|KTM X-Bow GT4|
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KTM successfully tested several new racing developments on its X-BOW GT4 over the final weekend of the 2009 British GT championship (19-20 September).
The invitation KTM racer, with Reinhard Kofler in the cockpit, qualified just 0.45 seconds behind the MTECH GT3-specification Ferrari 430 Scuderia for race one, and 0.70 seconds in qualifying for race two. In each of the two races, the X-BOW was consistently over three seconds faster than the GT4 championship-winning Ginetta G50 around Brands Hatch's GP circuit and one second faster than a strong invitation entry from Morgan. Furthermore, Kofler lapped all the GT4 competitors in each outing. The excellent performances were achieved despite enduring 30-second pitlane penalties in each race for voluntarily foregoing the mandatory driver change.
The first competitive outing for the upgraded X-BOW GT4 signals a move up to full GT4 racing in 2010, having previously competed in the more restrictive Supersport class, which has yet to be confirmed for both the GT4 European Cup and British GT championships for next season. It is also a strong demonstration of KTM's continued commitment to pursuing GT racing to promote the company's "Ready to Race" range of fully-homologated road-legal X-BOW sports cars.
At the heart of the new developments being tested at Brands Hatch included a tuned version of the 2.0-litre TFSI Audi engine, an improved aerodynamics and cooling package and a revised, stiffer chassis set-up. KTM aims to make the X-BOW GT4 a highly competitive and cost-effective proposition for drivers and teams targeting entry-level GT racing next season.
"While we have enjoyed success in the Supersport class, it's not been as popular as the British or European organisers had anticipated," said Jeff Lau, Manager of KTM UK. "KTM in Austria therefore took the decision to develop a full GT4-specification X-BOW for the 2010 season.
"We're greatly encouraged by our performance over the weekend at Brands Hatch and with how the different elements of the new package have come together in quite a short space of time," he said. "Nevertheless, we've set ourselves some tough performance targets and there is still some further work to do in the close season. The objective for KTM is to position X-BOW as the leading contender in British and European GT4 racing next year, while also being cost-effective."
ABG Motorsport's KTM X-BOW won this year's British GT Supersport championship, driven by Phil Keen and Marcus Clutton, while X-BOW privateer, Augustin Eder, celebrated winning the 2009 European GT4 Cup Supersport title earlier this month. A factory-supported Team Reiter KTM X-BOW secured a dominant victory in the Supersport class of the GT4 European Cup in 2008.
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