A difficult motorsport year for the X-BOW BATTLE wrapped up in conciliatory style at the competition’s home circuit, the Red Bull Ring. Georg Silbermayr welcomed 18 starters in three classes, the GT4, Elite, and X-BOW CUP EUROPE.
Ex-Champion Holger Baumgartner managed to secure quite an impressive pole position in the first race. He was clearly the fastest driver and also the best in the Elite class. Behind him at a respectable distance was rally sport ace Kris Rosenberger, the double winner at the previous event, and on the day, the best GT4 class driver. In the X-BOW CUP Europe stakes, the young Austrian Jan Rihs and the Dutch driver Rick Bouthoorn were 1-2 on the grid. The race got away almost without problems on Saturday, although Holger Baumgartner had a slight touch in the first lap and had to relinquish the lead. Kris Rosenberger used the opportunity to break away, while behind him, Elite class drivers Georg Silbermayr, Christian Schäfer, and BOB BAU fought it out for every tenth of a second. Schäfer, who was already impressive in the last Red Bull Ring races, prevailed in the final stages, closing in on Rosenberger, who this time went on to secure the overall victory and the win in the GT4 class. Schäfer picked up maximum elite points, Silbermayr was second, and BOB BAU third. Fourth place went to Christoph Doppler, who returned to the competition after a long absence. Behind him, it was the Swiss driver Schweizer Martin Koch in the KTM X-BOW GT4 who was next across the finishing line to be second in the GT4 class, while his wife Angela Koch was third in this class (overall 14th). It was, however, the X-BOW CUP EUROPE that saw the toughest battle for wins and points, with Jan Rihs and Rick Bouthoorn fighting it out for the victory. Things heated up in the final lap, and the race stewards handed down a 30-second penalty to the winner Jan Rihs. He dropped back in the rankings and lost valuable championship points in the process. Rick Bouthoorn picked up the maximum points, Tamino Bergmeier was second place with a strong performance, newcomer Leo Pichler was a sensational third. Leon Wassertheurer had to fight his way through to his fourth place. Like Bouthoorn and Bergmeier, he kept his championship chances alive, all to be decided in the second race. Newcomers also delivered great races. Denis Liebl was fifth, and ski star Conny Hütter was a great sixth.
The starting grid looked identical to the first race results. It created a particular challenge for one or another driver, like Holger Baumgartner and Daniel Drexel, who had not managed to finish the first race. It was also tough for Jan Rihs after his time penalty in race one, and for Tamino Bergmeier, Leon Wassertheurer, and points leader Rick Bouthoorn who wanted to fight for the X-BOW CUP EUROPE title. There was also a fight for the title in the Elite class between reigning champion BOB BAU and newcomer Christian Schäfer. All this failed to impress Kris Rosenberger. The motorsport multi-talent attacked the second race from the pole position, and as in the first race, he successfully repelled all challenges, also one from Holger Baumgartner right at the end of the race. He finished a double winner at the Red Bull Ring for the second race weekend. Second and third places in the GT4 class again went to the Swiss couple Martin and Angela Koch. Holger Baumgartner, as overall second, won the Elite class. Holger Baumgartner, as overall second, won the Elite class. For him, it was some end-of-season compensation because he was put out of three races at no fault of his own. The class title fight finally went to TrenCar-Racing regular BOB BAU after a very tough duel with Christian Schäfer. He won by a margin of seven points. Schäfer, however, can be satisfied with the vice championship title because the CCS-Racing driver delivered a great debut season. Last but not least, the hardest fight was for the title of the X-BOW CUP EUROPE between equally fast and talented youngsters. The young Dutch driver Rick Bouthoorn celebrated his worthy overall win by finishing second behind super talent and one-time starter Leo Pichler. But although the points advantage over his opponents might seem relatively large, how the season played out was not that clear. Second-placed German Leon Wassertheurer, Austrian Jan Rihs in third, and Germany’s Tamino Bergmeier at fourth all showed convincing speed and talent on every race weekend. Daniel Drexel was at times also on a par with the four fastest, and if race winner Leo Pichler had competed in more races other than the season final at the Red Bull Ring, it could have been a five-way fight for the title. Ski ace Conny Hütter had a lot of bad luck in the final when her car sustained damage to the drive shaft just as she was competing for a top result. She nevertheless proved that she is not only fast on skis but also behind the steering wheel.