Callaway Competition in great title battle at second-to-last ADAC GT Masters weekend
- Showdown for championship victory at last round in Hockenheim
- Keilwitz/Gounon Runner-up with four points to the championship leaders
Leingarten, 23 August 2016: Last weekend, the sixth and therefore second to last race meeting of the ADAC GT Masters took place. Callaway Competition competed with three Corvette C7 GT3-R, since the Whelen Corvette did not take part in the Nürburgring round. Despite a difficult weekend, the team based in Leingarten (Germany) stayed close to the top and is ready for a heart-beat final in a bid to win the championship at the season final in Hockenheim in October.
After a disappointing first qualifying, Callaway Competition suffered two non-finishes in Saturday´s race. Patrick Assenheimer (GER), who had started from P23 in the #69 AutoArena Corvette, ended up in the gravel following a braking issues on lap ten. Unfortunately, a tiny stone had found its way into the wrong position within the braking disks. The Whelen Corvette, driven by the American Eric Curran and the local hero Loris Hezemans did not finish the first race, too. Only the championship´s title contenders, Daniel Keilwitz (GER) and Jules Gounon (F) came home in P8 after having started 12th on the grid in their #77 Roller/Valvoline Corvette. After the first race in Zandvoort, Keilwitz/Gounon shared first place in the rankings with competitors de Phillippi and Mies in the Audi.
The qualifying on Sunday morning was a true rain gamble and Callaway Competition secured the positions ten (#77), 13 (#69) and 21 (#31). Keilwitz celebrated his 100th ADAC GT Masters race on Sunday being the most successful ADAC GT Masters driver with a total of 17 race victories. Shortly after the start, rain started to drop again and Keilwitz was one of the first people on the pits to change to rain tyres. Due to a technically clever decision by the team, team-mate Gounon finished the race in P5. The AutoArena Corvette by Assenheimer/Schwager crossed the finishing line in 12th position with the Whelen Corvette in P16, having started from 21st on the grid.
“We limited the damage in Zandvoort and took every possible point. We are now looking forward to a great battle with Audi and Porsche for the title at the season final in Hockenheim”, say Giovanni Ciccone and Ernst Wöhr, Team Principals Callaway Competition. “We had a number of tests in Hockenheim at the beginning of the season and will do some further testing. Hockenheim is a track that suits the new Corvette C7 GT3-R. We are aware, that we lost out compared to our competitors in the last two championship rounds. We have also not forgotten, that Audi won both races in Hockenheim last year. We hope for an exciting season final and a fair battle for the title.”
The season final of the ADAC GT Masters will take place at the Hockenheimring from 30th September until 2nd October 2016. For more information, please visit http://www.callaway-competition.de.
Daniel Keilwitz - #77 Roller/Valvoline Corvette C7 GT3-R:
„It was not an easy weekend but we took every point we were able to get and that is what counts in the end. We can live with having four points gap to the front. I won in Zandvoort my very first ADAC GT Masters race back in 2012 and it was great to celebrate my 100th race at the same circuit as well. Hockenheim will be a great showdown.”
Jules Gounon - #77 Roller/Valvoline Corvette C7 GT3-R:
„This was my first time in Zandvoort and I enjoyed driving on this traditional track. We continuously improved our Set-up and although we were not great over distance, we showed a good performance. Now it will all be decided in Hockenheim. I am also looking promising in the Junior Class. I am very excited about the season finale.”
Patrick Assenheimer - #69 AutoArena Corvette C7 GT3-R:
„In Saturday´s race, I had made up many positions coming from 23rd on the grid and was running in P19 after only a few laps until a breaking issue stopped us. But we were lucky to retire at that corner on the track, because you can have heavy crashes at Zandvoort.”
Dominik Schwager - #69 AutoArena Corvette C7 GT3-R:
„The race on Sunday was a gamble with the weather, but we had a good strategy and finished in P12. It was nice to see the chequered flag after the non-finish on Saturday, but we had hoped for a better weekend.”
Eric Curran - #31 Whelen Corvette C7 GT3-R:
„We had a few Set-up problems on Saturday and we were not able to attack as we wanted. On Sunday, Loris and I finished in 16th place and we are not happy with the weekend.”
Loris Hezemans - #31 Whelen Corvette C7 GT3-R:
„It was great to get the call early August and being asked to drive the Whelen Corvette on my home track in Zandvoort. But unfortunately, it was a disappointing weekend for our car, because we suffered a few issues during free practice. But it was still great fun to drive on my home track again.”