The first BOSS GP qualifying session in 2019 was a very exciting one in the FORMULA class. Ingo Gerstl in the Toro Rosso on pole position.
Update 1:34 p.m.: The fastest FORMULA pilot, Alessandro Bracalente, has to start from P12 in first race after a 10-grid-penalty. Bracalente was penalized by the race control for overlooking a flag signal.
At first the five best drivers of the Friday practice sessions went onto the track in the Top 5 Qualifying. Immediately after the traffic light switched to green, it started to rain slightly in the north curve, the hairpin bend and the Motodrom. But there was no bigger rain shower, so all drivers were able to continue on the Pirelli P Zero slick tyres.
Ingo Gerstl (AUT, Top Speed) set a not surprising best time in his Toro Rosso from 2007. With 1:22.505 min he was several seconds behind last year’s record due to the worse weather conditions.
The Italian Armando Mangini (MM International) was able to secure second place. His fellow countrymen Marco and Sergio Ghiotto (both ITA, Scuderia Palladio) did less well today than they did yesterday. Both spun, but were able to resume. While Marco Ghiotto, Monza winner 2018, finally had to be satisfied with 8th place, only 15th place remained for brother Sergio with a time of 1:40.5 min.
In the first half of the 20-minute session Salvatore de Plano (ITA, Top Speed) and Andreas Fiedler (DEU, Fiedler Racing) were fastest. They quickly pushed themselves in front of the fastest FORMULA driver from the Top 5 qualifying, Armando Mangini.
While De Plano decided not to go out for a second time, Fiedler went out for a second try, but stayed behind De Plano. The last attacks on the FORMULA best time came from Alessandro Bracalente (ITA, Speed Center) and Luca Martucci (ITA, MM International). Bracalente had already impressed yesterday when he set the best time in the 1st free practice. With 1:29.8 min he secured the class pole at his first BOSS GP appearance. De Plano and Fiedler will start from row 2, Phil Stratford (USA, Penn Elcom) and Luca Martucci from row 3, Mangini and Marco Ghiotto from row 4.
Best of the Inter Europol team was Philippe Haezebrouck (FRA). The former Le Mans driver finished ninth. Thomas Jakoubek (AUT, Top Speed) cracked the Top 10 shortly before the end. Gianluca Ripoli (ITA, MM International) starts from 11, Walter Steding (DEU, Inter Europol) from 12. ‘Piter’ (FRA, Ray-Ban) starts from 13th. After a Friday once without technical troubles we can still expect a lot for the races. With his World Series by Renault he classified this time in the OPEN class.
The race starts today at 16:10 local time. The first of two races is over a distance of 20 minutes.
Ingo Gerstl (Toro Rosso STR1) starts the races in Monza ahead of Rinus van Kalmthout (GP2 Dallara Judd) and Phil Stratford (Benetton B197). Best Italian: Marco Ghiotto (GP2 Dallara) in 4th place.
With 1:26.6 min the Austrian Ingo Gerstl (Top Speed) was over three seconds faster than the quickest time in qualifying 2016. The average speed in the fastest lap was over 240 kilometers per hour. The measured top speed was over 340 kph at the end of the start-finish straight. Gerstl in his Toro Rosso STR1 is by far the favourite for the race victory in the afternoon race (start: 4:40 pm).
Phil Stratford (Penn Elcom Racing), who started in qualifying session 1, only set one lap, and this at the end of the session, which was only eight minutes long. Rinus van Kalmthout, who did not start until Q2, snatched the American just before the end of the session from the front row. The 17-year-old Dutchman in the GP2-Dallara with Judd engine was faster than Stratford, especially in the first sector. The time gap of only two tenths of a second means that Mansell Motorsport’s team-mates can expect a hot race.
f.l. Ingo Gerstl, Marco Ghiotto
With an outside temperature of almost 30 degrees centigrade already in the morning hours, the Italian Marco Ghiotto felt very comfortable. In front of many friends and guests he qualified as the best FORMULA pilot. With rank 4 he is also one place ahead of Wolfgang Jaksch (F Xtreme Racing). The Super Aguri of the German was repaired yesterday after the practice accident (damage to the front suspension and front wing). With 1:36.3 min he set his personal best time this weekend.
Florian Schnitzenbaumer (Top Speed) provided the only Full Course Yellow. The German stopped beside the track after a driving mistake. He was fourth fastest FORMULA driver behind Ghiotto, Armando Mangini and David Moretti. He was closely followed by Andreas Fiedler (Fiedler Racing), who lost only three tenths to the points leader in his green Dallara. Walter Steding did well at his fourth appearance in Monza. He finished 10th, ahead of BOSS GP returner Wolfgang Jordan, Karl-Heinz Becker and Veronica Cicha. Christian Eicke (Speed Center) complained about the interruptions in practice yesterday, in qualifying he could complete at least 11 (and thus most) laps. With 1:42.7 min he is close to the midfield. The Frenchman “Piter” (Ray-Ban), who also had his best time of the weekend in qualifying, showed a significant improvement.
f.l. Veronica Cicha, David Moretti
Hans Laub‘s Forti stayed in the pits today, the German from Speed Center assists Christian Eicke as a mechanic for the rest of the weekend. We will see the popular Formula 1 racing car again in Hockenheim. Thomas Jakoubek is also thinking about Hockenheim. The Top Speed driver had injured his ribs during an race kart event just before the weekend and is resting for the highlight of the season.