|22. June 2023
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Budapest/Hungary: The international GT Open ran its third event of the season at the Hungarian Hungaroring last weekend, June 16 to 18. The Austrian Eastalent-Racing Team run by manager Peter Reicher expected the Hungaroring with great anticipation. Peter Reicher explains this anticipation as follows: “In our team’s young history, the Hungaroring has been an open question mark. We’ve been looking forward to race here since a very long time.”
The start to the weekend was promising for the Austrians. In the two free practice sessions on Friday, the number 23 Audi R8 LMS evo II placed third and second. The first qualifying session took place on Saturday morning. Simon Reicher showed a strong performance and qualified the Eastalent Audi in tenth overall. This was a good starting position for the race, which the team executed well. The driver duo Haase/Reicher launched ahead and finished on the podium, a fantastic second place. The team again scored important points in the championship.
Sunday had its ups and downs among sunshine and nice summer temperatures. First, Christopher Haase secured pole position in his qualifying session with a fabulous lap time of 1:42,317, before he confidently led the GT Open field from the start of the race. After only a few laps, a technical defect crept in and the Eastalent Audi was unable to restart in the pits during the driver change.
After the team competed up front all weekend – finishing on the podium on Saturday, and starting the race on pole position on Sunday – we wanted to know from Simon Reicher how frustrating this retirement due to a technical defect was? “The frustration is pretty high because we didn’t screw it up ourselves. To win, you have to make sure that everything works and nothing breaks. It’s disappointing for our mechanics, who gave it their all in our preparation and simply couldn’t enjoy the fruits of their hard work now that the car broke down. We’ve also lost important points in the championship. That’s motorsports sometimes. Roll up your sleeves and keep going.”
Team owner Peter Reicher summarizes this weekend positively: “I am very satisfied with my entire team, with each and every individual. Everyone did a perfect job. On Saturday we were on the podium again with second place and on Sunday we were able to take a brilliant pole with Christopher Haase. Even taking into account our longer standing time during the driver change, another podium finish would have been possible.” It must be noted here that those teams finishing on the podium, get an additional 10 seconds of standing time during the driver change of the next race. This rule ensures a balanced championship. Peter Reicher then adds: “At least we have set our standing time for Paul Ricard to zero. I am also impressed by so many enthusiastic motorsport fans here in Hungary. They swamped us during the pitwalk and after we ran out of posters and autograph cards, they had our drivers’ autographs written on their forearms.”
After a short break, the Austrian team will head to Circuit Paul Ricard in southern France for the fourth round of the international GT Open taking place July 21-23.