Successful season opener – Callaway Competition makes a run to the podium on the first racing weekend
With bright sunshine and summer temperatures, the ADAC GT Masters drew more than 65,000 spectators for the season highlight at the Eurospeedway racing venue in Lausitz.
Fifth place in the first race
The point rankings were the goal for the weekend. After a passable performance in qualifying, Jules Gounon with fifth place on Friday evening secured a superior starting position for the first race for himself and his teammate. The young Frenchman, after a turbulent start involving several competitors, held his starting position until Daniel Keilwitz took over after half the racing distance. Moving up to the leading places was not possible even though both Callaway drivers kept up a fast pace. Keilwitz crossed the finish line in fifth place overall, collecting additional valuable championship points. “We felt really good on the weekend,” the 27-year-old says. “Even though the Lamborghinis proved unbeatable, we took a good step forward.”
Thrill in the second race
The audience focused on the Callaway Corvette rather than paying attention to the leaders of the field in the race on Sunday. Starting in eleventh place motivated Daniel Keilwitz to clean up the field from the rear.
He passed one competitor after another, moving up to sixth place before his teammate took over. From then on the young Frenchman fought an exiting battle. He kept docking onto the Lamborghini driving in front of him. Later he veered several times to put pressure on the Schnitzer BMW. He succeeded on both counts: Jules Gounon crossed the finish line in fourth place after a fair contest. “We are super satisfied. We really got the most out of the weekend. There was no way we could beat the speed of the Lamborghinis. But all in all it was simply sensational,” Gounon says. Team leader Giovanni Ciccone was also satisfied: “My prediction for Saturday was fifth place and we were able to hold that. On Sunday we did even better than that. We move up again in the championship ranking and are now even with Lamborghini in second place. That is sensational and we are very pleased.” The first race of the ADAC GT Masters held abroad is already on the event calendar in three weeks. Ciccone and his team, ranked third, will be traveling to the Red Bull Ring in Austria at the beginning of June (June 9-11).