Laura Kraihamer, Caitlin Woods and Lennart Marioneck first leaders of the Reiter Young Stars Cup. Top 10 results in the GT4 European Series for the KTM X-Bow GT4.
With a new and revolutionary concept Reiter Engineering from Kirchanschöring, Bavaria, started into the 2016 season with 8 KTM X-Bow GT4 and 16 young talents in the royal park of Monza. For the freshly put together teams of drivers, engineering and marketing students a full calendar awaited over 4 days with 2 free practices, a qualifying and 2 races over 50 minutes.
Between sessions it was learning the motorsports rule or diving into the secrets of racing tyres in the Pirelli schooling. “This is a lot of input, that comes to the young people”, Reiter Engineering Team principal Hans Reiter admitted. “But for those who wants to advance into GT3 this is the best preparation. It is fun to work with all these young people, they are extremely motivated.”
Both free practices on Friday went nearly without any problems and the many Reiter Young Stars competitors got to dive into Motorsports for the first time. Preparation of the car, sticking to timetables, communication with the driver, support during the practice and data analysis after practice covered just a part of the daily responsibilities. With the support of the experienced Reiter Engineering engineers drivers, technicians and team managers got closer to the topic. Despite the overload of information the first improvements encouraged the flaming interest for motorsport. Sometimes until deep into the night the newly found teams set together and developed strategies fo the first race of the Reiter Young Stars Cup 2016.
Race 1 - the premier
Next to the regular classification of the GT4 European Championship, which is determined by the order in which the cars cross the start-finish line, the Reiter Young Stars Cup classification counts the average best laptime for each pilot out of his or her 5 best laps during the race. Not an easy task within the GT4 field of 27 cars and fighting for positions in the overall classification. The most successful ones in doing so were Laura Kraihamer (RYS Team KTM) and Cedric Freiburghaus (RYS Team true-racing). Kraihamer reached the average time of 2:02.2383 minutes with her #14 KTM X-Bow GT4 and was the first to score points as winner of the girls classification. On 2nd and 3rd place Caitlin Wood and Doreen Seidel followed.
As the only one with an average time of under 2 minutes Freiburghaus won the boys class with a time of 1:59.9848 minutes ahead of Lennart Marioneck (RYS Team Holinger) and Thomas Krebs (RYS Team WP Performance). Especially Lennart Marioneck was happy with his result as at first it didn’t look like he was going be able to drive at all. Immediately in the second lap his teammate Tim Stupple had a collision with another competitor, which forced the RYS Team Holinger KTM X-Bow GT4 to the pits. The Reiter Engineering mechanics repaired the car in record time so Marioneck was able to do a few fast laps.
“My stint was very turbulent”, said winner Laura Kraihammer. “It was raining, there was a Safety Car and a few yellow flags. Nevertheless, I tried to warm up the tires, which worked out pretty well. I personally got a lot out of all the data analysis yesterday, so I was able to work with the car way more today and also work more with the ABS.”
Race 2 - developing
When there was still some uncertainty on Saturday if the race debut might have to happen in the rain, on Sunday the warm Italian sun was shining on the historic course at Monza. The experience of the Reiter Young Stars had grown and the pilots and team members were hungry for more.
The famous first corner the Reiter Young Star talents survived without any damage but just a few corners later Mads Silijehaug was the victim of a competitor and ended up in the wall with his RYS Team Hohenberg Event car. For a brief time the race control slowed down the field with a safety car to recover the crash but not to hardly damaged KTM. But the timeframe for the Reiter Young Stars drivers to do their 5 fastest laps wasn’t really shortened by it. Also in the second half a short safety car disturbed all strategies. All the drivers that did their 5 laps soon were able to profit from it. Ahead was this time the second of the day before, Lennart Marioneck in the RYS Team Holinger KTM X-Bow GT4. With an average time of 2:00.077 minutes he won ahead of Marko Heistekangas (RYS Team Pankl) and Cedric Freiburghaus (RYS Team true.racing).
The class of the female drivers on Sunday Caitlin Wood (RYS Team Kiska) was able to win. She set her fastest times soon, so there was nothing in the way of her victory despite a collision with a competitor and a puncture after the race was red flagged 2 minutes before the end due to oil on the track. With a 0.5 seconds faster average time she was ahead of Laura Kraihamer. Rebecca Jackson completed the podium. Bad luck it was for the third placed of the first race. Doreen Seidel was stuck in the gravel after a spin and had to end her race early.
“I am very satisfied with the result”, the winner of the day and leader in the Reiter Young Stars Cup Lennart Marioneck explained. “My start was very good and I was able to hand over the car being in the lead to my teammate. After the win today and an second place yesterday I am very happy with the standings of the Reiter Young Stars, additionally a fifth place overall out of 27 cars.”
A very positive conclusion drew Reiter Engineering team principal Hans Reiter on Sunday evening at Monza. “The debut of our Reiter Young Stars Cup went so well, we couldn’t have imagined in our best dreams. We had very nice and young drivers that really want this and that are highly motivated. They get better day to day even there is such an information overload that’s coming to them.”
Now there are about 3 weeks time for the Reiter Young Stars drivers, engineers and team managers before they head to the event at the Grand Prix de Pau in the south of France May 13th to 15th. With a very tight street course between concrete walls new challenges await for the teams.
The points after the first race weekend at Monza:
1. Laura Kraihamer 43 points
2. Caitlin Wood 43 points
3. Rebecca Jackson 27 points
4. Anna Rathe 22 points
5. Doreen Seidel 12 points
1. Lennart Marioneck 43 points
2. Cedric Freiburghaus 40 points
3. Thomas Krebs 27 points
4. Marko Helistekangas 24 points
5. Chris Vlok 16 points
6. Maciej Dreszer 12 points
7. Tim Stupple 10 points
8. Maximilian Völker 9 points