PLENTY OF "PUSZTA ACTION" AT THE X-BOW BATTLE
Thrilling raceweekend at the Pannoniaring!
- Reini Kofler delivers another double victory for "Pipp Racing" on the Pannonian Plains
- Pierre Ludigkeit secures an excellent second and third place in the races
- In race two, Laura Kraihamer becomes the first woman with a top ten result
- Thanks to KTM X-BOW carbon-monocoque a serous collision in qualifying gets off lightly
Finally sunshine after a lot of rain and a sigh of relief from both organizer Georg Silbermayr and his drivers as the weather on the Pannonian Plains cleared up for Thursday’s tests. The perfect weather conditions that had blessed the X-BOW BATTLE right through the past three seasons had suddenly disappeared at the two rain-drenched Red Bull Ring race weekends in Austria.
Now 32 racing cars were present for the Hungarian race weekend but only 31 were on the lineup for qualifying for two reasons: problems with Philipp Hirschi’s car and the fact that the All-Sports Racing team had to make an early exit.
Meanwhile during qualifying, Pipp-Racing driver Reini Kofler claimed a truly stunning time of 1:52.010 minutes. This was not only two seconds faster than the second-placed Jiri Pisarik; it was also nearly two seconds faster than superbike rider Andi Meklau’s lap record of 1:53.900. Third on the grid was the very experienced Battle regular Ernst Kirchmayr – a perfect result for “Gendarmerie-Racing” team boss Raphael Sperrer, who had every reason to be happy with second and third place for his team.
Fourth placed Pierre Ludigkeit caused a stir. The German had already proved he was a force to be reckoned with during the first two race weekends even if luck had escaped him in the actual races. The fact that newcomer Holger Baumgartner hung onto ninth place is also worth mentioning while returnee Markus Fischer was eleventh and Laura Kraihamer twelfth on the starting grid.
With the exception of Laura Kraihamer, who once again had bad luck, all drivers got off to a clean start on the quite narrow Pannoniaring racing circuit. Kraihamer, from Salzburg, got away well, but was then pushed off the track by an attacking Peter Resch. Resch lost part of his bodywork and skidded out into the gravel but was able to continue the race. Not so for Kraihamer.
But that Jürgen Pipp, Jim Gebhardt, “Julie Wood”, Hubert Trunkenpolz and Hermann Zeltner also did not get any further had nothing to do with collisions. “Wood”, Trunkenpolz and Zeltner spun out and off the circuit on their own while Pipp’s and Gebhardt’s fates were sealed by gearbox problems right at the start.
Meanwhile race leader Reini Kofler pulled away from the rest of the field while a fierce four-way battle for second place unfolded behind him between Pisarik, Kirchmayr, Ludigkeit and Angerhofer, who had quickly overtaken Poland’s Artur Chwist, fought hard for every millimeter.
Halfway through the race Ernst Kirchmayr exited because of a technical problem and the PlusCity boss later on Friday night complained that he was jinxed. “When my driving is rubbish, everything works perfectly. But as soon as I’m in good shape and fast, there’s a technical problem.”
Spared of any such problems, a very happy Reini Kofler drove a clear start-to-finish victory. “A big thank you to the Pipp Racing team. I had absolutely no problems and I enjoyed it a lot.” Behind Kofler, Pierre Ludigkeit first shot down Jiri Pisarik and then Klaus Angerhofer, which clinched his very first podium finish in the overall ranking. “Incredible, a huge thank you to KTM, who prepared the perfect race car for me. It was a terrific battle and I still can’t believe it!”
Klaus “Superklausi” Angerhofer, X-BOW BATTLE man of the hour was also perfectly satisfied with his third place: “Finally I’m on the podium again. Hopefully my streak of bad luck is now over.” Jiri Pisarik was not so lucky because he drove over a piece of carbon debris in the final phase of the race and damaged his right front wheel suspension. He was able to cross the finish line but was ranked right back at 21.
Fourth place went to the surprisingly fast Czech driver Oto Otepka, Artur Chwist came in fifth and Jakub Havrlant sixth. Sehdi Sarmini, Markus Fischer, Gerhard Trenker and Lukas Martin, who once again demonstrated his great talent, completed the top ten. After a motor defect in free practice, Lukas did not have a single timed lap and had to start the race from the back of the grid. He then fought his way back to place ten to just slip into the points ranking.
The fact that Reini Kofler was able to improve his top time from the first qualifying to 1:51.873 was a secondary issue just 15 minutes into the qualifying. A serious crash between Sehdi Sarmini and Martin Novotny caused a heart-stopping moment for drivers, spectators and organizers alike.
Sarmini had swerved to avoid an animal on the track and was driving extremely slowly. Due to the track layout, Novotny, who was on a fast qualifying lap, did not see the incident until it was too late and crashed into the back of Sarmini’s X-BOW at more than 120 km/h. Both cars were thrown off the track and were seriously damaged. Thanks to the carbon monocoque, both drivers were able to make it out of their vehicles unharmed but it made it impossible to continue the race.
After this moment of shock how drivers got away at the start almost became a minor matter but in reality it was almost the same as race one. It was Kofler in front of Pisarik, Angerhofer, Ludigkeit and Kirchmayr and in reality it was these four drivers behind Kofler that delivered thrilling wheel on wheel action in race two, including some wheel banging between Klaus Angerhofer and Pierre Ludigkeit.
No one had a chance against Reini Kofler, who finished his Pannoniaring weekend with a sparkling clean double victory. “I don’t mind if it continues like this.“ Jiri Pisarik came to terms with the track and finished second. “It was very tough. There was no room for mistakes, that’s how narrow it was.“ And Pierre Ludigkeit followed in third place and was lost for words: “I’m done for today!“
For a short while Klaus Angerhofer was in second place, but after a few small mistakes he finished fourth in front of Ernst Kirchmayr, who finally escaped without any bad luck. Pavel Heinik finished in sixth place after not being able to start at all in race one due to turbo damage in the qualifying. Jim Gebhardt managed to rescue his seventh place after an unwanted visit into the gravel. This resulted in a broken right rear wheel suspension in the cool-down lap.
“Rookie“ Holger Baumgartner would have certainly overtaken Gebhardt, had the defect occurred slightly earlier. But with an eighth place in the championship standings, his result cannot be overestimated. His races at the Pannoniaring were only his fifth and sixth of his career!
Artur Chwist finished ninth. The Polish driver lost ground to those around Pisarik and Ludikgeit after spinning out. Laura Kraihamer took a more than deserved tenth place and finally shook off her streak of bad luck. She wasn’t taken out by anyone and proved in a die-hard duel with Jan Ondrak that not only she can keep up with the men, but can also drive faster.
The same goes for “Julie Wood“ who finished twenty-third, ahead of four of her male colleagues, despite an engine misfire. Organizer Georg Silbermayr summarizes as follows: “A fantastic weekend at a spectacular track. We will definitely be back soon!” And the BATTLE doesn’t stop here: The next race weekend follows in just two weeks (June 21-22) at the Eurospeedway Lausitzring in Germany!
Results Race 1, June, 7, 2013
1. Reinhard Kofler (A), 25:44.444 min (12 laps)
2. Pierre Ludigkeit (D), +1.710 sec
3. Klaus Angerhofer (A), +5.162
4. Oto Otepka (CZ), +7.272
5. Artur Chwist (PL), +11.397
6. Jakub Havrlant (CZ), +21.829
7. Sehdi Sarmini (A), +23.414
8. Markus Fischer (D), +27.503
9. Gerhard Trenker (A), +28.217
10. Lukas Martin (A), +42.992
11. Peter Resch (A), +43.377
12. Ondrej Bach (CZ), +44.762
13. Eyke Angermayr (A), +49.258
14. Gerald Kiska (A), +51.252
15. Max Lahmer (A), +1:06.506 min
16. Karel Bednar (CZ), +1:07.210
17. Uwe Schmidt (D), +1:11.234
18. Jan Ondrak (CZ), +1:11.657
19. Martin Novotny (CZ), +1:12.946
20. Ingo Hartmann (D), +1:14.648
21. Jiri Pisarik (CZ), +1:31.837
22. Harald Rath (A), +2:24.116
23. Christoph Doppler (A), +1 lap
24. „Bernie Silverstone“ (A), +2 laps
25. Ernst Kirchmayr (A), DNF
26. Holger Baumgartner (A), DNF
27. Laura Kraihamer (A), DNF
28. Jim Gebhardt (D), DNF
29. Hermann Zeltner (D), DNF
30. „Julie Wood“ (A), DNF
31. Hubert Trunkenpolz (A), DNF
32. Jürgen Pipp (D), DNS
Results Race 2, June, 8, 2013
1. Reinhard Kofler (A), 25:37.142 min (13 laps)
2. Jiri Pisarik (CZ), +0.976 sec
3. Pierre Ludigkeit (D), +1.234
4. Klaus Angerhofer (A), +1.590
5. Ernst Kirchmayr (A), +2.899
6. Pavel Heinik (CZ), +3.769
7. Jim Gebhardt (D), +6.268
8. Holger Baumgartner (A), +8.173
9. Artur Chwist (PL), +19.411
10. Laura Kraihamer (A), +20.540
11. Jan Ondrak (CZ), +20.868
12. Peter Resch (A), +33.139
13. Jürgen Pipp (D), +33.465
14. Gerhard Trenker (A), +34.135
15. Ondrej Bach (CZ), +48.850
16. Uwe Schmidt (D), +57.563
17. Ingo Hartmann (D), +57.983
18. Karel Bednar (CZ), +1:12.358 min
19. Hubert Trunkenpolz (A), +1:25.520
20. Christoph Doppler (A), +1:27.667
21. Hermann Zeltner (D), +1:28.995
22. Gerald Kiska (A), +1:42.923
23. „Julie Wood“ (A), +1 lap
24. Harald Rath (A), +1 lap
25. Markus Fischer (D), +1 lap
26. Eyke Angermayr (A), +2 laps
27. „Bernie Silverstone“ (A), DNF
28. Lukas Martin (A), DNF
29. Oto Otepka (CZ), DNF
Overall Standings (after 6 of 14 races)
1. Reinhard Kofler, 100 points
2. Jim Gebhardt, 72
3. Jiri Pisarik, 63
4. Pierre Ludigkeit, 53
5. Klaus Angerhofer, 52
6. „Major Adolf Kottan“, 43
7. Ryan Sharp, 37
8. Pavel Heinik, 28
9. Lukas Martin, 23
10. Ernst Kirchmayr, 22
Team Standings (after 6 of 14 races)
1. Pipp Racing 1 (Pipp/Seifert/Kofler), 122 points
2. Team Bohemia (Pisarik/Otepka), 83
3. Pluscity Junior Racing Team (Silverstone/Major Kottan/Kirchmayr), 73
4. Magenta Power (Schmidt/Gebhardt), 72
5. Ludini Unchained (Sarmini/Ludigkeit), 67
6. True Racing (Angerhofer/Trunkenpolz/Kiska), 52
7. Racetool 1 (Heinik/Novotny), 28
8. All-Sports Racing (Martin/Hirschi), 23
9. 4F Poland (Chwist/Maslanka), 18
10. Roomvibes (Resch/Trenker), 11