First Pro Cup victory for KTM X-BOW GT4 in 2016, Caitlin Wood expands lead in Ladies championship & Marko Helistekangas takes leadership of the Men´s Championship.
In the first two events of the newly formed Reiter Young Stars Cup, the young drivers had to compete in two sprint events of 50 minutes each per weekend. But at the halfway mark of the 2016 season a new experience was awaiting the teams. Drivers and students had to face a tough 2-hour endurance race. Together with a bunch of GT3 cars from the British GT Championship and additionally to that more than 40 GT4 cars of British GT and Competition102 GT4 European Series, more than 55 cars raced at the traditional circuit of Spa-Francorchamps. As an additional challenge, all sessions were squeezed into two action packed days!
Despite the new “Endurance” challenge, the Reiter Young Stars also had to think about their main focus: Five fast laps per driver in the race to collect as many points as possible for the 2016 Reiter Young Stars Cup.
With this large number of cars on the track, it was not easy to find a clear lap in qualifying. The grid for the Endurance race was formed by the average time of the fastest lap of both drivers in each team. Mads Siljehaug and Maciej Dreszer (RYS Team Hohenberg Event) found the best way to set good lap times in qualifying and were the fastest KTM X-BOW GT4 team and second fastest GT4 European car overall on the grid.
After two hours of racing, the result in the men´s championship are the tightest of the season so far. Four drivers within sixth tenth of a second on average, a breath taking finish! Marko Helistekangas (RYS Team Pankl) took his first win in the Reiter Young Stars Competition after two podium places at Monza and Pau. The average of his five fastest laps was a 2.33,408 minutes, which secured not only the victory in the Spa round, but also gets him into the lead of the men’s driver Championship.
Second place went to Maciej Dreszer from RYS Team Hohenberg Event, who´s average lap was just five hundredths of a second slower than Helistekangas. A theoretical lap time of 2.33,809 minutes lead Frederic Freiburghaus to a third place finish in Spa. Unfortunately for Thomas Krebs (RYS Team WP Performance) due to the fact that his car had a DNF because of a his team mates crash, Krebs was unable to get in the car to do his second stint and therefore had less opportunities to set his 5 clean laps. He scored points for seventh position & lost the lead in the championship to Helistekangas.
For the third time of the season, Caitlin Wood won a race of the Reiter Young Stars Cup 2016. The Australian racer from RYS Team Kiska could defend her Championship lead and had an average lap time of 2.37,428 minutes. It had been a tight decision in the male driver competition, but it was even more exciting in the female drivers result at Spa. Laura Kraihamer (RYS Team KTM) had a gap to Caitlin of only 0,02 seconds on average in the end! Woods remains ahead of Kraihamer in the point standings after Spa, Anna Rathe managed a 3rd place on the RYS podium which means Rathe is just behind the two moving up, for the first time to 3rd place.
RYS Team Hohenberg Event wins GT4 European Series at Spa
Also in the overall result of the Competition102 GT4 European Series the KTM X-BOW GT4 RYS teams played more than an important part. Maciej Dreszer and Mads Siljehaug started from second on the grid and had a strong pace against the competitors like McLaren, BMW, Ginetta, Porsche & Aston Martin. Beside the RYS Team Hohenberg car, up to four KTM X-BOW GT4 showed their performance in the top 6 positions during the endurance race, such as Chris Vlok / Immanuel Vinke (RYS Team InterNetX), Cedric Freiburghaus / Anna Rathe (RYS Team True Racing) or Laura Kraihamer / Jamie Vandenbalck (RYS Team KTM).
Different strategies and pit stop windows during the two-hour distance continuously mixed up the standings. Maciej Dreszer and Mads Siljehaug held their top spot until the end of the race and won the Pro Cup of the GT4 European Series after a late second mandatory pit stop for the first time in the 2016 season. Third in GT4 and second best KTM team was Lennart Marioneck / Tim Stupple in the RYS Team Holinger car. Bad luck for Immanuel Vinke / Chris Vlok, who were at the top for a long time with the RYS Team InterNetX KTM, but had to retire in their last stint.
Additional points for drivers and engineers in Spa
Drivers and engineers went back to school at Spa-Francorchamps. The first of two exams this season took place in Belgium. Technical questions and requests about the sporting regulations had to be answered by both groups. Depending on correct answers in the exam, additional points were collected for each championship standing.
The drivers point standing after Spa:
1. Marko Helistekangas / RYS Team Pankl 92 points
2. Lennart Marioneck / RYS Team Holinger 91 points
3. Thomas Krebs / RYS Team WP Performance 89 points
1. Caitlin Wood / RYS Team Kiska 127 points
2. Laura Kraihamer / RYS Team KTM 114 points
3. Anna Rathe / RYS Team True Racing 81 points