Skottie is 2017 RCCO Champion
26.11.2017 In a dramatic finale Björn Skottke from Team PROTOTYP-Shell secured the 2017 RCCO drivers’ title. In the ‘Just a minute’ event at Hanse-Ring the KTM campaigner only needed a ninth place because his rival for the title, Kim Hauschild (Volkswagen), in position six did not make it into the finale of the top five either. The last race of the 2017 season was won by Michael Niemas (KTM) in front of Thomas Voigt (Audi) and Frank Wilke (ABT). Voigt, in position two, still secured third place in the drivers’ classification.
Closest decision in RCCO history
The 27-year RCCO history has seen many close title decisions, but never before has only a single point determined who would take the drivers’ title. In a true final thriller Björn ‘Skottie’ Skottke, 15 years after his last championship win, secured his second RCCO title with just a one-point advantage over Kim Hauschild. The KTM campaigner achieved this feat in spite of fighting with his back against the wall due to a 25-gram handicap weight. Whereas Hauschild was racing in the top group from the beginning, ‘Skottie’ just barely managed the leap into the top-ten round. In the B-final the two title rivals then contested the same race – and although Kim Hauschild clearly finished in front of ‘Skottie’, this ultimately produced the decision in favour of Skottke. The reason was that in sixth place Hauschild did not make it into the finale of the top five – the Volkwagen campaigner would at least have had to finish fifth in order to still make up the 13-point deficit to Skottke.
“Daniel (Bäumler) provided me with a perfect car once again, absolutely in contention for victory,” Hauschild said after the final thriller. “Unfortunately, I was my own worst enemy and in the B-final paid more attention to staying in front of Skottie than battling for victory. Still, ‘thank you’ for the cool season. I hope Skottie won’t be pulling a Rosberg on us now because I want revenge next year!”
Second title for ‘Skottie’
Björn Skottke, after 2002, secured his second title in the ‘big little’ racing series in spite of nearly having written the championship off. “I clearly felt the 25 grams of additional weight at Hanse-Ring,” said the KTM racer. “I didn’t expect the title, so I’m all the happier. I’ve been following the #VisionRCCO project with keen interest and am proud of having had the opportunity to be part of it. It was an incredibly fantastic season.”
For Team PROTOTYP-Shell this marked the third RCCO drivers’ title in succession after Jürgen Stüdemann had secured the title in both 2015 and 2016 – albeit in each case with vehicles that had a special permit. As a result, the 2017 title is the most valuable one for PROTOTYP-Shell. At the same time, PROTOTYP-Shell and Shell-PROTOTYP caused KTM to instantly win the manufacturers’ title with the X-BOW Vision RCCO in its first RCCO season.
Three trophies for Volkswagen
The largest number of trophies in the 2017 RCCO season was reaped by Team Volkswagen Motorsport-Drivers Company. The squad around Daniel Bäumler secured the drivers’ vice-championship, the teams’ title for the first time and, with media partner slotblog.de, the Media Cup for the second time as well. At the finale team boss Daniel Bäumler, due to a private commitment, had to leave for Munich right after the qualification race, so only witnessing the outcome of the final thriller via WhatsApp and phone. His first comment, after having also lost third place to Thomas Voigt practically on the finish straight: “Congratulations from Bavaria! But with tears in both eyes.”
Michael Niemas wins finale
KTM was not only able to celebrate winning the drivers’ and manufacturers’ classifications. Michael Niemas won the last race of the season in commanding style as well. For the model maker from Amalgam this was only the second single victory in the ‘big little’ racing series. Niemas drove in his usual masterful way and without mistakes, and in the final rounds did not have to fear any rivals. Second place went to record champion Thomas Voigt (Audi) who, as a result, still bumped Daniel Bäumler from third place in the drivers’ classification and finished the championship in the top three for the 25th time in 27 years (!).
Frank Wilke forfeits first RCCO victory
The quickest man at Hanse-Ring was Frank Wilke from Team NEXGENracing. With his ABT Vision RCCO he clinched pole position after posting the best time in free practice. In the preliminary rounds Wilke was the quickest contender as well. However, in the finale of the top five Wilke made too many mistakes so that, in the end, he had to settle for third place behind Michael Niemas and Thomas Voigt. Still, following a long barren spell in summer, the podium result in the finale ended the season on a positive note for the team which, in Gine Peters, also provided the ladies’ champion.
#VisionRCCO a resounding success
The finale of the ‘big little’ racing series once again emphasised how well the #VisionRCCO concept works. In qualifying at Hanse-Ring the best twelve drivers were separated by a mere 0.189 seconds. Five different brands competed in the finale of the top five, while the sixth brand took sixth place. In the #VisionRCCO concept all performance-relevant parameters of the racing cars are identically specified. In spite of this, the electric racing cars clearly differ from each other visually. In 2018 exclusive electric racing car concepts from ABT, Audi, KTM, Lamborghini, Schaeffler and Volkswagen will again be on the RCCO grid. For 2019 six additional manufacturers will be permitted.