- ADAC GT4 Germany’s premiere weekend a big success for KTM
- Only drive-through penalty prevent win for Kraihamer/Kofler in the first race
- Reiter Engineering’s KTM X-BOW GT4 take the win in race two
- Laura Kraihamer & Reinhard Kofler lead the overall points after season start
KTM had already launched the X-BOW GT4 into the role as the favorite for the launch of the new ADAC GT4 Germany during the recent official test days held in Oschersleben – the curvy Magdeburger Börde track peppered with short straights could also be regarded as an almost ideal circuit for the light and agile Austrian super sports car.
While the free practice sessions were already excellent, the ambitions of the two KTM teams took a big hit during qualifying. Right at the start, Mads Siljehaug ended up in the gravel in the cold and wet conditions. He then had to stand by and watch how Laura Kraihamer failed to have a single free lap amid the heavy traffic, and had to be satisfied with 16th grid position. But the teams were able to make an impressive comeback in the actual race on Saturday morning. Mads Siljehaug plowed his way through the pack from the last grid position, while Laura Kraihamer was also able to advance towards the front. Following the obligatory pit stops and change of driver, Eike Angermayr was in front, and Reinhard Kofler put on a real fireworks display. The driver from Upper Austria grabbed position after position until he finally took the lead. However, the stewards then awarded a somewhat controversial drive-through penalty after they ruled Koffler had made contact with another car during one of his overtaking maneuvers. The end of the race saw a fifth place for Mads Siljehaug/Eike Angermayr and ninth for Laura Kraihamer/Reinhard Kofler – not exactly what had been hoped for, but still an important result and valuable points for the championship.
Reinhard Kofler was appropriately angry at the finish: “There’s absolutely no way that I made contact with the Mercedes. My KTM X-BOW GT4 is completely untouched on the entire right side. Clearly, it was a tough maneuver, but it was absolutely fair. On the other hand, there's nothing we can do about it anyway because such decisions are simple facts and it was bad luck, so we take our revenge tomorrow." That proved to be right for True Racing the following day.
The drivers once again had to contend with wet conditions in qualifying the next morning, but this did not deter Eike Angermayr or Reinhard Kofler. Angermayr missed the pole position by just 0.063 seconds to take second place on the grid. Reinhard Kofler put his KTM X-BOW GT4 in fourth place on the grid (0.294 seconds behind) but then again had to start from ninth place, as a result of another penalty from the stewards.
The race got away on Sunday afternoon under the best conditions and plenty of sunshine. While Kofler took off like a rocket, Angermayr lost a couple of positions when the young driver from Upper Austria failed to find his rhythm. Kofler took the lead after a few laps and began to put distance between himself and the second car. Laura Kraihamer and Mads Siljehaug took control of the two KTM X-BOW GT4s after two problem-free, perfectly timed pit stops. From then on, their tasks were clearly defined. Kraihamer put in very strong times and kept control over those pursuing her, while the Norwegian Reiter Engineering driver fought like a lion and advanced into second place. Their efforts allowed the Reiter Engineering, and the crews from True Racing and Felbermayr, to celebrate the first double victory for the KTM X-BOW GT4.
It was a sensational result and the appropriate reward for the extremely hard work by the entire crew. And to make it a perfect weekend, Laura Kraihamer and Reinhard Kofler were able to celebrate coming away as leaders in the overall standings of the ADAC GT4 Germany. They have 32 points to be in front and equal with a BMW and a Porsche team, while Eike Angermayr and Mads Siljehaug are just one point behind (31 points) in third place.
Quotes from ADAC GT4 Germany Oschersleben
Hans Reiter: “Finally! This success is so important for the entire team, and I'm extremely happy for all my girls and boys. They have all worked hard, and it wasn't easy for them after yesterday's setbacks. That makes today's performance even more valuable. Congratulations to Laura, Reini, Eike, and Mads!“
Laura Kraihamer: "It's crazy. This win is especially nice after what happened yesterday. A huge thanks to the entire team, and especially to Reini for his incredible first stint.”
Eike Angermayr: "After yesterday, today's qualifying was a real relief for me. And then I missed the start and couldn't find my rhythm. Mads pulled it off, and I thank him for that."
Mads Siljehaug: “I was really annoyed by my mistake on Saturday. I went into both races feely angry, so we were able to pick up some important points. And to be able to celebrate on the podium at the end of the first race weekend is super. We're happy about that.