After an impressive haul of two race victories and a podium, KTM customer team razoon – more than racing has been crowned champions of the Middle East Trophy in the GTX class. At the races in Kuwait, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the team around Dominik Olbert proved the endurance qualities of the KTM X-BOW GTX.
“It was the crowning glory of our Middle East programme,” Olbert said after the six-hour race at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. “We came to the Gulf with the aim of winning the title, and we achieved that. Everyone involved has put so much heart and work into this project. Winning the title is the well-deserved reward.”
The racing team based in Eggersdorf near Graz did not let setbacks deter them from their ambitious plan. "The season opener in Kuwait in particular pushed us to our limits. But despite a longer repair break, we finished third," said Olbert. The points collected formed the basis for the title fight, which entered the second round with the 24-hour race in Dubai in mid-January. There, the five Austrians Leo Pichler, Daniel Drexel, Ernst Kirchmayr, Kris Rosenberger and Bob Bau managed to steer the Milwaukee-branded KTM X-BOW GTX flawlessly over the distance. The quintet was rewarded with class victory in one of the toughest endurance races of the motorsport season.
The title was finally decided at the 6 Hours of Abu Dhabi, the third and final stop of the Middle East Trophy. At the race on the impressive Yas Marina Circuit, 18-year-old Haytham Qarajouli from Kuwait once again took the wheel. "Giving young talent a chance was also part of our program in the Middle East Trophy. Haytham more than convinced us with his performance and confirmed his performance from Kuwait," explained Olbert.
The finale itself turned into a real thriller, which was peppered with numerous challenges for the razoon team. First and foremost, the newly introduced safety car procedure presented a difficult task for the team, which was fighting for a good position in the overall standings. "We had a really good pace and were able to hold our own against the competition in the other classes, depending on the phase of the race. Unfortunately, we kept losing our hard-earned lead due to the regulations. That left a bad taste in our mouth for another class win and the title. Of course, we can still count ourselves lucky," Olbert summed up.
The success in the Emirates gives Dominik Olbert and his team plenty of motivation ahead of the upcoming season. razoon – more than racing intends to compete in all 24H Series races with the exception of Estoril.