Victory at Hockenheim’s GT Open Debut – Impressive Performance by Eastalent Racing

15. May 2024 Zurück zur Artikelübersicht »


Hockenheim/Baden-Württemberg: The Austrian GT3 racing team led by Peter Reicher delivered an impressive performance at the debut round of the International GT Open 2024 last weekend, May 10–12. While the racing series celebrated its debut at Hockenheimring, the circuit already feels like home to Eastalent Racing. “All of us have raced at Hockenheimring before and we are well prepared,” says Peter Reicher.

The team’s Audi R8 LMS evo II proudly bears the number one for a reason. Eastalent Racing used the first free practice session to prepare the perfect setup for the second session. The reigning champion of the International GT Open drove the fastest lap. On Saturday, Simon Reicher took over the qualifying session and finished in 11th position, half a second behind the leading car. According to Peter Reicher, this was still a good starting point for the race. However, Saturday’s race came to an unexpected end when Simon encountered serious brake failure approaching the hairpin. Thanks to his quick reaction, Simon avoided a serious accident.

Sunday brought disappointment to Eastalent’s competitors. Audi Sport driver Christopher Haase drove the qualifying session in the morning and scored an impressive pole position, six tenths of a second ahead of the rest of the field. The reigning champions’ performance continued through Sunday’s race. Right from the start, Christopher pulled away from the field. Even a safety car phase did nothing to change that. He handed the Audi over to his team-mate Simon Reicher halfway through the one-hour race. During his stint, Simon extended their 14-second lead by another two seconds. The Austrians secured their victory after a dominant performance. 

Team owner Peter Reicher commented: “Today, we achieved the result we deserved. We actually wanted to do that yesterday. We’ve taken a step in the right direction and are back on track. Our competitors need to watch out for us, and we are looking forward to Spa Francorchamps. At Spa, we strive to build on the good results here at Hockenheimring and demonstrate that we are the true number one in the GT Open.”

Audi Sport driver Christopher Haase celebrates the success: “It was another eventful weekend. The free practice session on Friday set us in the right direction. It showed us that if we work well, we can expect a good result. The Audi is known to run smoothly at Hockenheim. The first race on Saturday was a shame. I’m sure that we would have had a good chance of finishing on the podium. Unfortunately, we were unable to take advantage of the race due to the technical defect. At least we were able to use Saturday to work on the setup. And as we saw, we were right on Sunday. We were the most dominant car I’ve seen for a long time. And that all day long,” explains Christopher Haase.

Simon Reicher saw the weekend as follows: “We sorted ourselves in the first free practice session and the Audi ran really well in the second free practice. Because of a few driving mistakes on my part in the first sector, there was still room for improvement in the first qualifying session. Nonetheless, our starting position for the first race was solid. If the technical problem with the brakes hadn’t happened, we would have certainly come very close to a podium finish. It just wasn’t meant to be and that happens in motorsports too. But we were able to use Saturday’s race for setup work. That gave us a great foundation for Sunday’s final. I’m incredibly proud to have taken over the car from Christopher in the lead. We did a great job as drivers and especially the whole team. But we have to be honest and admit that we are still lacking some performance. We’ve shown our competition what we are capable of. I’m really looking forward to Spa. All in all, I’m mega happy and the team has done a great job again. We dominated today’s racing.”

The third round of the International GT Open will take place May 24–26 at Spa Francorchamps in Belgium.