Since joining forces from the second round of the 2022 Fanatec GT2 European Series in Austria, Stefan Rosina and Filip Sladecka have been working their way up to the top of the Pro-Am standings.
The True Racing by Reiter Engineering duo made an impression from the start of their 2022 campaign, taking their first win on debut at the Red Bull Ring. Since then, they’ve notched up three wins and two second places in six races.
Heading into the penultimate round of the season, Rosina shares the Pro-Am class lead with PK Carsport’s Nicolas Saelens and Stienes Longin. Due to missing the first round at Imola, Sladecka sits third, just eight points adrift of the title fight.
With the next round in Valencia, 16-17 September fast approaching, we caught up with the #15 KTM X-BOW drivers:
Stefan, you’ve had a super second Fanatec GT2 European Series, climbing the order to now share the top of the Pro-Am standings. How has that journey been for you?
SR: “It’s been two fantastic seasons with KTM and Reiter Engineering since our very first race in 2020. I believe we were able to show the potential of the KTM X-BOW back in 2020 by winning race in Austria, in International GT Open with Patric Niederhauser in our very first outing in the championship, and then subsequently winning races both with Sehdi Sarmini and Filip Sladecka in GT2 Europe.
“I am feeling well in the team as well as honoured to be able to represent KTM. I have to say KTM X-BOW is completely connected to the values of brand KTM – Ready to Race – it’s a pure performance machine. You have to keep in mind that even though slower versions of X-BOW have been produced some time ago, now fighting for the Fanatec GT2 European Series title against other premium sportscar brands at this level is incredible. It has to be said that KTM did a great job developing this car.”
Filip, you’re currently lying third in the Pro-Am standings in your first season racing in the Fanatec GT2 European Series, how is it going so far?
FS: “The Fanatec GT2 European Series is a really nice championship, I race for a really nice team with nice colleagues, everything seems perfect there. So, I am thankful for the opportunity to be in a race car for the first time in two years.”
You’ve both scored three wins and two second places since you teamed up in the #15 KTM X-BOW in Austria, what’s been the secret of your success as a new partnership?
SR: “I know Filip for some time now, and firstly and foremostly I am happy that I could help to promote another Slovakian race driver to our team. I expected that we could be a fast pairing – even though Filip is ranked as Bronze and drives in the Am category, I believe he is driving very well and doing a very fine job.
“From my side I have to say that the Pro-Am class is very strong, and I enjoy being on the grid with names like Fjordbach, Vergers, Longin and other drivers. We take it step by step in a humble way, race by race, and I am driving for long enough to know that even though we are leading now, it can change quite quickly. So, we just try to concentrate to do our best and we will see what it will bring.”
FS: “I think I really enjoy racing all my life. We work hard to be prepared for every weekend, to have a good setup, good pitstop and everything you need to be on the podium. Also using a simulator at home helps me to concentrate on details of every track that we are racing on.”
We’ve got two rounds left this year, with Valencia coming up this weekend. Can you keep up your winning streak in Spain?
SR: “Who knows, let’s see. It seems that each circuit suits a little better to a different marque. I expect that both Audi and Brabham will be very strong in Spain.”
FS: “It is always hard to say because it is hard to fight for every win, but we will do our best to be there.”
Stefan, you’re tied on points for the Pro-Am lead and, Filip, you’re only eight points away in third. We’ve got drop scores to take into consideration this year. How much of a factor do you think that’s going to be?
SR: “It’s gonna be very entertaining, some mathematics would need to be done! Let’s see. We respect Nicolas and Stienes very much as well as the others, so I think we wait until after Spain to see where we are. Logically, drop scores could be a good thing if a pairing has a difficult weekend, but it’s equal to everyone, so we are fine with it.”
FS: “Now it is an advantage for me because I did not take a part in the first round, so I have two zero points, but to be honest I am not familiar with this rule 100%, so I need to read bit how it works. I am still taking the championship race by race; everything can happen still.”
The True Racing by Reiter Engineering duo will be looking to cement their position at the top of the Fanatec GT2 European Series Pro-Am standings in the fifth-round battles in Valencia, Spain, this weekend 16-17 September.