It was a Race 1 of full of surprises at the Red Bull Ring: on its home track the debuting KTM X-BOW GTX Concept crossed the line as the winner, with Stefan Rosina and Patric Niederhauser at the wheel of the Reiter Engineering-developed car, but in the post-race technical verifications, the car was disqualified because the non-compliance of the brake discs size. Reiter Engineering lodged an appeal to the decision.
While waiting for the result of the appeal, the Teo Martín Motorsport McLarens signed a 1-2, with Miguel Ramos-Henrique Chaves declared winners of the race. In his return to the GT Open, Fran Rueda was second, together with Marcelo Hahn, in the other 720S of the Spanish squad, after taking pole and dominating the first stint. A safety-car intervention right bfore the opening of the driver change window erased the advantage (15 seconds) built by Rueda, and benefitted the Slovak-Swiss duo of KTM.
If confirmed, today’s win would be the 20th of Miguel Ramos, putting him alongside Andrea Montermini at the top of the ranking of drivers with most GT Open race wins. Whatever happens with the appeal, he and Chaves are certain of getting the points of victory in any case, as the KTM appeared as a G3 guest car, and of extending their lead in the standings to 11 points on Prette-Abril (AF Corse APM Monaco Ferrari), today 5th.
Hahn-Rueda won the Pro-Am classe (with the Brazilian strengthening his lead in the class standings), ahead of the debuting RAM Racing Mercedes-AMG of Sam De Haan-Callum Macleod and the Optimum Motorsport McLaren of Nick Moss-Joe Osborne.
In Am, the GetSpeed duo composed of Florian Scholze-Jens Lieberhauser controlled the race, taking a fourth seasonal win ahead of the other Mercedes of Alex Moiseev-Alexey Nesov (AKM Motorsport) and of Christian Hook-Manuel Lauck (SPS Automotive).
THE RACE – At the start, Rueda, who signed the pole on his return to the championship, keeps the advantage while the KTM of Rosina steals second from Prette. They are followed by De Haan, soon passed by Millroy, then Ortelli, who had robbing and contact when passing Ramos in lap 2, which will earn him a reprimand. Ramos and Yoluc complete the top-8. The Turk also gets a reprimand for breaking grid formation. In Am, Scholze is a solid early leader ahead of Leutwiler, Moiseev and Hook.
In the lead, Rueda increases steadily his advantage, by a second per lap, ahead of a compact trio formed by Rosina, Prette and Millroy. In lap 10, Ramos repasses Ortelli. In lap 13, Millroy starts attacking Prette for third, while there is a big duel for 10th between Moss and Krupinski, who pass each other a couple of times. The Pole is passed also by Leutwiler but hits the Swiss when he tries to regain his position (lap 16) sending the Porsche into the gravel and prompting the safety-car out. He will be inflicted a drive-through. In lap 19, opens the driver change window, with Prette and Ramos diving into the pits among the first ones. Rueda stays on track as long as possible, rebuilding a gap of 9 seconds on Millroy and Ortelli, the other last two to pit.
When all stops are finished, Hahn leads but has Niederhauser in his heels and the Swiss passes in lap 27. Third, 3 seconds behind, is Macleod, then Chaves, Iribe, Abril and Negro. Liebhauser keeps the advantage in Am, but with Nesov only 4 seconds behind. It’s very close between the first four, covered by 6 seconds, with Chaves passing MacLeod for third (lap 33). A superb duel opposes Osborne and Eastwood for P7, with the Aston prevailing and passing also Iribe later, although a 5-second penalty for track limits will make it drop to a final P10. In the meantime, Chaves passes Hahn for second and starts a fruitless charge on the KTM, which wins by 3.5 seconds.