Difficult first weekend for the Ladies in DTM Trophy
The second season of the DTM Trophy started with the first racing weekend in Monza and three female drivers behind the wheel. Laura Kraihamer with KTM, Stéphane Kox with Lamborghini and Sophie Hofmann with Heide Motorsport. It was no easy prelude for all three drivers, but showed some highlights for the upcoming season.
It´s the second season of the DTM support series DTM Trophy. With ten teams and manufactors like Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, KTM, Mercedes, Porsche and Toyota it is a colorful field with three female drivers behind the wheel. Best known is Laura Kraihamer who will drive a KTM X-Bow GT next to Stéphane Kox from the Netherlands with a Toyota GR Supra GT and Sophie Hofmann for Heide Racing with an Audi R8 LMS GT.
The series will take place on seven racing weekends inculding Monza, Nürburgring, Lausitzring, Red Bull Ring, Assen, Hockenheimring and hopefully the reschulded Norisring. New this year is the Power of Performance with weight for the first three drivers of each race with 25, 18 and 15 kilogram. The quali session is excluded from this.
The first weekend took place last weekend in Monza with drivers from eleven nations and 23 GT cars on track. The first pole of the weekend scored Ben Green ahead of Moritz Löhner (both FK Performance Motorsport) and William Tregurtha (CV Performance). Best of the female drivers was Stéphane Kox (Ring Racing) on P 18who lost a bit of her pace compared to the free practice session followed by Laura Kraihamer (True Racing by Reiter Engineering) on P20 and Sophie Hofmann (Heide-Motorsport) on P22.
At the start for race 1 one the new season Green stayed in the leading position and pulled away with his teammate Löhner from the rest of the field. But Tregurtha in third caught up with the two leading cars, managed to pass Löhner in lap 6 and followed Green for his chance to pass.
Soon the saftey car was called out because a tire blow by Lucas Mauron (Heide Motorsport) stopped his catching up from the back of the field to position 7 and forced him to retire. At the same time the Toyota by Stéphane came to a stop on track because of a technial issue.
The restart was held with six minutes remaining of the race as Green again defended his lead, but behind him Löhner was able to pass Tregurtha to come back second, but lost it on the penultimate lap again. The race was finished with Green on P1 followed by Tregurtha and Löhner for the other podium spots.
Laura came home on P15 and Sophie on P17 while Stéphane was one of two retirements of the race.
"Day 1 done. Not where we want to be right now, but everyone involved is working hard to get us there," Laura said after the race.
Quali session 2 saw Tregurtha score pole position ahead of Tim Heinemann (ProSport Racing) and Green. The duo of Laura and Stéphane qualified on P17 and P18 while Sophie started the race from P21.
Tregurtha was able to defend his lead into race 2 at the start while Michael Schrey (Hofor Racing by Bonk Motorsport) started from fifth of the grid to second with Heinemann dropping back to third. Chandler Hull (Walkenhorst Motorsport) spun in the back field and was stuck into the gravel what called the saftey car out to revocer the BMW.
The restart followed a leader change as Schrey took over the lead and Tregurtha dropped back to the fourth position. But the battle wasn´t over. First it was Tregurtha who passed Nico Verdonck (Ring Racing) for third while Heinemann passed Schrey on the main straight and won the race on the track. But a two-second penalty for leaving the track in a chicane and getting himself an advantage dropped him back to third behind Schrey and Tregurtha of the final result.
In a surprising P14 Sophie came home with a good pace, decent battles on the track and a strong result as the best of the female drivers. "The whole team didn‘t have it easy at Monza. Nevertheless, I‘m quite happy with my performance for the first race weekend in the championship. I was able to improve continuously from session to session over the three days and I‘m sure that we‘ll all be stronger when we attack the second race weekend at the Lausitzring."
Laura followed in 15th position with her KTM X-Bow.
Stéphane had a good chatching up and was back to P14 after some laps, but was hit by another car and spun into the gravel. She could rejoin the race and finished in P16 at the end.
The next race will take place on the Lausitzring from 23rd to 25th July.