Most: Qualifying report

Autodrom Most, Czech Republic, Saturday 13th July 2002: In a thrilling qualifying session held in hot and humid conditions, 22 year old South African Earl Goddard set the fastest ever lap time at Autodrom Most, 1:15065, to take pole position for...

Autodrom Most, Czech Republic, Saturday 13th July 2002: In a thrilling qualifying session held in hot and humid conditions, 22 year old South African Earl Goddard set the fastest ever lap time at Autodrom Most, 1:15065, to take pole position for tomorrow's fourth round of the NDS EuroBOSS Series. An impressive grid of 17 cars took to the circuit in what proved to be the most exciting qualify session ever experienced in EuroBOSS. The lead changed back and forth between four drivers, Goddard-- winner of the previous round, Austrian Frederico Careca, Dutchman and Series leader Klaas Zwart, and Canadian Robbie Stirling in the Reynard Indy Car, before Goddard took control in the closing stages.

The Autodrom Most lap record, set in 2000 by Josef Neuhauser, was broken three times during the twenty minute qualifying session, twice by Goddard, his first time bettered almost immediately by Frederico Careca driving a 1995 Arrows Ford HB V8, before the 1:15.065 time was set on Goddards' 8th lap.

British driver and winner of the first two races of the season, Phil Andrews, in his V10 Ascari Judd, struggled to find clear track and was languishing in an unfamiliar 7th place until, with just two seconds left on the clock, he raced over the line to snatch 3rd place ahead of his team mate Zwart. 16 year old Scott Mansell once again demonstrated that he is a true talent, with a superb driving display to put his 1991 F3000 Reynard Mugen in 11th place ahead of five of the more powerful cars.

Tomorrow's race promises much, the top six drivers qualified within a second of each other and all have the power and ability to win the race. Severe tyre blistering was a concern for many of the teams during qualifying and it is highly probable that tyre wear will play a significant role in the outcome of the race.

Earl Goddard, Driver, Kockney Koi Yamitsu:
I arrived today knowing that Fred [Frederico Careca] and Klaas [Zwart] would be quick with their prior knowledge of the circuit. I knew if I was going to make pole, with all the traffic, I would have to make the lap myself and the only way I can describe it is a banzai lap, throwing caution to the wind-- Schumacher style! I am very pleased that in the process I broke the lap record.

Frederico Careca, Driver, Robin Hooker Racing:
I am very pleased to be on the front row. It's great for the team but I had the same traffic problems as Earl [Goddard]. The Arrows is slower than the Benetton through the corners but with the long pit straight I managed to keep pace with it. I am very surprised to out-qualify the Ascari's, maybe my luck is starting to change after problems in the first two rounds.

Phil Andrews, Driver, Team Ascari:
I only had three opportunities to get a clear lap throughout the session and when I came up to the chequered flag I knew that if I could get through in time I could go for it. The track had cleared but my tyres were severely blistered. I decided to push hard but was sliding all over the place. I'll settle for the second row. The track is the best we driven on; it is safe, challenging and very quick.

Klaas Zwart, Driver, Team Ascari:
I am frustrated by the outcome. I was setting up for my first clean lap when it was interrupted by a car coming out of the pits. We brought the car in and adjusted the front wing to try and combat the car moving around, but when we went back out the car was literally going sideways in to most of the major bends. When I came in again we discovered the tyres had disintegrated.

Scott Mansell, Driver, Zig Zag Mansell Motorsport:
I drove the car right on the edge of its' ability within the current set-up, but I believe there is still a bit more in it. We will look at the gearing tonight to see if there is room for improvement. I was experiencing understeering on the hairpins but I am very very pleased with my performance. This is the fastest I have been in the car and I managed to get it flat out in the esses.

Josef Nehauser, Driver, Achleitner Motorport, Holder Of The Lap Record (1:15.501)-- Until Today:
I expected the record to go this afternoon, this is the first time that I have driven the Minardi this season and was very pleased with its performance. We are concentrating on the race and hope for a top four finish.

Roger Cowman, Race Director, NDS EuroBOSS:
This was the most exciting qualifying in the history of the BOSS Formula, the first seven cars were separated by just over a second, with the lead changing five times. It's a superb circuit and suits these powerful machines Expectations for the race are high and we are looking forward to a large crowd.

Qualifying Result:

Position-- No.-- Driver-- Car-- Time
1 - 11-- Goddard-- Benetton Ford HBV8-- 1:15.065
2 - 14-- Careca-- Arrows Ford HB V8-- 1:15.355
3 - 4-- Andrews-- Ascari Judd V10-- 1:15.503
4 - 2-- Zwart-- Ascari Judd V10-- 1:15.895
5 - 5-- Neuhauser-- Minardi Cosworth V8-- 1:15.989
6 - 18-- Stirling-- Reynard Cosworth V8-- 1:16.135
7 - 3-- Toivonen-- Ascari Judd V10-- 1:16.324
8 - 9-- Mortlock-- Footwork Judd V10-- 1:18.540
9 - 10-- Becker-- Minardi Cosworth V8-- 1:19.472
10 - 7-- Wakefield-- Benetton Judd V10-- 1:21.070
11 - 37-- Mansell-- Reynard Mugen V8-- 1:24.120 (EuroBOSS F3000)
12 - 17-- Kendrick-- Reynard Judd V8-- 1:24.304
13 - 8-- Bindels-- Dallara Judd V10-- 1:27.116
14 - 6-- Milavec-- Lola Audi 1.8T-- 1:27.596
15 - 16-- McIntyre-- Reynard Ford DFT V8-- 1:28.346
16 - 19-- Gianfranco Merizzi-- Dallara Ferrari V12-- 1:29.922
17 - 32-- de Brue-- Ralt Judd V8-- 1:30.653 (EuroBOSS F3000)


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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Phil Andrews , Earl Goddard , Robbie Stirling , Klaas Zwart , Scott Mansell