Once again, Project Spielberg proved to be the perfect host for KTM’s one-make racing series, the X-BOW BATTLE, which had its second race weekend under the best weather conditions as part of the GT-Open weekend.
Former Rally Champion Kris Rosenberger, who last year competed in the X-BOW CUP EUROPE, made a guest start with the ‘Performance Automotive’ KTM X-BOW GT4. Under the eyes of team boss, Helmut Ritzer, he grabbed the pole position. Czech driver Josef Koller was the fastest in the Elite class, and Tamino Bergmeier secured the pole in the X-BOW CUP EUROPE class. The race got off to a flying start on Saturday afternoon with pole-sitter Rosenberger holding on to the lead. The entire field got safely through the first lap. A hefty battle immediately developed among the Elite drivers, but Josef Koller managed to stay in the clear. He then set about putting the pressure on Kris Rosenberger. Behind them, there was a lot going on between BOB BAU, Georg Silbermayr, and German driver Christian Schäfer. The CCS-Racing driver showed how much he had improved. He overtook all Elite competitors and even would have had the speed for the overall win. He then overdid his attack on leader Rosenberger, went into a spin, and lost the advantage. The situation then got tight again for Kris Rosenberger towards the end of the race. Trencar-Racing driver BOB BAU got ready to go on the attack, but in the end, Rosenberger prevailed to pick up the race win and the GT4 class victory. BOB BAU won the Elite class ahead of Christian Schäfer, who, after his spin, managed to work his way past Georg Silbermayr (fourth overall, third place in the Elite class), and Josef Koller. Once again, the ‘race within a race’ between the X-BOW CUP EUROPE competitors delivered a sensation. Pole-sitter Tamino Bergmeier made a braking error in the Schlossgold corner of the first lap, and Rick Bouthoorn used this to take over the lead. Leon Wassertheurer and Jan Rihs were also among the leaders, and Bergmeier fought his way into this group. In what turned out to be a wild race, this group of four fought for victory, which, unfortunately, was finally decided by some penalties relating to drivers exceeding the track limits several times. Finally, it was Leon Wassertheurer who drove without mistakes to finish on top of the podium. Jan Rihs was second, Rick Bouthoorn third, and Tamino Bergmeier fourth. Stefan Rameseder put in a very good guest start but could not match the speed at the front. Daniel Drexel came out best in a father-son duel, with father Clemens finishing seventh. Thomas Wallasch was eighth.
Bright sunshine also awaited the X-BOW BATTLE competitors on Sunday afternoon for the second race of the weekend. Once again, Kris Rosenberger in the KTM X-BOW GT4 dominated the qualifying, with BOB BAU coming in close behind him as the fastest Elite driver. Best X-BOW CUP EUROPE driver was once again Tamino Bergmeier. As in Saturday's race, the entire field put in a blistering start and got through the first lap unscathed. Rosenberger did not allow BOB BAU to take the lead, but Christian Schäfer set about proving his good form very quickly. He took over second place and began to pressure Rosenberger in front of him, while BOB BAU went into a spin and ended up at the back of the field. It looked like he had some technical problems with his Elite KTM X-BOW. Then, in the ninth lap, there was a change at the front. Following a rare mistake by Kris Rosenberger, Christian Schäfer shot past the GT4 driver and, for the first time, picked up some kilometers as race leader. Rosenberger then hit back a few laps later and went on to take the overall and GT4 class victory also in the second race. Christian Schäfer was able to celebrate his first Elite class win, and Georg Silbermayr finished behind him, while Josef Koller, who also had some technical issues, fell behind. He still made the Elite podium, and BOB BAU collected points for fourth place in the class. It was another thrilling fight in the X-BOW CUP EUROPE. Rick Bouthoorn again managed to overtake Tamino Bergmeier in the first lap and did not give up the lead right to the finish. The Dutchman, meanwhile, had to endure an unbelievable battle against his German colleague Widersacher Bergmeier. The two drivers were several times head-on-head, and for a while, it also looked like Leon Wassertheurer would also have a say in who was to win. Finally, the three drivers crossed the line in that order. Jan Rihs, last year’s winner on the Red Bull Ring – who was held back with some minor problems – only managed to finish fourth. Fifth in the X-BOW CUP EUROPE was Stefan Rameseder, and sixth was Daniel Drexel. He went into the gravel on the first lap but was finally able to overtake his father. Thomas Wallasch rounded off the top eight.
The third and final event of the X-BOW BATTLE will be on October 9-10, again at the Red Bull Ring, this time as guests at the Histo Cup.