Hubert Trunkenpolz has been a welcome and familiar figure in the Fanatec GT2 European Series since its first season in 2021. Together with his True Racing team, the Austrian amateur driver has amassed an array of podium finishes across both the Am and Pro-Am classes.
Finishing third in the Am class standings in 2021, Trunkenpolz went on to record his best finish of second, amid a double podium haul, at his home round at the Red Bull Ring last year.
For 2023, a switch to the Pro-Am category with Reinhard Kofler is proving a rewarding new challenge, with the duo already claiming their first third-place finish, fittingly at the Red Bull Ring.
The busy CEO of KTM Sportscar GmbH and Member of the Executive Board of KTM AG kindly took time out of his busy work and racing schedule to join the next edition of Getting to Know:
Hubert, this is your third season racing the True Racing KTM in the Fanatec GT2 European Series, what makes this championship ‘home’ for you?
“The championship is home for me because it has a lot of beautiful and very competitive cars participating. The tracks are some of the best available in Europe, and there’s also a really good camaraderie between the drivers, so this is why I like the championship a lot.”
After two years and a catalogue of strong results in the Am class, you move to the Pro-Am class this year with Reinhard Kofler. How have you found that exciting change?
“The change from the Am to the Pro-Am class is really challenging. Even though there are a lot of fast Am drivers, Pro-Am is a different story and to team up with Reini Kofler was a good opportunity. We had to change things around in the team and I decided to take this challenge. It’s been exciting so far and I’m glad I did.”
How did it feel to claim your first Pro-Am podium finish with third at the Red Bull Ring, in only your second event as a driver pairing?
“To finish on the podium is always nice, but to finish on the podium in our home race at the Red Bull Ring tastes even sweeter. To have this podium in the Pro-Am category was just fantastic because we didn’t really expect it. It was a hard-fought podium and Reini did an unbelievable job in the last couple of laps to really gain this podium and it’s all credit to him. I was super happy we could finish like this.”
How are you finding the level of competition, compared to previous seasons?
“Definitely, the level of competition is increasing. Year by year we see the laps times are coming closer to the GT3s already. There is a lot of really fast drivers on the grid and for us, the amateur drivers, we really have to push hard and give everything to be there. I hope that the level is not increasing any further because then it would be really difficult for the amateur drivers to get successful moments in the season.”
You have scored an array of podium finishes across both classes in the True Racing KTM since joining the series in its inaugural year in 2021. What’s been your stand-out highlight?
“My standout highlight so far was the two podiums scored last year at the Red Bull Ring with my old buddy Klaus Angerhofer, who was my teammate from the beginning in the Am category. There have been a lot of big moments, even in the first race of the series in Monza 2021 where Klaus and I finished on the podium was a fantastic moment. It gave us a lot of motivation to continue in the series and this is why we are still here!”
Did you have much racing experience before joining the series?
“I had some experience in motorcycles and then had a long break without any racing, then as we founded the KTM X-BOW Battle one-make series, which was the most successful one-make series in Europe for many years. When we started Battle in 2010, I was participating there for more than 10 years with many races. I have also done a couple of long-distance races with the Creventic Series 12 and 24-hour races, which I liked a lot.”
Next, we head to Valencia for the penultimate round of the season, and you finished second in Am there last year. What do you hope to achieve in your first Pro-Am outing in Spain?
“Valencia is a track that I like a lot. It’s a track where I feel at home from the beginning. We have a lot of good memories of this track with KTM’s MotoGP engagement, with the first ever podium for KTM. This year, at the Fanatec GT2 European Series round, we will have a prominent guest in our team, the former Moto GP racer Dani Pedrosa, who is still one of the fastest MotoGP riders, and will be attending on a wildcard. He’s also a very fast car driver, he’s already had some good moments in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo. I have the big pleasure and honour to team up with him in Valencia, it’s going to be really exciting.”