Hans Reiter is a name that stands out in the world of motorsport.
With his company Reiter Engineering building Lamborghini race cars for over 14 years, the eccentric German is now putting his sights on the American market and an American muscle car.
“I really like it there and the way they go about racing. There’s definitely a future for us in America,” Reiter said to Sportscar365 in the Zandvoort paddock last weekend.
“It’s more focused on the marketing side of things and there are possibilities to attract a decent sponsor package, something which I find to be more and more difficult, if not impossible in Europe.
“We have our base in Ohio, and we’re working together with Kettler Motor Werks, who provide trucks, transportation and other things [in the Pirelli World Challenge].”
While Reiter Engineering has been representing Lamborghini on the racetrack ever since it came in to existence, it will not be involved with the upcoming Huracán GT3.
“We won’t develop a GT3-spec Lamborghini Huracán and we wouldn’t have done it even if we have had the chance to do so,” he said. “Lamborghini won’t build it either, but just think, who owns Lamborghini… ?”
That would insinuate Audi is involved, with its subsidiary Quattro GmbH, which already has a wealth of experience with the successful Audi R8 LMS GT3 cars and with both the new R8 and Huracán expected to have some common components.
“I just don’t think the business model will work for us anymore,” Reiter said. “The market is quite saturated right now and we need to be able to sell enough cars.”
Lamborghini recently confirmed Reiter Engineering will remain the reference for all Gallardo GT3 aspects in the future, and Reiter said he still has plans for the car.
“We will continue with the Gallardo for six or seven years until the homologation expires, and we still plan to introduce a big upgrade next year.”
In the meantime the company has already been busy with a new project, as the Chevrolet Camaro GT3 was developed by SaReNi United, a division within Reiter Engineering with its name derived from the first names of Hans Reiter’s three daughters.
The American muscle car was put in the market as an alternative for the more expensive GT3s, with a competitive price tag of $265,000, but struggled to be competitive in its debut season back in 2012, with the brakes being a particular point of concern.
An update package was introduced mid-2013, with the Camaro now being the only GT3 equipped with 19-inch rims.
“We gained quite a lot of performance in the last couple of months and it’s attracting a good amount of attention from media and fans, especially in the ADAC GT Masters, where the car scored its first podium last month.
“It’s quite an exclusive car in Europe, with very few of them being imported each year. I think the Camaro is a more exclusive car than a Lamborghini in Europe.”
Sales are taking off, with cars recently being sold to Vatana Motorsport in Thailand and M-Motorsport in Australia.
In the Blancpain Sprint Series, the Reiter run Blancpain Racing Lamborghini of Marc Hayek and Peter Kox was the first car to confirm its entry, with Hayek switching from Blancpain Endurance to Sprint.
However, the CEO of Blancpain and long-term partner of Reiter Engineering so far only competed in the season opener at Nogaro.
“I think he underestimated the workload he’d be under this year, ever since his grandfather (who owned the Swatch group) died a few years ago, he got more occupied with the business side of things. After him, there’s a big gap of almost 30 years to his offspring, so he has quite a big responsibility.
“He’s still entered as a full season [entry] and should be back with us for the last four races, or at least as many as possible.
“For now we’re still in the championship with Stefan Rosina, but the program was set up for Brands Hatch, Zandvoort and the next round at the Slovakia Ring, his home race.”
When asked about the reason for the withdrawal from the Total 24 Hours of Spa, the answer was simple: “To be honest, I don’t know who put us on the entry list. It was never the plan to race there, and as I said Hayek doesn’t have the time to do it.”
Meanwhile it’s the Austrian Grasser Racing Team that has been the surprise in the Blancpain Sprint Series so far this season, with Jeroen Bleekemolen and Hari Proczyk currently second in the standings.
“We have a close relationship with Grasser, and we don’t have any secrets for each other,” as was illustrated when Peter Kox said he would have a look at the telemetry of Bleekemolen’s pole lap at Zandvoort last weekend.
“Right now they’re doing better than us, probably because they are more focused on this series, while we switch between, championships, continents, tire manufactures,” Reiter concluded.