Klaas Zwart enjoyed a fruitful weekend at the high speed circuit of Monza with an eye on the general classification of the BOSS GP. The 2010 champion extended his narrow lead over his biggest rival Marijn van Kalmthout with two impressive victories. “Monza really is a fantastic circuit,” said the two-time winner after the races. “We recorded some incredible top speeds. I’m pretty sure that all BOSS GP drivers drove around with a big smile on their face this weekend.” Ingo Gerstl recorded a double win in the Formula Class, while Karl-Heinz Becker did the same in the Masters Division to near Norbert Gruber in the standings.
Only two weeks ago, the Grand Prix of Italy took place at Monza. This weekend, Klaas Zwart recorded a fastest lap of 1:31.521 seconds at the 5793 metres long track to show that his Jaguar R5 F1 from 2004 has what it takes to compete with the modern cars. Lewis Hamilton recorded a fastest lap time of 1:26.187 during the 2011 Grand Prix at Monza and was only five seconds faster than Zwart. “The tyres that we use in the BOSS GP are several seconds per lap slower than the Pirellis that are used in the Formula 1, so we’re not too far behind them,” commented the satisfied Zwart.
Lots of drivers
An impressive 18 drivers registered to take part in the sixth race of this year’s edition of the BOSS GP. In the ‘Open Class’, four cars featured that once drove in the Formula 1 world championship. Furthermore, six cars took part in the ‘Formula Class’, where GP2, Champcar and Indycars participate. Finally, eight more cars stemming from the Nissan World Series, Formula 3000, Formula Nippon and an old F1 car from 1991 registered to race in the ‘Masters Division’.
Five Italian guest drivers
Not for the first time, a number of guest drivers were present at the BOSS GP weekend. Five Italian drivers registered to take part in the races at Monza. Armando Mangini raced in a GP2 and featured in the Formula Class, while the other drivers raced in the Masters Class. Gianluca Ripoli, Marco Betti and Fabio Poggetti drove in a Lola F3000, while Renzo Napione climbed behind the steering wheel of a Reynard Formula Nippon.
Impressive lap time
Marijn van Kalmthout was the fastest man around during the free training sessions on Friday, however, Klaas Zwart was the man in control on Saturday. The reigning champion records an impressive lap time of 1:31.639 to secure pole position as he dominated both the last free training and the qualification session. Van Kalmthout and Arnold Wagner also recorded top speeds well over 320 kilometres per hour, but had to settle for second and third position respectively on the starting grid.
Martin Kindler and Patrick d’Aubreby received some disappointing news ahead of the start of the race. Kindler’s car broke down during the qualification and couldn’t be repaired in time. D’Aubreby’s car was being worked on right until the start, but unfortunately for the Frenchman his beautiful yellow Benetton B192 couldn’t be prepared in time.
Two other drivers who were due to take part in the race didn’t show up at the start either. Bernd Herndlhofer eliminated his own chances when he broke his hand during a game of boxing on Wednesday, while Didier Sirgue was being plagued by technical difficulties.
Norbert Gruber, leader in the general classification of the Masters Class, did have lady luck on his side. The Austrian damaged his Dallara Renault Worldseries during the qualification after crashing into Renzo Napione. However, his car was repaired in time for the first race courtesy of an Italian mechanic who drove to Bologna to pick up some spare parts.
This resulted in 15 BOSS GP cars on the starting grid for the first race. All drivers got off to a good start for the warm-up round and the fantastic BOSS sound could be heard at the straight end when the safety car steered into the pit lane at Monza. The start to the race was quite spectacular as Wagner enjoyed a perfect takeoff and immediately positioned his Arrows A22 F1 on the inside of Zwart’s Jaguar. Van Kalmthout did the same on the outside and all three cars arrived at the first corner to the right, the Variante del Rettifilio, at the same time. Van Kalmthout is the last one to hit the brake and passes though the chicane in first position, before Wagner and Zwart, who has dropped to third place.
Hunting season opened
This was a positive development for the man behind the steering wheel of the blue Benetton B197 F1 from 1992, because the number two in the standings of the Open Class knows that Zwart is incredibly fast in his Jaguar.
With the nice orange Arrows in between the two rivals, Van Kalmthout seems to have the chance to work on building a gap with Zwart. Nevertheless, Wagner doesn’t stay ahead of Zwart too long. The latter sees an opening shortly before the famous Variante Ascari in the first lap and the hunt on Van Kalmthout is opened. Van Kalmthout manages to shrug off Zwart for five laps, but is then no longer able to withstand the speed of the Jaguar as Zwart gets past him and extends his lead by about two seconds per lap.
The tension got back in the race toward the end though as the Benetton was rapidly approaching the Jaguar all of a sudden. “I hit the pedal to the metal when I steered into the Parabolica, but there was simply nothing happening. I had to push the reset button and the car then sped off again. That happened five more times and I saw Marijn coming closer and closer. Fortunately, I eventually just made it,” smiled the relieved Zwart.
Milavec enjoys himself
The race in the Formula Class was extremely tense. Ingo Gerstl, Henk de Boer and Peter Milavec fought out an interesting battle, where Milavec managed to get past De Boer and fight for the win in the Formula Class with Gerstl. The latter leads the general classification, but really struggled to stay clear of Milavec and finished only tenths of seconds before his rival crossed the finish-line. “It was a fantastic race. I really enjoyed it,” said Milavec with a smile on his face.
Guest drivers at the podium
Karl-Heinz Becker drove an excellent race and took advantage of the fact that the leader in the standings in the Masters Class, Norbert Gruber, was forced to start from the last starting positions. Becker won the race and saw guest drivers Marco Betti and Renzo Napione occupy the other two podium spots, while Gruber had to settle for fourth spot.
In and out
Peter Milavec was missing from the starting grid for the second race as the Austrian was confronted with an oil pressure problem. Patrick d’Aubreby on the other hand did make it this time with his Benetton B192 F1, resulting in 15 cars at the start once again.
Brilliant start Zwart
Klaas Zwart makes a brilliant start to the second race as he immediately speeds off. He approaches the first corner unthreatened and already has a nice gap with Van Kalmthout, with Arnold Wagner at the tail of his blue Benetton. Zwart´s lead after the first lap is almost 2.4 seconds. Behind the leading trio, Ingo Gerstl´s GP2 lacks the speed to keep up and he fights it out with Henk de Boer for the victory in the Formula Class. Carlos Antunes Tavares started from the back of the field because of his flat tyre in the first race, but is rapidly closing the gap with the leaders.
D’Aubreby moving forward
He is not the only one who is making his way to the front of the race though. The yellow Benetton of D´Aubreby, who had started in last position, already crosses the finish line in seventh position after four laps. The 2005 BOSS champion is driving behind Italian guest driver Armando Mangini and manages to close the gap. Renzo Napione, who raced at Monza and in a Reynard Formula Nippon for the first time in his career in the first race – and still made the podium – had to leave the race after four laps in the Variante Ascari.
At the front of the race, Zwart continues to extend his lead on Van Kalmthout by about two seconds per lap and another win appears to be on the cards. However, the leader of the race surprises every one as he steers his Jaguar into the pit lane. The men in charge have handed Zwart a drive-through penalty for a false start and this not only costs him a lot of time, but also the lead in the race. Van Kalmthout leads the pack in the next lap and has a 10-second lead over Zwart. It then becomes clear that the Jaguar is pretty much unbeatable at Monza though as the car performs superbly at the fast circuit. Zwart closes the gap with Van Kalmthout in the ninth lap and immediately gets past his rival. Zwart records his second win of the weekend after 13 laps with a five-second lead. Wagner again finishes in third position.
Another podium spot for Betti
Gerstl has reasons to celebrate again in the Formula Class. Henk de Boer comes second this time around, while Carlos Antunes Tavares is rewarded with a trophy as well after his disappointment from the first race. The Masters Class offered plenty of excitement again and Karl-Heinz Becker records a victory once more, despite the fact that his car wasn’t perfectly adjusted. Marco Betti capped a fine guest appearance with another second spot, while Norbert Gruber occupied the final podium spot and still leads the general classification with two points more than Becker.
The season finale
The next and final event of the 2011 BOSS GP takes place on 12 and 13 November during the ‘Race for Champions’ at the Ascari Race Resort in Spain. The title race is still undecided in all three classes, so an exciting season finale should be ahead.
Results race 1 BOSS GP, Autodromo di Monza (I), Sunday 25 September 2011
1. Klaas Zwart (Neth) 113 ronden (1st Open)
2. Marijn van Kalmthout (Neth) +2.806 (2nd Open)
3. Arnold Wagner (Ger) +21.367 (3rd Open)
4. Ingo Gerstl (Austria) +57.645 (1st Formula)
5. Peter Milavec (Austria) +58.009 (2nd Formula)
6. Henk de Boer (Neth) +1:07.053 (3rd Formula)
7. Armando Mangini (I) +1 ronde (4th Formula)
8. Karl-Heinz Becker (Ger) +1 ronde (1st Master)
9. Marco Betti (I) +1 ronde(2nd Master)
10. Renzo Napione (I) +1 ronde(3rd Master)
11. Alain DeBlandre (Be) +1 ronde (5th Formula)
12. Norbert Gruber (Austria) +1 ronde(4th Master)
13.Gianluca Ripoli (I) +1 ronde (5th Master)
Did not finish: Carlos Antunes Tavares (Por) after 6 laps, Fabio Pogetti (I) after 3 laps.
Results race 2 BOSS GP, Autodromo di Monza (I), Sunday 25 September 2011
1. Klaas Zwart (Neth) 13 laps in 20:29.907 (1st Open)
2. Marijn van Kalmthout (Neth) +5.262 (2nd Open)
3. Arnold Wagner (Ger) +17.689 (3rd Open)
4. Ingo Gerstl (Austria) +38.750 (1st Formula)
5. Henk de Boer (Neth) +58.486 (2nd Formula)
6. Patrick D’Aubreby (Fra) +1:33.009 (4th Open)
7. Carlos Antunes Tavares (Por) +1 ronde (3rd Formula)
8. Karl-Heinz Becker (Ger) +1 lap (1st Master)
9. Marco Betti (I) +1 lap (2nd Master)
10. Alain DeBlandre (Be) +1 lap (4th Formula)
11. Norbert Gruber (Austria) +1 lap (3rd Master)
12. Fabio Poggetti (I) +1 lap (4th Master)
13.Gianluca Ripoli (I) +1 lap (5th Master)
14. Armando Mangini (I) +3 laps (5th Formula)
Did not finish: Renzo Napione (I) after 4 laps.
General classificication Open Class:
1. Klaas Zwart 186 points
2. Marijn van Kalmthout 181
3. Ingo Gerstl 164