, Zig-Zag) was able to follow the two Italians in their home race for a couple of laps. He finished in a strong third place. Andreas Fiedler (GER, Fiedler Racing) also delivered a surprisingly good race. The third in the championship in 2019 has bought a new Dallara GP2 and is using this season’s races as a test. Because his team had no rain tyres at hand, the German had to drive to his tent in the paddock and then start from pit lane. Relatively quickly he moved up to fifth place in his class, but the gap to the front was already large. Until the halfway point of the race, Walter Steding (GER, Scuderia Palladio) was on a good way to a fourth-place finish. But Steding lost ground in the second half of the race, and his position to compatriot Fiedler.

Armando Mangini (ITA, MM International) also drove impeccably, finishing sixth in his class behind Steding. Last year Mangini had announced his retirement. Today he proved that this was probably premature. Probably the hardest race had Salvatore de Plano (ITA, Coloni). He was the only one who stayed on dry tyres until the end of the race and therefore had no chance. It is probably only thanks to his driving qualities that he was able to finish the race safely.

A ten-minute warm-up will be held tomorrow morning from 10.20 a.m. The second race of the weekend start 14.30. Rain showers are predicted.

Photo: Roberto Piccinini/Actualfoto

Preview & Timetable Mugello

The championship continues this weekend in Tuscany.

The Mugello Circuit is the venue for the season’s races 7 and 8 of the 2020 BOSS GP Racing Series The speedy track with its’ long curves and challenging up-and-downhill sections belongs to Ferrari and has been part of the BOSS GP tour schedule for the first time since 2014. Many drivers, especially the well-represented Italian faction, are happy about this. A few weeks ago, for the first time ever, Formula 1 also made a guest appearance in Mugello.

The BOSS GP race was originally planned as a season opener in March, but the restrictions in the first half of the year made a postponement necessary. The race will be held on 9, 10 and 11 October as part of the race package organised by Peroni. Support classes are various Italian GT and touring car series.

For the BOSS GP drivers, two free practice sessions are on the schedule on Friday, followed by qualifying and race 1 on Saturday, an additional warm-up and the second race on Sunday. The latest results and live timing can be followed via https://mugellocircuit.com/it/live-timing. Regular updates are available on our social media channels Instagram @bossgpofficial and Facebook @officialbossgp

Timetable BOSS GP Mugello 2020

Friday, 9 October 2020
10.30–11.00 Free Practice 1
14.05–14.35 Free Practice 2

Saturday, 10 October 2020
10.35–11.05 Qualifying
15.35–15.55 Race 1 (20 minutes)

Sunday, 11 October 2020
10.20–10.30 Warm-up
14.30–14.55 Race 2 (25 minutes)

Photo: Dirk Hartung

BOSS GP goes to Spa

Europe’s fastest racing series will be driving together with the DTM in Belgium on 1-2 August.

With the famous corners of Eau Rouge, Blanchimont and Stavelot, the participants can expect an unforgettable experience in a formula racing car. For the first time since 2011, the legendary circuit of Spa-Francorchamps will become part of the BOSS GP race calendar once again. The second race weekend in the Belgian Ardennes will take place on 1 and 2 August together with German touring cars. The event will last two days, as usual with two BOSS GP races in the program.

According to current information, no spectators are planned. However, in cooperation with the DTM, BOSS GP will provide a free live stream for its international fans.

Six races spread over four months and in four different countries, all on current or former Formula 1 or MotoGP racetracks. Despite the difficult circumstances this year, the BOSS GP Racing Series is able to present a very attractive racing calendar to its participants and fans.

  • 11/12 July Imola (Italy) Forza Fanatec
  • 1/2 August Spa (Belgium) DTM
  • 4–6 September Brno (Czech Republic) Masaryk Racing Days
  • 26/27 September Assen (Netherlands) Cuvee Sensorium Grand Prix
  • 9–11 October Mugello (Italy) BOSS Mugello Grand Prix
  • 23–25 October Imola (Italy) Pirelli Grande Finale

Season starts in July

Luca Martucci in his GP2 drives down the pit lane

First BOSS GP races will be held in Imola on 11 and 12 July.

The event and travel restrictions have also affected the BOSS GP Racing Calendar in 2020. Nevertheless, there is good news: The championship can start in just a few weeks. The first two races will already be held on the weekend of 11 and 12 July at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari. This makes the BOSS GP races “Forza Fanatec” in Imola the first major motor sport event in Italy after the Coronavirus crisis. By the way, the season finale in October will also take place on the former Formula 1 racetrack in Imola.

The event is hosted by the experienced organizers of Gruppo Peroni. The event will last two days, and there will also be several support races. Whether spectators will be allowed has not yet been decided. Further details will be published on www.bossgp.com in the next few days.

  • 11/12 July Imola (Italy) Forza Fanatec
  • 4–6 September Brno (Czech Republic) Masaryk Racing Days
  • 25–27 September Assen (Netherlands) Cuvee Sensorium Grand Prix
  • 9–11 October Mugello (Italy) BOSS Mugello Grand Prix
  • 23–25 October Imola (Italy) Pirelli Grande Finale

In addition, the organizers of BOSS GP are currently making intensive efforts to hold another race on a well-known Formula 1 racetrack in August. This would ensure the originally planned twelve races on six race weekends in this year’s BOSS GP Racing Series calendar.

New date for Assen

A GP2 car drives into the pit lane in Assen

The Gamma Racing Days with the Cuvee Sensorium BOSS Grand Prix have been moved to September.

The BOSS GP event in the Netherlands will now take place from 25 to 27 September instead of August. Due to the extensive regulations to control the spread of the corona virus, the organizers were forced to react and move the popular event to fall. Already purchased paddock tickets and VIP tickets remain valid.

Current developments regarding a possible start of the season will be published as soon as possible on www.bossgp.com.