Last-minute call: Benjamin Mazatis to compete in the 24 Hours of Dubai
Benjamin Mazatis is about to leave the winter wonderland of Bruckmühl in Bavaria for bright sunshine and temperatures of around 25°C. He will be joining the Reiter Engineering squad in the prestigious 24-hour race in Dubai on the weekend of 10th – 12th January. The invitation to drive in this desert classic arrived only last Saturday, and he didn’t have to think too hard or too long before accepting. Together with Adam Galas, Jan Krabec and Nicolai Elghanayan, the 20-year-old will be aiming to steer the KTM X-Bow GT4 to victory in the SP2 class.
With this impending race, Mazatis has come full circle. He first drove the KTM X-Bow GT4 for Reiter Engineering in 2017 in the one and only 24-hour competition of his career to date. This debut outing was followed by two successful years in the GT4 European Series Northern Cup and GT4 Central European Cup, in the course of which he was in contention for the respective title. This fruitful partnership now comes to an end where it started so positively in 2017 – hopefully with an equally gratifying result.
Mazatis arrived in Dubai for the 2017 race without having had any opportunity to test-drive the KTM X-Bow GT4, and familiarisation with the vehicle was effectively restricted to the free practice sessions. The outcome was nonetheless impressive: he finished as runner-up in class on his 19th birthday. Only a prolonged pit stop for repair during the night thwarted the quest for victory. He is once again hoping to celebrate his birthday in style – this time his 21st – which falls two days after the chequered flag is waved.
Benjamin Mazatis: “I am so happy to be driving for Reiter in this year’s 24 Hours of Dubai. The race is a real highlight of the season, coming right at the start, and all the big names in the sport are here every year. The call on Saturday night came as quite a surprise. But spontaneity is part of a racing driver’s life, so I didn’t hesitate to agree. I’m grateful to Reiter Engineering for the confidence they have shown in me and my driving skills. It means so much to me to return to the place where our partnership began so positively two years ago. I can now complete this major and successful chapter of my career there before embarking on new and interesting challenges in 2019.”