Constant changes of lead, spectacular overtakes and a great atmosphere in the grandstands: The BMW M2 Cup had all the ingredients for an exciting first race of the weekend at the Red Bull Ring. In the end Maxime Oosten (#54) prevailed in a three-way battle for the lead, finishing ahead of Lorenz Stegmann (#99) and championship leader Fabian Kreim (#43). As a result of the win, Oosten has cut the gap at the top of the championship table.
“This race was a lot of fun,” said Oosten after the ninth race of the season. “I barely had any time to think. The battles were really good and above all fair. That’s how racing should be!”
Fabian Kreim edged in front in the early stages after a good start. Oosten then powered ahead shortly afterwards, taking the lead at turn two. The pair then proceeded to swap the lead on multiple occasions right up to the chequered flag. Third-placed Stegmann kept a watching brief and took his opportunity to overtake Kreim and secure second place on lap 14.
“I held back a little at the start and let the two cars ahead battle with each other,” Stegmann said after finishing second and also taking the win in the Rookie classification. “I saw the chance to get past Kreim and obviously took full advantage. It really was a great race, and I am delighted with the result.”
Guest starter Senna von Soelen (#24) caused just as much excitement, with the Dutchman fighting hard to finish in an excellent fifth place on his BMW M2 Cup debut. After plenty of wheel-to-wheel racing, van Soelen was only second-best to fourth-placed Tom Nittel (#7). Behind him, Bart Horsten (#50) and Alesia Kreutzpointner (#15) crossed the finishing line in sixth and seventh. 23-year-old Kreutzpointner was in fine form throughout the race in her BMW M2 CS Racing and was rewarded with her best finish of the season.
Jarno D’Hauw hopes were dashed early on after the Belgian lost a handful of positions at the start. He was able to claw his way back through the field all the way up to fourth position. While in fourth, he then received a drive-through penalty for track limits violations and ended up towards the back of the field.
The drivers will be back in action on Sunday, 25 September, at 10:45 with the tenth race of the season in Spielberg. The stream on the BMW M YouTube channel goes live with the pre-race reports at 10:35.
Fabian Kreim | 3rd place, race 1
“That was definitely the toughest race of my life, but it was a really good and fair fight. Unfortunately, I lost a little time at the start and had to push hard. The rear tyres were really suffering, but I still managed to bag some important points in the championship battle.“
Alesia Kreutzpointner | 7th place, race 1
“I had a pretty good race. My pace was really promising, and I didn’t put a foot wrong. At the start of the race, I was able to make up four positions, where I would have loved to have finished. But at the end of the race, I had high tyre pressures to contend with. I was hoping for a safety car period when the tyre pressures could fall again, but that didn’t happen. So, I had to make sure that I kept the car on the track. I lost three positions but am still happy with the result.“