|The Intrepid Force Rotax team has had an outstanding weekend at the Rotax Euro Challenge at the Wackersdorf ProKart Raceland circuit in Germany, taking second place on the podium in two classes. |
In a senior field of 78 karts, Kevin Reichard had set the fastest time in qualifying on the Friday to make it the first ever pole position in the European championship for himself and for the team, based near Salzburg. Following a disappointing pre-final after being crashed-out of the front row early in the race, Reichard came through from grid 17 for the final to finish a fantastic 2nd position.
“For sure, I’m happy because it’s my first podium at the European championship and the level of the competition is high. In the final I was quite lucky at the start and gained a few positions straight away. My Intrepid kart felt really good, so I was able to keep pushing forward and achieve a great result. We’ve done a lot of laps testing here leading-up to this event and now it’s paid off.”
Dominik Kraihamer drove his way into 2nd in the Rotax DD2 gearbox class, to also secure his first podium place at the Euro Challenge. He was quick all week leading up to Sunday’s final, qualifying 5th overall and finishing 4th in the morning pre-final. Having recently made the switch to compete in the FIA GT3 European Championship with s-berg Racing, Kraihamer had no problem in the blazing heat of the afternoon to make up several places to take the runner’s-up trophy in the 18-lap race.
“It’s a brilliant result! It was really the longest three laps of any race I’ve ever driven, as I realized near the end that I could do it. It is my first podium at the Euro Challenge and really great for me. The race was good and I totally enjoyed it. The start was okay but I was passed at the beginning by another driver, which cost me a lot of time until I could overtake him. Once I caught up to the leaders and they began fighting for places, I knew I had the chance to get through.”
New Zealand Rotax Champion Josh Hart driving his first race for IFR, added to the almost perfect results for the team with a top 10 finish in the Senior Max category, behind his team-mate. The 21-year-old missed out on P2 in qualifying by a mere 0.002 seconds to be 3rd fastest and started on grid 4 for the pre-final. Hart went off-track in the turn 2 incident together with Reichard and had to start down on P19 for the final.
For the Intrepid outfit, it was an excellent weekend and they gained some valuable points for the championship. Unfortunately, it was not such an ideal meeting for the young Australian senior rookie Daniel Rochford, who failed to make the finals. However, as part of the team’s “Race To Get There” philosophy, they are looking forward to working with him in achieving more positive results in the next round in the Czech Republic in July.
IFR Race Team Manager Ernst Penninger said he was extremely proud of the effort his entire crew contributed to achieve the success they did over the past few days at the event in Germany.
“Each of the drivers and our mechanics deserve the recognition for this and I am really proud of them. The testing we did prior to this week was for sure part of the key to our success, but we kept working to move forward and had some luck as well. Kevin and Dominik showed their ability and determination to stay focused in the racing, in order to make the podium as they did. It’s fantastic!”
More news and photos will be available on the team’s official website – www.racetogetthere.com