The first round of the race season kicked off at Monza, Italy where Rebecca hopped into her KTM X-Bow. Despite the weekend starting with a qualifying position of 17th for Rebecca and Thomas, they brought things back in race 1.
Thomas was first out in the car and did well to make up 6 positions in the first 3 laps of the race. He brought the car up to 6th before pitting for a driver change 27 minutes into the 50-minute race.
Rebecca then got her turn in the car but the weather changed quickly to rain. Just 6 minutes before the end of the race the safety car came out thanks to a Maserati crash. Rebecca was stuck in the midfield but managed to be true to her name of Rain Queen and demonstrated excellent pace and safety on track.
The final team finishing position in race 1 was 10th overall and 2nd of the KTMs. Thomas came 2nd in the RYS (Reiter Young Stars) male classification and Rebecca was the 4th fastest female. The average lap time over 5 laps is used to calculate driver rankings in the RYS Competition. Drivers have been selected for their existing ability and to develop them into professional GT3 drivers. A team made up of the fastest female and the fastest male will win a fully paid for seat in the prestigious Blancpain GT Series next year in a GT3 car.
On Sunday, Rebecca was out first and brought the car up from 24th to 20th. She came into the pits for a driver change and it was during Thomas’ stint that things started to get a bit hectic on track. There were yellow flags a-plenty and the race was under safety car until 3 minutes from the end.
After the safety car came in, a problem with another car caused a red flag and the race was stopped. Shortly before the end of the race Thomas was struck by anther competitor pushing him down to 15th overall, which is where they classified at the end of the race – when a race is stopped by a red flag final positions are taken from the last full lap completed. Despite this apparent set back, car number 44 still managed 3rd place in the RYS KTM’s. Rebecca achieved 3rd fastest female, thus going home with a trophy on the first race weekend of the season.
There was a lot of on-track excitement at Monza and overall the weekend was hugely successful for RYS Team WP Performance with an overall finishing position in the RYS Championship of 3rd. Rebecca took 3rd in the female classification and Thomas 3rd in the male classification.
This is a really positive, consistent start from the team. Rebecca said: “We managed to achieve 3rd place amongst a very talented group of drivers so we are really chuffed but we know there is more to find, so watch our progress! The young engineers and team manager from Aachen University did a fantastic job, all overseen by Reiter Engineering. Such an exciting season ahead!”
The next race takes place at Pau on 14 and 15 May.