Laura Kraihamer dominates Barcelona 24H race
Austrian star Laura Kraihamer took the KTM GTX concept car at racing debut to class victory and top-10 overall at the Barcelona 24 Hours.
2019 24 Hours of Barcelona will be one to remember for the KTM True Racing team, as the Austrian squad was able to conquer SPX class victory in the first real test in racing conditions for KTM's GTX concept car after an impressive race.
The victorius #216 KTM GTX drivers line-up was composed by Johannes Stuck, Ferdinand Stuck, Sedhi Sarmini and Laura Kraihamer, one of the current top female racing drivers.
The #216 took the SPX class leadership when in her first stint, Laura Kraihamer showed her talent and potential by driving for several hours with consistency and without any type of issue. She moved past Click Vers in the #769 Porshe for P1 in class.
After 6 hours from the green flag, a quarter of the entire 24H of race, the KTM crew was dominating the class standings, followed in second place by the #217 sister car driven by Hubert Trunkenpolz, Klaus Angerhofer, Gerald Kiska, Artur Chwist and again Sehdi Sarmini, member of both the crews.
Misfortune hit the #217 during the night when they made contact with another competitor. Tyre pickup ended up in the engine compartement, causing the V-belt to drop and damaging the engine. At that moment the KTM team proved not only to have talented drivers but also a remarkable engineering crew, which was promptly able to complete an engine change in a record time of 1 hour and 18 minutes, allowing the car to resume the 24H of Barcelona race.
With only 5 hours to the checkered flag, the #217 was running back into fourth class place with the possibility to gain one spot on the podium still alive despite the night problems. Kraihamer's #216 team continued its clean run with an impressive gap of 31 laps on the second class car.
At the end of this incredible 24 hours race, the checkered flag waved on track, and the #216 crossed the finish line as first in the SPX class.
It wasn't just a class victory with a 32 laps advantage over second-placed Porsche for Laura Kraihamer and her team-mates, but also a sensational ninth place in the overall standing, right in the middle of the GT3 cars field.
The team of Klaus Angerhofer, Artur Chwist, Hubert Trunkenpolzn, Gerald Kiska and Sehdi Sarmini, the second KTM crew, pushed hard during the final quarter of the race and took home a difficult third place after the night events, as they ended only one lap down to a possible 1-2 for KTM team True Racing.
Young star Laura Kraihamer reached once again another fantastic result in her 2019 campaign, as she's proving to be one of the most talented and consistent drivers of the current GT arena.
"SPX Winners. Happy, exhausted but most of all incredibly proud of what we have achieved as a team. Every single member of Reiter Engineering, True Racing team and KTM X-BOW added a substantial part of this success. Thanks to all of you. You make dreams come true" - were Laura's words on her social feeds after the race.
In Laura's words:
"Happy, exhausted but most of all incredibily proud of what we have achieved as a team."
Ph credits: Joel Kernasenko