Schlegelmilch takes pole position in the wet. Colombo with best starting position in FORMULA class and big surprise by Alexander Geier.
Harald Schlegelmilch (LVA, HS Engineering) secured the best starting position for the Pirelli Grande Finale in qualifying on Saturday morning. In damp conditions, the OPEN class driver was in a class of his own in his tuned World Series car. In the absence of the BOSS GP F1 Class, he set by far the fastest lap time of the final BOSS GP qualifying session of the year with 1:35.159.
With second place overall in qualifying, Simone Colombo (ITA, MM International) took an important step towards the FORMULA class title. Although his main rival, Marco Ghiotto (ITA, Scuderia Palladio), came close to him towards the end of the half-hour session, Colombo defended himself with another improvement of his lap time.
Alexander Geier (AUT, Geier Racing) caused a sensation. The six-cylinder driver from the SUPER LIGHTS class qualified in fourth place overall and thus topped his previous best performance by far. With dry conditions forecast, can he defend himself against the armada of GP2 cars in the race?
Geier’s compatriot Michael Aberer (MA Motorsport) will start the race from row 3 together with Luca Martucci (ITA, MM International). Giancarlo Pedetti (ITA, Nannini Racing) and Paul O’Connell (IRE, HS Engineering) will start from row 4. As a rain specialist, O’Connell had expected a lot in the wet conditions. But the Irishman lost valuable track time after a spin and was only able to return to qualifying late in the session.
The eleventh race of the season with a distance of 20 minutes starts today at 14:35.
Pole position for Ingo Gerstl at the “Forza Fanatec” in Mugello. Ghiotto holds his own against FORMULA leader Colombo and Andreas Hasler is fastest in the SUPER LIGHTS.
Ingo Gerstl (AUT, Top Speed) confirmed his role as favourite with the best time in qualifying. With a lap time of 1:26.747, the driver of a Toro Rosso STR1 secured pole position for the two race rounds in Mugello. Gerstl will be followed at the start by OPEN driver Harald Schlegelmilch (LVA, HS Engineering) in the World Series car with 4.5 litres capacity (instead of 3.5). Thomas Jackermeier (GER, Top Speed) will start from row 2. Jackermeier is competing for the first time in a Formula 1 car at Mugello and is doing excellently so far. Will he be able to step up a gear in the race and follow Gerstl?
Marco Ghiotto (ITA, Scuderia Palladio) secured the best starting position in the highly competitive FORMULA classification. The two-time BOSS GP champion started in qualifying section 2 after a cautious Friday practice run and it took him a few laps to get past team-mate Francesco Malavasi (ITA) on the timings and then championship leader Simone Colombo (ITA, MM International). With a fantastic time of 1:35.035, Ghiotto qualified almost nine tenths of a second ahead of Colombo, who lost time especially in the first sector. Filling the starting row behind are BOSS GP rookie Francesco Malavasi and Luca Martucci (ITA, MM International), who is a candidate for the podium with a good qualifying performance on one of his favourite tracks. Team-mate Salvatore de Plano (ITA) follows behind.
With Joey Foster (GBR, HS Engineering) withdrawing from the event, the only World Series by Renault 3.5-litre pilot Paul O’Connell qualified sixth in class. Best from the Zig-Zag squad was Nicolas Matile (MCO) in the Auto GP Lola in eighth in class, just ahead of teammate Jean Christophe Peyre (FRA). Team leader Marc Faggionato (MCO) was unable to take part in practice after spinning and will therefore have a race to catch up.
In the SUPER LIGHTS category, rookie Alexander Geier (AUT, Geier Racing) only familiarised himself with the track today after still being in school yesterday. Geier’s Tatuus World Series V6, however, remained in the pits with gearbox problems, so Andreas Hasler (AUT, Hasler Motorsport) will start the races as the best-placed SUPER LIGHTS competitor. Walter Colacino (ITA, Colacino Motorsport) qualified his Formula 3000 in 15th place overall.
The first race starts today, Saturday, at 15:05 local time and is over a distance of 20 minutes, the second race over 25 minutes is scheduled for tomorrow, Sunday, at 13:15. In order to keep the workload on the Formula 1 cars low, the BOSS GP F1 Class will see the chequered flag after 15 minutes.
Rain, lightning and thunder had the Mugello region firmly under control on Sunday. It was no wonder that some drivers in their cars with over 600 hp took no risks and decided not to start in the second race of the weekend. Even more admirable are those drivers who ventured onto the wet track with partly standing water.
From the front row, yesterday’s race winner Luca Martucci (ITA, MM International) and Marco Ghiotto (ITA, Scuderia Palladio) started the race. Just when the lights switched to green, Martucci lost control of his car and was lucky not to hit the pit wall. After this moment of shock he was even able to continue the race. Still in lap 1, Ghiotto, who was in the lead, also lost control and spun his car at the exit of “Arrabbiata 1”. Because the vehicle had to be recovered from the meadow, the Fanatec Safety Car neutralised the race.
In the lead now was Andreas Fiedler (GER, Fiedler Racing) in a Dallara GP2, who battled for the lead with Nicolas Matile (MCO, Zig-Zag) in an Auto-GP-Lola in the final stage of the race. With victory in sight, both drivers gave everything they had, sometimes only centimetres apart from each other in a drift. In the end, Fiedler defied all attacks from Matile and took his first overall BOSS GP victory. However, Nicolas was also happy with second place and his best BOSS GP result so far. For the second time this year Salvatore de Plano (ITA, Coloni) finished on the podium in his new Auto GP. His rain experience paid off this time.
Bruno Jarach (EST, Eeesti Motorsport) also achieved his best BOSS GP result with fourth place. Fifth place went to the unlucky Luca Martucci, who at least secured the fastest lap.
After the two races in Mugello, the decisions in the championship have also been made: Ingo Gerstl (OPEN) and Marco Ghiotto (FORMULA) defend their title from last year. The top 3 in the big class are completed by Benetton driver Ulf Ehninger (GER, ESBA Racing) and Jaguar driver Riccardo Ponzio (ITA, Adriatica Competition). Overall 2nd place in the FORMULA class goes to Luca Martucci. Sensational third place goes to Ghiotto’s team-mate Walter Steding (GER, Scuderia Palladio).
The season finale in Imola had to be cancelled. The reason for this is the starting build-up for the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna, which takes place on November 1st. Instead, the BOSS GP Racing Series plans a final event at the Adria Raceway (ITA). Details will follow soon.
Ingo Gerstl (OPEN) and Johann Ledermair (FORMULA) win a difficult race with many failures. First podium for Bianca Steiner.
Ingo Gerstl (Top Speed) slowed down the first laps like at Hockenheim, followed the Austrian Phil Stratford (Penn Elcom Racing) in the Benetton B197 until lap 10, then Gerstl geared up and showed with 1:13.4 min what is possible with used tyres and not completely empty tank.
Good crowd for Johann Ledermair and BOSS GP in Austria
Gerstl, the only opponent in the OPEN, Stratford, rolled out with a gearbox failure three laps before the end. The FORMULA winner, Johann Ledermair (Ledermair Motorsport), was in 2nd place overall. The Tyrolean drove safely to victory in his comeback drive. Florian Schnitzenbaumer (Top Speed), who had electronic problems with his crew before the race, finished second and extended his overall lead in the FORMULA class.
Bianca Steiner (Top Speed) clinched her first podium, following on from her good results at Hockenheim. For laps she duelled with Peter Göllner, who had a good race speed. The Speed Center driver ran off the track to the middle of the race shortly after Steiner passed him. Best driver of the Swiss team was Christian Eicke in 6th place, seventh was Thomas Jakoubek (Top Speed).
Andreas Fiedler finished fifth, although the race did not start to his liking. After a spin in the second lap he had to follow the field. Among other things, he benefited from the technically-related defaults of Walter Steding, Hans Laub and Karl-Heinz Becker. Already in the second lap the race for Armando Mangini was over, his Dallara GP2 rolled out.
Race 2 will take place tomorrow Sunday at 10:40 a.m., then 25 minutes of racing action are on the schedule.
Ingo Gerstl: “The competition wasn’t the burner, but I always have fun when I drive. Qualifying, with 1:10, was my highlight of the weekend.”
Bianca Steiner: “I didn’t expect to get on the podium here. The start was not so good. I had to stay behind Phil Stratford, then I lost a few places in the first corner. I didn’t know I was third, but now I’m even happier.”
Johann Ledermair: “That was a pleasant race, the competition was already missing at the start or retired later. I hope I can be compete for the rest of the year.”