Patric Niederhauser to contest 2019 ADAC GT Masters as HCB-Rutronik Racing driver
Sayonara and welcome back! After a solid season in the 2018 Blancpain GT Series Asia, with three wins, four podium finishes and third place overall in the drivers’ championship, Patric Niederhauser’s main focus in 2019 will be on the ADAC GT Masters. The 27-year-old from Switzerland will be partnering 2014 ADAC GT Masters champion Kelvin van der Linde in an Audi R8 LMS entered by HCB-Rutronik Racing.
In 2018, Niederhauser lined-up in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance as a member of the Reiter Engineering squad, for whom he also made a guest appearance at Most (CZ) in the GT4 Central European Cup. He convinced the team with both his performance and talent, and thus got signed by KTM factory team True Racing to drive a KTM X-Bow in the 2019 GT4 European Series where he will partner KTM works driver Reinhard Kofler.
The season starts for Niederhauser with the first race weekend of the 2019 GT4 European Series in Monza (12th - 14th April).
Patric, you’re returning to the ADAC GT Masters after a successful year on some of the top tracks in Asia. How was that decision reached?
I had a great and successful time in Asia, but all the while, I had remained in regular contact with HCB-Rutronik Racing. They are new to the ADAC GT Masters, but I know some of the crew from the past, including my team-mate Kelvin. I’m happy to be back and to be going into the new season with such a strong and ambitious outfit.
What targets have you set for your comeback in the ADAC GT Masters?
We’ve set our personal targets very high. The whole package looks very promising. Kelvin is an incredibly talented driver, and I also know what I am capable of. The make-up of the team is first-class, and in the Audi R8 LMS, we have a fantastic car which should make us highly competitive in every race. Although HCB-Rutronik Racing are new to the ADAC GT Masters team, they know exactly what it takes to hold your own in such a strong field.
Kelvin has already banked one title and only just missed out on a second one last year. Do you feel under pressure to deliver under all circumstances?
If I was incapable of delivering, I would no longer be competing in motorsport at this high level. The bottom line is how you handle pressure. It has positive associations for me. Because when I feel it, then I know that I’m doing OK. When I am way back in the field, I don’t feel any pressure. But if I’m fighting for top positions, things look different.
It’s not just the ADAC GT Masters you’ll be contesting in 2019...
Last season I had the opportunity to race for Reiter Engineering. With the double victory in the season opener of the GT4 Central European Cup at Most, we laid down excellent groundwork for further collaboration. I will be competing in the GT4 European Series for the KTM factory team, True Racing. I’ll be sharing the cockpit of their KTM X-Bow with Reinhard Kofler, who has been a KTM works driver for some years now. They are a highly professional outfit, and all the conditions are right to exploit the full potential of the KTM X-Bow. Consequently, the stated goal is to win the championship. The close association with Reiter Engineering will be maintained, because they will be taking care of the car as much as possible. In addition, I’ll be giving them strong support in the development and test work. I’ve got a very full, varied and challenging programme ahead of me, one that I am really looking forward to.