Once again, the Green Hell well and truly lived up to its reputation during the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife. The 50th running of the endurance racing classic was marked by a myriad of incidents and also pushed the two KTM teams True Racing by Reiter Engineering and Teichmann Racing to their limits. After multiple setbacks in both camps, the race still ended in a positive way with 20th position for Markus Palttala, Reinhard Kofler and the brothers Johannes and Ferdinand Stuck.
As a result, the quartet achieved the first finish for the SPX version of the KTM X-BOW GT2, which was participating in a 24-hour race for the first time at the Nürburgring. “It was a milestone in the development of the car and, above all, a huge relief for the crew after months of preparation,” said Michael Wölfling, Managing Director of KTM Sportcar GmbH. “We knew that there is no better endurance test than this race. So, we are even prouder that we have brought a car to the finish while being able to prove our pace at the same time.”
In the #116 sister car, Tim Heinemann, Max Hofer, Mads Siljehaug and double-duty Reinhard Kofler underlined the potential offered by the new car. The drivers were in good form throughout the weekend, posting strong results in the qualifying sessions. On top of that, they put in an impressive recovery drive that brought the KTM X-BOW GT2 into the front-running group in the field. However, an extended pit stop for repairs due to technical problems and an accident during the night blew all hopes of a top result.
“On one hand, 20th place is disappointing, but it was still better than what was initially expected,” said Hans Reiter, who was responsible for the car together with his crew. “We were able to up our performance significantly compared to the preparation races – during the first NLS round, we were still around twelve seconds in arrears. Now, we are capable of attacking the front-runners. We have seen that we have a really fast car, but we still have some homework to do for our next outing.”
Teichmann Racing, meanwhile, had to deal with all kinds of setbacks. The customer team, based in Adenau at the Nürburgring, ran a total of four KTM X-BOWs in its home race, three of which retired early from of the race. A fire in the KTM X-BOW GTX put an end to the race for Georg Griesemann, Maik Rönnefarth, Yves Volte and Felix von der Laden, who was behind the wheel when the fire broke out but was able to walk away unscathed.
The race also came to a premature end for the drivers of the #163 KTM X-BOW GT4 (Phil Hill, “Maximilian”, Andreas Tasche and Michael Mönch) and the KTM X-BOW GTX of Michael Amweg, Tim Sandtler, Florian Wolf and Dirk Adorf. The quartet didn’t put a foot wrong throughout the race until the early hours of Sunday, when a sudden burst of rain led to an accident and dashed any hopes of a finish among the class leaders. The four Teichmann drivers held a promising position in the top 30 until the car’s retirement.
For Stephan Brodmerkel, Hendrik Still, Constantin Schöll and Laura Kraihamer, the 2022 Nürburgring 24 Hours was all about damage limitation. In spite of a longer repair break during the night, the quartet with in the #161 car still made it to the finish, coming home in 58th position overall.
“We had a difficult 24 hours and we certainly aren’t happy,” said Michael Teichmann, Team Manager at Teichmann Racing. “When you start the race with four cars with strong driver line-ups with the potential for good finishes, it goes without saying that you hope to finish the race with more than simply one car. It was particularly tough to take for the guys who put so much effort into the preparations. We had a lot of bad luck. Things can only get better next time, when we want to be able to compete for the top 20 again.”