It is probably Europe's most successful and biggest one-make series: The X-BOW BATTLE starts its jubilee season with many new innovations. In fact, the tenth year of competition represents a kind of restart, as there will be joint appearances with other, in part very prominent, racing series, as well as all races will also be available via live streaming!
KTM first directed its attention to Customer Racing in 2010 when it was decided that the X-BOW BATTLE should offer an affordable, and at the same time attractive motorsport for all KTM X-BOW owners. The series began at the end of April 2010 at the Salzburgring when some 16 starters contested the first race. Included was a real diversity of technology and drivers - 240 hp in the series model KTM X-BOW, right up to almost 400 hp in the wholly revised racing version. And behind the wheels, there was everyone from experienced sportscar drivers to former motorcycle racers, right up to total newcomers. The field of starters had already significantly increased in the following season, and there were no less than six events, each with two races on the program. By 2013 the competition had evolved into a single class, and at the same time, there was the switch from semi-slicks to slick tires, naturally in collaboration with the official tire partner Michelin.
"Today, the X-BOW BATTLE is just as much a racing series for beginners and amateurs as it is for established gentleman racers. The newcomers are perfectly catered for in the Rookies Challenge and in this series, you don’t even have to buy the racing suit or helmet. These can all be hired from KTM. There are the Elite and GT4 classes for all those who want to race their own cars, or for those who already have motorsport experience, regardless of whether it is in an open car, or one with a roof, all according to personal preferences. I personally still find the open car the most exciting,” commented BATTLE event organizer Georg Silbermayr.
KTM X-BOW ROOKIES CHALLENGE 2019:
There was already an own Rookies category in the early days of the X-BOW BATTLE, and since 2015, this is an independent series organized by KTM Sportcar GmbH, held as part of the BATTLE program. What is unique here is that in principle, almost everything is taken care of for the drivers. They can enjoy an "Arrive and Drive" package – either for the entire season or just for individual races. All at a fixed price, on request even with insurance included. What is especially important here is that every one of the up to 20 KTM X-BOW R racing cars is identical right down to the last detail, and there are no advantages due to better technology or bigger budget. To reassure any lingering “one-make cup doubters”, all the cars are newly allocated every race weekend to completely exclude any special advantages for any driver. No changes to the set-up are allowed so that costs are kept as low as possible. Settings are defined by KTM factory driver Reinhard Kofler.
Here the focus lies exclusively with the performance of the drivers, and thanks to 300 hp and around 830 kg vehicle weight, they have enough to do. There are also no driving aids such as ABS, traction control, power steering or assisted braking. Instead, the vehicle’s mid-engine design and rear wheel drive makes the car extremely agile and very similar to a kart to drive. What drivers learn in this series can serve as the ideal preparation for a racing career in the booming GT4 or GT3 categories. And saving the best to last - the entire season costs just €44,800!
KTM Sportcar GmbH General Manager Michael Wölfling comments: “We believe that the Rookies Challenge is the ideal class to step up to after karting. Our KTM X-BOW is a racing car with a mid-engine design, a carbon monocoque, and rear wheel drive. It is, therefore, the ideal, most safe and perfect preparation for GT4 and GT3 racing.”
DMV-GTC, 24HSERIES, HISTO-CUP & BLANCPAIN SPRINT SERIES!
Plenty of innovations for 2019. That’s how you could describe what has developed over the past months. “You don’t have to make everything new, but you can continue to improve many things,” is how Georg Silbermayr describes the various innovations that will make the 10th year of the X-BOW BATTLE extremely attractive. “We have decided that in the future we will cooperate with other racing series. In principle, this has many advantages. We get optimal use of the circuit booking, we increase the spectator interest at the venue, and we also have a positive exchange between the participants of the various racing series. For the first time in our history we can also offer a live stream of every race, and of course, the video material will also be available for further distribution, which is particularly interesting for the sponsors and partners of the series, and for the competing teams. And last but not least, we put our young Rookies Challenge drivers in the spotlight for such attractive series such as the DMV-GTC, the 24HSeries or the Blancpain Sprint Series, so hopefully, they can move on to bigger things. I am convinced that this will be an important step towards our series being even more attractive."
Due to these changes, the 2019 season is made up of five race weekends, each with a minimum of six races: two Rookies Challenge races, two Elite class races, and two GT4 races. There will also be an Endurance race of around one-hour duration at selected events. What is particularly attractive is the choice of racing circuits that the 2019 drivers can look forward to. The competition begins at the end of March on the beautiful MotoGP circuit of Mugello in Italy. This is followed by an official test day at the Red Bull Ring in the middle of April. The second race weekend on MotoGP circuits is at Brno in the Czech Republic at the beginning of May, and at the end of the month, there is the big home race weekend on the Red Bull Ring F1 and MotoGP circuit in Austria. The next F1 racing circuit, and here again it is legendary, is in the season’s penultimate race weekend, which will take place in June on the Nürburgring. The big season finale will once again be held on another F1 track, when the X-BOW BATTLE will go to the Hungaroring in September for the very first time.