Hans Reiter and his team were back at the FIA GT1 races at Nurnburgring for the first time since the impressive results in 2010 when Peter Kox and Christopher Haase managed to reach third place during the qualifying race and an even better second place in the championship race ... so will the 2012 event be even better?
Reiter Engineering entered two cars in the FIA GT1 races at Nurnburgring on September 21 to 23 2012, both Gallardo LP600+ models, number 24 driven by Mike Parisy (FRA) who would be behind the steering wheel of the Raging Bull for the first time, and Jeroen Bleekemolen (NDL) while the second car with number 25 would be piloted by Peter Kox (NLD) and Stefan Rosina (SVK).
Both drivers in the Gallardo LP600+ number 24 were new to this car so they had to make sure to get as much time on the track as possible during free practice to get to know the Raging Bull inside and out while Kox and Rosina took out the second Bull to fine tune the setup before the qualifying sessions ... and the efforts made by the Lamborghini drivers was worthwhile ... after the three qualifying sessions Kox/Rosina secured fifth place with Parisy/Bleekemolen right behind them on the sixth starting grid.
On Saturday the qualifying race was held, the sun was out and with a temperature of 14 degrees on a dry track Stefan Rosina, who started the race in fifth place, managed to gain two positions in the first turn ... however Jeroen Bleekemolen didn't have such luck, he lost control over the powerful LP600+ and crashed heavily into the safety barrier, the Bull was too damaged to continue the race and the safety car came out for the next seven laps.
At that time a McLaren was leading the race, but when the safety car finally left the track in the ninth lap the McLaren had to retire from the race due to a technical malfunction, this made the remaining Gallardo LP600+ take third place overall in the race ... where it remained right up to the required pit stop to change drivers.
And this is where the team of Reiter Engineering made all the difference ... Peter Kox took the wheel in car number 25 and left the pit lane in pole position, ahead of the WRT Audi driven by Stéphane Orteli. Peter Kox was able to stay in front of the competition and secured the win in the qualifying race putting down a time of 1h00m53.948s and subsequently the pole position for the actual championship race on Sunday.
On Sunday things were looking bright for both Lamborghini cars, Peter Kox started the race in pole position and was able to keep this position until the required pit stop while Parisy in the second LP600+ had to start at the back of the grid due to the accident in the qualifying race but managed to gain several places before he had to do a penalty drive-through.
But during the pit stop things went slightly wrong, Slovak Stefan Rosina took the wheel from Peter Kox ... but the engine didn't start up right away and five very important seconds were lost, as a result he was only able to get out of the pit lane in third place. The second Bull came out of the pit lane with Bleekemolen behind the wheel ... only to come back into the pit because a drive chain got damaged causing the car number 24 to retire from the race.
Rosina in third place took it upon him to take second place from the Mercedes driven by Marc Basseng, but this proved to be too dangerous so the team decided to take the safe option and secure third place, taking important points and still getting onto the podium in the end.
Peter Kox was happy with the result, winning the qualifying race and taking third place in the championship race isn't too bad, if the pit stop turned out better he might have won the race too, but Peter and Rosina are back in Donington Park next week.
Hans Reiter puts it in perspective, car number 24 was driven by two excellent drivers, Parisy and Bleekemolen just didn't have the opportunity to show this during this race, on the other hand Kox and Rosina did a fantastic job securing a podium place for the team ... if the strategy for our pit stop worked out like it should have in the championship race chances are we would have won the race ... but there is still the final race at Donington Park next week to show what our Gallardo LP600+ can do.