Friday’s quarter-final rounds saw the first big upset as Jeffrey Rietveld (Redline), who won his Spa quarter-final last month, was eliminated in QF1. All of February’s other quarter-final winners came through unscathed, with R1 champion Maximilian Benecke (Mouz) coming second behind Marcell Csincsik (R8G), and Joshua Rogers (Coanda) and Luke Bennett (Redline) qualifying in first and second in QF3.
Nils Naujoks (BS+) and Kevin Siggy (Redline) would win the other two quarter-finals, with Siggy banishing the memories of his elimination at Spa six weeks back. Erhan Jajovski (R8G) and Nikodem Wisniewski (Williams), both finalists last time the event raced here, were eliminated in their heats – Jajovski on the receiving end of a clumsy move from Bono Huis (Mercedes). Other championship front-runners safely through to the Monday semi-finals included Kevin Ellis Jr (ART), Moritz Lohner (Mouz), Enzo Bonito (Redline), and the consistent Jiri Toman (R8G).
The first semi-final brought more shocks, though the front three in qualifying – Bonito, Naujoks, and Csincsik – came as little surprise. Indeed after a clean start for all three, they’d finish as they started with little challenge from McCormack (Williams) and Oliveira behind.
Instead the major action all centred on that vital sixth place, which would eventually go to newcomer Lasse Sorensen (Furia) but only after an incident on lap four essentially eliminated Joni Tormala (G2) after an entertaining battle. That was precipitated by Ellis who missed his braking point at Rivage by a country mile, spinning Tormala and Jakub Brzezinski (Williams) in the resulting collision.
With an additional drive-through penalty, Ellis would be eliminated and miss a final for the very first time. Joining him would be Benecke who had a relatively poor qualifying – on a grid where just three-tenths separated first from last – and was never able to recover.