The Austrian based two wheeled off road racing specialists at KTM are making a play to become more competitive on the track with all four wheels gripping the tarmac when it unleashes the open air lightweight X-BOW GT4 race car into the category for the 2010 racing season. The new X-BOW GT4 has just finished its first round of on track action where the test session turned into an all out competition this past weekend at the 2009 British GT championship with driver Reinhard Kofler behind the wheel.
After sweeping the first three places in the final round of the GT4 European Cup at Nogaro, the sports car builder decided to upgrade the KTM X-BOW so that it could step out of the restricted Super Sport category and begin competing with the big boys, something that was shown when Mr. Kofler qualified just .45 seconds behind the larger and more powerful MTECH GT3 spec Ferrari F430 Scuderia. The X-BOW GT4 is powered by a 2.0 Liter TFSI four cylinder Audi engine and features a few improved aerodynamic pieces as well as a new cooling system to go along with the new chassis.
KTM’s U.K. manager, Jeff Lau said that
"While we have enjoyed success in the Supersport class, it’s not been as popular as the British or European organizers had anticipated. KTM in Austria therefore took the decision to develop a full GT4-specification X-BOW for the 2010 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," targeting entry level GT racing teams for next season.
Press release after the jump.
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.”
A factory-supported Team Reiter KTM X-BOW secured the Supersport class of the GT4 European Cup in 2008, and X-BOW privateer, Augustin Eder, celebrated winning the 2009 title earlier this month.