KTM MotoGP factory rider Miguel Oliveira will make his 24H SERIES debut at the upcoming Hankook 24H BARCELONA in a True-Racing KTM X-BOW GTX.
MotoGP race winner Miguel Oliveira will make his car racing debut at the upcoming Hankook 24H BARCELONA aboard a True-Racing-entered KTM X-BOW GTX.
The 26-year-old Portuguese rider is now into his third season of MotoGP with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, and currently lies 8th in the standings following his third series win (fittingly) at Barcelona and two runners-up spots at Mugello and the Sachsenring. Oliveira also took two wins last season at the Red Bull Ring and his home event in Portimão.
The upcoming Hankook 24H BARCELONA though, set to take place over the 3-4-5 September weekend, will mark Oliveira’s first endurance car race, and his first race on four wheels since his early go-karting days.
“I am super excited and also incredibly proud to get the chance to be a part of this race,” Oliveira explained in an official KTM communique. “Motorcycle racing has been part of almost my entire life, but my career began in the Portuguese karting championship, which is why I am so keen to race four wheels. There was absolutely no hesitation for me when [KTM board member and long-time 24H SERIES competitor] Mr Trunkenpolz invited me.”
The event will also mark the first 24H SERIES outing for True-Racing since the same event in 2019, at which the Austrian team finished 9th overall and 1st in the SPX on the competitive debut of the X-BOW GTX. Oliveira is set to line-up alongside KTM factory driver Reinhard Kofler, former Le Mans class winner Peter Kox, and 2019 24H SERIES Junior Cup winner, Ferdinand Stuck, son of ’86 and ‘87 Le Mans winner, Hans-Joachim.
“I look forward to learning as much as I can from them,” Oliveira continues. “Competition is obviously a substantial part of racing for me, but I think my top priority will be to find my way with the car and have some fun.”
Four KTMs are currently confirmed for the Hankook 24H BARCELONA. Alongside the Oliveira / Kofler / Kox / Stuck entry (#716), True-Racing has registered a second X-BOW for Klaus Angerhofer, Sehdi Sarmini, Stefan Rosina and Hubert Trunkenpolz (#717). RTR Projects (#718) also returns to the 24H SERIES for the first time since its two class-winning runs at Mugello and Brno in 2019. Reiter Engineering meanwhile (#724) goes into its fourth round of the 2021 24H SERIES with two class wins already under its belt at Mugello and Circuit Paul Ricard, and will field Horst Felbermayr Jr., Eike Angermayr, Nicolai Elghanayan, and Mads Siljehaug.
Fittingly, Oliviera’s 24H SERIES debut with True-Racing is not the first time a MotoGP star has made the temporary switch from two wheels to four for the Hankook 24H BARCELONA. Back in 2011, CREVENTIC’s first year officially hosting the event, reigning MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo lined up on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya grid aboard a PCR Sport-entered SEAT León Supercopa LR. Impressively, the eventual three-time MotoGP champion, who drove alongside former Moto2 runner Ricard Cardús, went on to finish 5th overall and take the win in A3T.
Eventual five-time Dakar Rally bike winner Marc Coma was also on the grid that year, and finished 12th aboard a Monlau Competición SEAT León Supercopa.
- Images – Petr Fryba and KTM. Our thanks also to Laura Kraihamer and Manfred Wolf.