A dark race weekend for Laura Kraihamer in DTM Trophy
Laura Kraihamer made her debut as guest driver in the new DTM Trophy at the Lausitzring, supporting Teichmann Racing team in the KTM X-Bow. But it was a difficult weekend for the KTM squad.
It was the second race weekend for the new DTM Trophy and Laura Kraihamer was one of the guest starters at the Lausitzring. The young Austrian and Yves Volte were supposed to support Kevin Strohschänk behind the wheel of the KTM X-Bow for Teichmann Racing - but it wasn´t the weekend the KTM team had hoped for.
"It’s raceweek once more. DTM Trophy I’m coming for ya."
The first race was contested under rainy conditions and Laura Kraihamer lined up 18th out of 21 drivers. She had an early trip into the gravel, but could continue the race without major damages. In fact, she wasn't the only one who to encounter troubles in the race.
While pole setter Felix Hirsiger (Porsche, Allied Racing) defended his position, he could do do anything against Tim Heinemann (Mercedes-AMG, HP Racing International) who started second and passed him under the heavy rain to lead the field to the finish line. Jan Kisiel (Mercedes-AMG, Leipert Motorsport) had a close fight with Jan-Phillip Springob (Mercedes-AMG, Superdrink by Bremotion) until the last corner, as Kisiel passed Spingob and secured the last spot on the podium.
More bad luck hit WTCC-champ and guest driver José Maria López, who collided with the Toyota of his teammate Heiko Hammel (Ring Racing) and triggerd a Safety Car phase.
The restart for the last lap of the race was good enough for leader Heinemann; Lucas Mauron (Audi, Racing One) had fewer luck and collided with Rudolf Rhyn (Porsche, Phoenix Racing).
Laura Kraihamer finished the race in P16, ahead of both her KTM colleagues Volte and Strohschänk. The Austrian ace was struggling to find words to describe her debut weekend in the championship:
"Well. Mixed feelings here at Lausitzring." - she wrote. "DTM Trophy truly is a great organized, cool, interesting & very competitive series and we‘re trying our best to get in the game - right now we‘ve not got a lot in our hands but everyone is working hard to find solutions. Let‘s see what tomorrow brings."
The second race wasn't any better for both the Austrian lady and the KTM crew: the X-Bow GT4 cars could be spotted in 16th place (Volte), 17th (Kraihamer) and 20th (Strohschänk). Only López was behind them, following a disqualification from the qualifying after his team had violated parc fermé rules. Peter Terting (PROsport Racing) had more troubles, as his Porsche started to burn shortly before the start.
Ben Tuck led the most laps of the race, but with degrading tyres, he had no chance against Heinemann, who passed the BMW of Walkenhorst Motorsport and took the second victory of the weekend. The last spot on the podium went to Kisiel.
López drove the best race of the weekend and passed driver after driver up until P8 at the end of the race.
For KTM it was again an empty-hands day with Volte in P16, Kraihamer and Strohschänk behind in P18 and P19 respectively.
"This has probably been the hardest race weekend I‘ve ever experienced since racing cars." - she commented.
"We tried everything and I truly feel sorry for the whole team, my teammates and for KTM. This is not what we deserve and not what we are capable of. However, I’m sure everyone involved is working on finding a solution."
Laura Kraihamer will drive this weekend at NLS5 with the Girls only-Team, an opportunity to quickly get her head around such a rough experience.
KTM operation in the DTM Trophy series has been so far hampered by BoP issues, which the manufacturer is hoping to solve in the coming rounds. The next regular weekend will be from 11th to 13th September at the Nürburgring.