At the inaugural Hankook 12H MONZA in 2020, GTX class leader went into the overnight intervention in the overall lead. Which left many wondering whether the KTM X-BOW ‘GTX Concept’ could actually take the overall win…
Words – James Gent
Images – Petr Frýba
That the Reiter Engineering KTM ‘GTX Concept’ was a strong shout for GTX victory at the 2020 Hankook 12H MONZA wasn’t too surprising: the German team set class pole position for the event by a demoralizing 5.8 seconds, and at Barcelona the previous year, KTM’s ‘GTX’ prototype had taken class victory 32 laps clear of its nearest rival.
Few could have predicted though that Reiter Engineering would end ‘part one’ of the 2020 Hankook 12H MONZA in the overall lead.
Heading to the ‘temple of speed,’ Reiter Engineering team boss Hans Reiter had hoped to bank testing mileage for the faster and lighter sports prototype – now equipped with Audi’s 2.5-litre TFSi five-cylinder – and, with luck, a class win. Still no mean feat in itself, given that balance of performance regulations for the event had dropped the sub-1,000kg KTM’s power output from “more than 600bhp” to just under 450bhp. The loss of torque at lower revs was a particular hindrance out of Variantes Rettifilo and Roggia, as well as the Lesmos.
Nevertheless, Reiter’s progress proved devastating: one hour in, the #746 KTM was up to 5th overall and already one lap ahead of its nearest class rival; two hours in, the KTM was less than eight seconds behind the leader in 2nd; and by the end of the fourth hour, “constant and error-free” stints from Laura Kraihamer, Eike Angermayr and Stefan Rosina, plus “perfect pit stop strategy,” meant the GTX-class leader led the entire field by almost two minutes, and would thus take the following morning’s restart from overall pole position.
Hopes of a miracle win were sadly shattered during the seventh hour when the alternator, shaken to its foundations over Monza’s high kerbs, failed, losing the #746 KTM three and a quarter hours in the pits. Further issues with the belt drive plagued the GTX Concept across the remaining two hours, and the early leader eventually finished a dispirited 16th overall and 3rd in-class, 23 laps behind GTX beneficiary ARC Bratislava. What might have been…
Still, during its ‘test run,’ the KTM GTX Concept led 35 of a completed 285 laps, more so than all bar the overall podium finishers. It’s a record, to-date, that no SPX / GTX competitor in the 24H SERIES has come close to repeating.