A family matter: An interview with Ferdinand and Johannes Stuck
When the 24 Hours Nürburgring Qualifiers take place on 7 and 8 May, Johannes and Ferdinand Stuck will once again be sharing driving duties. The two brothers are a firm fixture in the True Racing by Reiter Engineering set-up and have played a significant role in developing the car. We spoke to the pair of brothers to find out how they came to the KTM family and how their work looks like both on and off the track.
How did you come to the KTM brand?
Ferdinand Stuck: It all started more or less by accident, back in the spring of 2016. We were at the Salzburgring and were asked whether we would like to sit in one of the KTMs. We were really impressed, and one thing soon led to another. We soon arrived at a point where we were absolutely desperate to try out the GT4 model on the Nordschleife.
Johannes Stuck: Since then, we have been racing every year with KTM: in the NLS, the Nürburgring 24 Hours and also other endurance races such as the Barcelona 24 Hours. Recently we helped to develop the KTM X-BOW GT2 SPX version for the Nordschleife.
The SPX version of the KTM X-BOW GT2 was raced for the first time in the spring. What tasks did you have in the development phase?
Ferdinand Stuck: There were various stages to the development process. Reiter Engineering obviously has a great deal of experience, so for me it was about driving the car for those long runs – the dream of any racing driver. You get in the car in the morning and you drive it until it practically falls apart – not literally of course. That helps to check a variety of systems, such as the temperature of the engine or transmission. But we also did low-fuel runs and wore the tyres down as far as they would go to gain some valuable knowledge about the level of grip. In other words, it was a very cool experience from a driver’s perspective but also laborious at times.
You have driven the various versions of the KTM X-BOW. What are the differences?
Johannes Stuck: With the GT2 we have better aerodynamics thanks to the SPX kit, which helps to raise the performance closer to GT3 level. We have achieved similar performance with the KTM X-BOW GTX, and recently made some significant progress with that model too. Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that major manufacturers have been testing and developing their cars on the Nordschleife for decades – the amount of experience they have is huge. That’s why we are so happy to mix things up every now and again!
What are the strengths of the X-BOW around the Nürburgring-Nordschleife? What makes the car so appealing to all ages and categories of drivers?
Johannes Stuck: The overall package is simply unbeatable. There is nothing at this level of performance per kilometre for this price. The KTM X-BOW is perfect for gentlemen drivers in particular, thanks to the multiple driver assist functions such as ABS, traction control and automatic upshifting. That makes driving very easy in one sense but finding those final five or ten seconds of pace is a real challenge for amateur drivers.
Do you have any personal highlights with the KTM?
Ferdinand Stuck: The whole project has just been fun. I think I speak for both of us when I say that it really great that we can both compete in motorsport as brothers, even after so many years in racing. It is also great to have such an established relationship with a manufacturer. That’s certainly not a given in a world of fast-paced deals.
24H Nürburgring Qualifiers:
The qualifying weekend for the Nürburgring 24 Hours has a new format in 2022, with two qualifying sessions and two separate races both run over three hours. Besides True Racing by Reiter Engineering, KTM customer team Teichmann Racing will also be competing.
True Racing by Reiter Engineering
#116 Reinhard Kofler / Mads Siljehaug / Tim Heinemann / Max Hofer
#117 Ferdinand Stuck / Johannes Stuck / Markus Palttala
#161 Tim Sandtler / Florian Wolf / Laura Kraihamer
#163 Christian Volz / Andreas Tasche / Michael Mönch