- True Racing picks up the first win in the GT4 European Series season at Brands Hatch
- Reinhard Kofler and Patric Niederhauser shine in both races with places 1 & 3
- Mads Siljehaug & Phil Hill (Valvoline-True Racing) manage a great catch up on 2nd race
- Customer team “razoon – more than racing” relegated to spectators after practice crash
The second race weekend of the GT4 European Series was very well subscribed with 34 teams signed up for the races. Included in the field were three KTM teams who had an excellent opportunity to get a top placing on the wonderful undulating circuit in the English country of Kent. Just like Oschersleben in the ADAC GT4 Germany, Brands Hatch is also a circuit that suits the KTM X-BOW GT4. However, very difficult, constantly changing weather conditions managed to thwart the qualifying session. True Racing's Patric Niederhauser and Reinhard Kofler came away with the best qualifying results, picking up two fifth place grid positions for the first and second races.
Things didn't go so well for the other two cars. Mads Siljehaug managed some damage control with an 11th starting place, but Phil Hill was not so fortunate. A slip up saw him land in the gravel and the Valvoline True Racing car had to start the second race from the back of the field. Unfortunately, it was even worse for the customer team "razoon – more than racing”, when team boss Dominik Olbert flew off the track after the rain started and sustained some damage to the car. He and True Racing’s Laura Kraihamer, who had stepped in at the last minute to serve as the second driver, then both had no alternative but to watch the races, and keep their fingers crossed for the other KTM drivers.
The results of the first race indicated their support had paid off. Reini Kofler and Patric Niederhauser both put in a great race, and this, together with a perfect pit stop, thanks to the efforts of the Reiter Engineering Crew, allowed the Austrian-Swiss duo to celebrate their first win of the season. "Patric put in an unbelievable first stint," said Reinhard Kofler, heaping praise on his teammate. "I was able to control the second half of the race from the front. A big thank you to KTM, True Racing and Reiter Engineering. I’m very happy that following our win in Oschersleben, we have now been able to prove just how fast our KTM X-BOW GT4 is on the European stage!” Patric Niederhauser returned the compliment: "I had a great start and was able to move up a couple of places. The pit stop worked out perfectly, and Reini's stint was simply mega. Super cool, now we continue like this!"
Unfortunately, it didn't go so well for the second car of Valvoline-True Racing. Mads Siljehaug made contact with a Porsche in the cut and thrust of the opening lap, which forced both cars into a spin. This incident so early in the race managed to spoil it for both him and Phil Hill. The Norwegian-German duo still showed how fast they could go this weekend. In the second race, they made a sensational charge from the back to move into overall fifth, to pick up both points and self-confidence for the next races.
Once again Patric Niederhauser and Reinhard Kofler were back on the track for race two and even better than before. After a penalty (allegedly they hadn’t slowed down enough during a “Full Course Yellow” phase in the first race…) the team with start number 16 had to move forward to the tenth place. “Unfortunately I didn’t have a very good start,” said Reinhard Kofler after the race. "After that, I just had to fight my way through the field. That took some effort, and it cost me a lot of time.”
Patric Niederhauser took over for the second half of the race after the pit stop, which once again went without a hitch. “After a few wild duels, I finally found myself in third place behind my countryman Cedric Freiburghaus. I was a whole lot faster than he was, but he had so much speed out of the corners that I just couldn't get past him. I got beside him at one point, and then I should have come out swinging. But I didn't want to put our podium place in danger, so with a heavy heart I had to settle for third place," Niederhauser concluded.
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