Gerstl wins in the OPEN category, Ghiotto after recovering from an early spin in FORMULA class.
Another day, same question: dry or wet tyres? It had rained again and again at the Mugello Circuit during the day. But shortly before the start of the second race, parts of the track had dried up. Most of the drivers nevertheless relied on the Pirelli Cinturato rain tyres, even at the risk that they would not last the full 25-minute distance on an increasingly dry track. Exceptions were the two MM-International drivers Stefano Colombo and Luca Martucci (both ITA), who started the race on slicks. But with low outside temperatures of around ten degrees Celsius, they had a tough time in their GP2 Dallara single seaters.
Not so Ingo Gerstl (AUT, Top Speed), who immediately fled at the start. The pole setter entered turn 1 in his Toro Rosso STR1 first and did not relinquish his position at the top until the end of the race. Second in the OPEN classification was Ulf Ehninger (GER, ESBA Racing), who, after his premiere victory yesterday, also finished on the podium today and, together with Gerstl, will travel to the next race as BOSS GP championship leader.
In FORMULA class, Marco Ghiotto (ITA, Scuderia Palladio) won today as in race 1. The decisive move was made by the Italian just before the end of the race. Ghiotto had spun in lap 1 and then started a terrific chase that had its climax on the penultimate lap: Marc Faggionato (MCO, Zig-Zag) defended his lead hard, but always remained fair. The decisive manoeuvre came at the exit of the medium-fast turn 12, where Ghiotto poked into a gap on the inside lane and overtook Faggionato. Gianluca De Lorenzi (SMR, GDL Racing) finished third in the class behind the two, sticking to the rear of Faggionato for a long time but ultimately having to let Ghiotto go as well.
Fourth place went to Salvatore De Plano (ITA, MM International), who made amends today after an early retirement yesterday. Andreas Fiedler (GER, Fiedler Racing) changed to rain tyres shortly before the start, which helped him to move up to 5th in class. Thomas Jackermeier (GER, Top Speed) achieved another convincing result at his first BOSS GP event with 6th position. Behind him came Walter Colacino (ITA) in the Formula 3000 with an Alfa Romeo sports car engine, who was able to drive the full 25 minutes of the race today without any troubles.
The overall standings after the first of six race weekends are available here.
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.
Big surprise in the Sunday race: Double victory for Scuderia Palladio.
Although it was raining overnight, the track mostly dried up until the second BOSS GP race at the Masaryk Racing Days was started. As a result, all the drivers went onto the track on Pirelli P Zero dry tyres. Marco Ghiotto (ITA, Scuderia Palladio) got a bad start from row 1, but he defended his class lead and followed Ingo Gerstl (AUT, Top Speed) on the first meters. Right behind him Luca Martucci (ITA, MM International) managed to overtake Roman Hoffmann (AUT, Hoffmann Racing) right on lap 1, just like he did yesterday.
Hoffmann had to defend himself against Salvatore de Plano (ITA, Coloni) and Andreas Fiedler (DEU, Fiedler Racing) which were pushing from behind. On lap 3 De Plano and Fiedler collided in turn 1. While de Plano was able to continue his race almost undamaged, Fiedler’s GP2 Dallara was visibly damaged. De Plano finished the race in 5th place, Fiedler behind Christian Ferstl (AUT, Ferstl Racing) still in 7th place.
The situation came to a head at the front when the overall leader Gerstl steered his Toro Rosso Formula 1 into pit lane. An overheated engine forced the winner of all previous season races to make a stopover. Marco Ghiotto thus took the overall lead in the race, which he did not give up until the checkered flag.
In the meantime, Chris Höher (AUT, Top Speed) also mixed up the field. However, like yesterday he had to park his car in the pits early. Meanwhile, Ghiotto’s teammate Walter Steding (DEU) caused a sensation. During the middle of the race he passed Hoffmann for third place. The Austrian defended himself hard, but that was not enough. A few laps later Martucci was also overtaken by Steding in the penultimate corner. For Steding, second place in today’s race was the first podium since his most successful racing season in 2015. For Marco Ghiotto’s Scuderia Palladio it was also the first one-two victory in the team’s history in BOSS GP.
For defending champion Ghiotto the overall standings after 6 of 12 races look very promising. Rival Luca Martucci is already 30 points behind. Walter Steding, who is only one point ahead of Roman Hoffmann, now follows in third place.
You can watch BOSS GP in race action again at the Cuvee Sensorium Grand Prix in Assen in three weeks’ time.
Photo: Dirk Hartung