In June 10-11 Reiter Young Stars participated in second race for this year, in Red Bull Ring Austria. The circuit is surrounded by beautiful trees and green colors. Despite the beautiful landscape, weather was not always good, even though weekend started bright and shinny.
For KTM and therefore for RYS Team KTM, Austria is home! KTM has its headquarters in Mattighofen Austria, in town where its history starts. That for KTM had a close look in this event and its own tent near Reiter.
Team arrived on circuit on Thursday and started this weekend along with other Reiter Young Stars and Reiter people with RYS Village set up. Same day took place driver’s briefing and most important was that we would have back to back Qualifying Sessions with brake and race duration would be 50 minutes. Once again our XBow was ready to pass scrutineering and then everything was set to race, or better #ReadyToRace in Red Bull Ring! The first contact with circuit was made in track walk with Tomáš Enge, Thursday afternoon. Track is challenging for drivers with high elevations and fast corners.
Even though students had their first contact with this circuit, R. Kofler and E. Angermayr are very experienced in this circuit. This was an early good sign for this race weekend! After their free practice gave a really good characterization for set up and car behavior was optimized. Despite good omens and qualifying car brought trouble to the team.
Early Saturday morning team was at assembly line for qualifying. E. Angermayr started the qualification session and his lap times brought him to 5th position on grid for Race 2. After driver’s change and while R. Kofler was driving and his very good performance brought him to 6th position on grid for Race 1, proportionally.
This was when trouble started, while Race 1. Kofler started the race but after a few laps he experienced car-handling difficulties. He said he had problem with gear shifting and he’s losing power. After two entries in pit lane Reiter mechanics were sure a mechanical problem were there but could not be solved on the fly. Because of this R. Kofler quited Race 1 and #14 XBow was driven to RYS Village. Because of experience you can say that when you see so many people over your car something is very wrong.
Close after race 1 end, mechanics had found out. There was a broken turbo charger impeller and cost a race to the team. Despite the difficulties team was confident for Race 2 and this strengthened team to be more than ready for Race 2. Fortunately the problem was solved quick and team had the chance to enjoy KTM Party, which took place at company’s tent Saturday night.
With Sunday rising team was ready to race and fully prepared for this. Good grid position and a well thought strategy for this challenging circuit. Taking into account fast corners and high competition. There was nothing to take this race result from RYS Team KTM. Or that’s what we thought. Examining results show that it did not go that well.
The truth is the car had a really good performance and it was steadily and experienced driver. E. Angermayr started Race 2 from position 5. He had a really good performance and after driver’s change and 22 minutes of race he had managed to contest for 6th place to hand in car to R. Koffler, after race fighting with contestants. Right after pit stop stewards were investigating car 14 for “being too slow in pit lane“. When less than 10 minutes of race were left, R.Kofler had conquered 2nd position with 5.7 s down from Ricardo Van der Ende and managed to go further more. But the investigation decision was published when there were 7 minutes left for chequered flag. A driver through penalty was given to car #14 for doing less than 40km/h in fast lane in pits. Kofler completed his sentence and dropped to position 7 and finished at 6th.
This outcome was extremely disappointing for drivers, especially R.Kofler, and students of RYS Team KTM. There were all set up but in a blink of an eye and a bad decision a podium position was lost. These events add value to team’s experience and will be a deep dive topic for next race in Slovakia Ring preparation. We will see you there on 15 – 16 July, promising a podium position!