The BOSS GP Racing Series was the highlight of the first race day at the Red Bull Ring Classics 2023, with Gerstl and Pizzonia taking the next wins, Colombo claiming FORMULA victory and a maiden win for Eisinger-Sewald on home soil.
In front of a huge crowd and in the best spring weather, the world’s fastest single-seater cars put on a great show in Spielberg. In the first half of Saturday’s 20-minute race, Ingo Gerstl (AUT, Top Speed) in the Toro Rosso F1, Ulf Ehninger (GER, ESBA Racing) in the Benetton F1 and Antonio Pizzonia (BRA, HS Engineering) in the modified World Series Dallara stayed close together. Pizzonia quickly passed Ehninger and made his way towards Gerstl. The latter played along and the two experienced drivers swapped positions. Pizzonia led the field after a safety car interruption, but Gerstl shifted up a gear and took the lead again with lap times under 1 minute and 15 seconds, winning for the fifth time this year. While Antonio Pizzonia secured the full points in the OPEN class, Ulf Ehninger took second place in the Formula 1 cars. Second place in the OPEN class went to Paul O’Connell (IRE, HS Engineering), who missed out on a much better overall finish with a flat spot on one of the front tyres.
The top positions in the FORMULA class were again closely contested: Even though Marco Ghiotto (ITA, Scuderia Palladio) and Fabian Vettel (GER, Top Speed) made several attempts to challenge Simone Colombo (ITA, MM International) for the win, Colombo remained patient while overlapping slower cars and won again just ahead of Ghiotto. Fabian Vettel was able to separate the Italian duo in the middle of the race, but after the safety car phase Ghiotto was able to pick up the pace faster and overtook the German again. Vettel, however, was extremely satisfied with third place on his debut in a Formula racing car.
Alexander Geier (AUT, Geier Racing) also had a stunning FORMULA debut. The young Austrian managed the second-best lap time in the class with his Dallara GP2, finishing fourth in the classification behind Vettel. Andreas Fiedler (GER, Fiedler Racing) followed in 5th place, Thomas Jackermeier (GER, Top Speed) in 6th. Seventh placed “Checco” Malavasi (ITA, Scuderia Palladio) lost a better position shortly before the end with a spin. Marco Minelli (ITA, AM Sport System) was also unlucky on his debut. He spun at the end of the second lap at the last corner and had to retire from the race early on.
Austrian Stefan Eisinger-Sewald (Red Rose Racing) drove to a home victory in the SUPER LIGHTS class. After a problem with the gearshift linkage in qualifying, the Formula 3000 car of the BOSS GP rookie ran flawlessly. He thus prevailed over the German Henry Clausnitzer (WF Racing) at his second race weekend in the BOSS GP Racing Series.
The second race starts on Sunday at 10:40a.m. local time.
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.
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