Eriksson Takes Pole After Close Qualifying

Joel Eriksson took his first pole position of the year with Ralf Aron setting the second fastest time at the Red Bull Ring. Eriksson achieved a 1:32.173 in his Motopark car, meaning he will have the best opportunity for race 1 at 2:45 local time. Joey Mawson will be on pole for race 2.

Group A

Mattia Drudi was the first on track, as 19 of the 20 competitors make their way out immediately. The fastest driver from practice 2; David Beckmann, was the first to set a lap as the drivers look for clear space to set time with Guan Yu Zhou setting the early pace and being the first driver in the 1 minute 37 seconds, before improving on his second and third lap ending with a 1:34.725.

With Toni Wolf heading out, all drivers were now on track as Zhou lead Drudi and Giorgio Maggi. But the Ferrari youths dominance was soon shattered as Beckmann moved his way to the top with 9 minutes remaining before the Neuhauser Racing cars moved to the front row temporarily.

With 6 minutes remaining, it was Zhou back on top ahead of Glenn Rupp and Kim-Luis Schramm. It became clear the quicker times weren’t going to settle down before the end, ensuring that track position was key.

As the session drew to a close, Michael Waldherr became the dominant driver as others remained competitive. After the flag dropped, other improvements were seen as Zhou ended up on top with a 1:32.220, only 0.032 ahead of Tim Zimmermann, with Walderr, Beckmann and Robert Schwartzman behind.

Group B

Home driver Thomas Preining lead the field out of the pits in what some thought would be the less competitive group, while the HTP Junior Team drivers came out a lap later than the others. Meanwhile, Ralf Aron set the early pace with a 1:36.121, but this was soon beaten on their second lap. Joel Eriksson impressed the opposition by setting a lap 1.325 seconds quicker than anyone, but this would only fall.

Eriksson would continue to dominate at the start as Mawson and Janneau Esmeijer moved up to second and third, closing the gap with 10 minutes to go. The others continued to improve and started to catch Eriksson, with Mawson being the first to make his past on a 1:32.289.

Esmeijer continued his good form and was the first driver to beat Zhou’s time from Group 1. However after being a few laps off the pace, Eriksson retook the top position as the session started to draw to a close. A late lap from Aron saw him push himself up to second. While Esmeijer, Mawson and Marek Bockmann.