The title fight in the ADAC GT4 Germany had developed into a nail biter in recent races. Going into the grand finale on the Sachsenring there were three teams in with a chance of picking up the title in the ADAC GT4 Germany: the BMW duo Marius Zug/Gabriele Piana, the Mercedes team Hamza and Jusuf Owega and the Austrian-Norwegian pair Eike Angermayr and Mads Siljehaug with their Felbermayr-Reiter KTM X-BOW GT4.
For the couple racing in the legendary Felbermayr colors, it was clear that the first race on the Sachsenring was all about putting off the final decision until race two on Sunday. With an 18-point deficit, it would have been fatal at this stage to finish behind the leading duo Zug/Piana. And on the racing circuit close to Chemnitz, both KTM and Reiter Engineering were undoubtedly expecting to stay in the running, because the spectacular MotoGP circuit, with its many tight corners and extremely demanding undulations, was one that was going to suit the agile, lightweight KTM X-BOW GT4.
Mads Siljehaug finished eighth in a difficult qualifying as the track dried out, while Marius Zug had to start from 21st place in the penultimate race of the season. After a turbulent start, both Felbermayr-Reiter drivers got right into the fight and delivered a superb finish to take the victory. Meanwhile, True Racing driver Reinhard Kofler made contact with BMW driver Gabriela Piana when he tried to overtake him, with both of them losing a few places.
The other two KTM driver pairs also delivered excellent performances. The youngster duo Marcel Marchewicz, winner of the X-BOW Rookies Challenge, and his German countryman Yves Volte drove to third place in a near-perfect race. They then moved up a step on the podium after the second-placed Porsche was disqualified. The Czech Customer Team RTR-Projects saw their two drivers Jan Krabec and Lenny Marioneck finally finish in fifth and fourth place respectively.
So as hoped, the title was finally decided in the last race of the season. Before Sunday's race, just three points separated Eike Angermayr and Mads Siljehaug from the title win. The KTM GT4 teams already showed their strength in qualifying. Lenny Marioneck picked up pole position for RTR Projects, youngster Yves Volte put his Austrian racer on the grid at second, and Reini Kofler put in the fourth fastest qualification time. Eike Angermayr secured seventh starting position to put him right next to championship rival Gabriele Piana.
Another hectic start phase followed. The first start was canceled, followed by a restart after another lap behind the safety car. There were some collisions, among others between Reini Kofler and Eike Angermayr. While Kofler went into a spin, Angermayr drove on to remain within striking distance of BMW driver Piana right up to the pit stop. Then, just after the scheduled pit stop when the drivers changed and Siljehaug took the wheel of the Felbermayr/Reiter Engineering KTM X-BOW GT4, the Reiter team saw something unbelievable: Championship contender Gabriele Piana had to take his BMW M4 GT4 back to the pits, apparently with a technical defect.
It was a real test of nerves from that moment on, with Mads Siljehaug at the wheel of the KTM X-BOW GT4. He almost got tangled up in a spectacular three-way fight, but the young Norwegian managed to stay out of trouble and went on to finish in seventh place, one position behind True Racing driver Laura Kraihamer – thus securing the first-ever ADAC GT4 Germany title for him, Eike Angermayr, Felbermayr/Reiter Engineering, and the KTM Sportcar GmbH. The day of celebrations was complete with the sensational race victory for Jan Krabec/Lenny Marioneck in the RTR Projects KTM X-BOW.
Quotes from the finale of the ADAC GT4 Germany on the Sachsenring
Hans Reiter: “I believe today we have to be incredibly proud of our drivers, and of every single team member who contributed to us winning this title. We didn’t just win the title against outstanding teams and drivers, but also against two noble English sportscar brands, and the assembled premium German car manufacturers. The fact that the comparatively small vehicle manufacturer from Austria and the Bavarian private racing team have succeeded in taking the title is simply extraordinary.”
Hubert Trunkenpolz, KTM Board Member: “Congratulations to Eike Angermayr and Mads Siljehaug, and to Reiter Engineering for winning the ADAC GT4 championship title. That is a special moment and a fantastic result. It makes us very, very proud and shows what the KTM X-BOW GT4 is capable of. A big thank you and many congratulations naturally to all the other KTM X-BOW GT4 drivers, and to all the employees of KTM Sportcar GmbH, who with their commitment, made this success possible.”
Eike Angermayr: “We did it! It was unbelievable to be part of this team, and this season’s success. Mads was a perfect teammate, and together we were able to take the title for Felbermayr, Reiter Engineering, and KTM.”
Mads Siljehaug: "What a feeling, I'm overjoyed. It was a good consistent year with Eike, we drove some great races, but this weekend was the absolute highlight. My thanks go to Horst Felbermayr, Hans Reiter, KTM and the whole team. This success would not have been possible without their generous support and their hard work. We had a fantastic car for the whole season."
Jan Krabec: “Unbelievable! Lenny and I make a perfect duo, and right from the beginning, it all went well. His performance in today's qualifying was excellent. The 30 minutes of my stint was the longest 30 minutes of my life. That, in the end, it was enough for the victory is the result of RTR Projects continuous hard work. So thank you to the team for the perfect support!"
Lenny Marioneck: "What a weekend! RTR Projects worked perfectly, and Jan drove a very strong second stint to take the win. I’m quite satisfied with my race, especially as I have been out of the car for so long. Congratulations to Mads and Eike, I'm glad they were able to win the title."
Marcel Marchewicz: "I'm very happy with the weekend. Thanks to Reiter Engineering, and to Yves, they all did a super job. Unbelievable that we were able to finish second in our first ADAC GT4 Germany race, it is such a good and hard-fought racing series. Unfortunately, we made some mistakes today and got a drive-through penalty. Without them, we could have done a lot better.
Yves Volte: “After our great qualifying we should have done a lot better in race two, but unfortunately I made a mistake at the beginning. Sorry to the team, and Marcel. But of course, I am still pleased with our second place."