Hello fellow players,
by a lucky coincidence I found a way to outsmart this annoying bug:
When you select to play online and the server window opens go to Filter and set the Filter to show only your favorites.
Now the important part:
You have to be very quick --> the filter needs to be set BEFORE the server list starts to be populated.
That way my favorite servers show up with a ping well below 140 every time.
Of course you have to select some servers as favorites first
If the server list gets populated the game is up.
Stop the client and try again.