Victory and podium placement – Callaway Competition leads the ADAC GT Masters rankings after a successful racing weekend
After the fourth racing weekend, the Callaway Competition team can call itself the half-time champion of the ADAC GT Masters. Jules Gounon and replacement driver Renger van der Zande were highly convincing with their outstanding performance in Zandvoort, the Netherlands. With the win in Saturday’s race and eight points in the second heat, the team under Ernst Wöhr and Giovanni Ciccone is still unbeaten.
Rain was forecast for the racing weekend directly behind the dunes on the North Sea coast. But the weather gods were friendly at first and spared the drivers. More than 13,000 spectators came to Zandvoort this past weekend for the exciting motorsports event.
Pole position and a start-to-finish win on Saturday
After extensive training on Friday, Saturday morning began with qualifying. Jules Gounon asserted himself and posted the fastest time on the 4,307-kilometre course. The performance of Jules Gounon as well as team mate Renger van der Zande, who jumped in as the replacement for regular Callaway driver Daniel Keilwitz on the weekend, in the race was also convincing. Showing itself unimpressed by the competition, the duo turned pole position into a racing victory. “It was a perfect weekend,” said Jules Gounon. “We had a great race, did a good job and were able to win. Now we have a comfortable lead in the rankings.”
For the Callaway Competition team, this was not just the second win of the season but also proof that the development of the Corvette C7 GT3-R is as successful as promised. “Every kilometre and every race is important to us for development,” say the two team owners Giovanni Ciccone and Ernst Wöhr. “Renger felt comfortable in the Corvette right away and that is a good sign for us. He is an excellent driver and also fits into the team personally.”
Rain chaos on Sunday
After rejoicing about Renger van der Zande’s seventh-fastest lap time in qualifying on Sunday morning, the race towards noon became torture. The rain gods had spared everyone so far but opened the floodgates shortly before the start of Sunday’s race. Poor visibility hampered the race while the Callaway team fought its way up towards a place on the podium. After a drive-through penalty that set the van der Zande/Gounon duo back, they boxed their way to sixth place again and collected more valuable championship points.
”It’s too bad that Daniel was not able to drive, but his health comes first.”
”Often, you make your plans and then you get a surprise. That red flag in the first qualifying round was lucky for us. Not that this detracts in any way from our performance. We all worked very well,” say Wöhr and Ciccone. Yet their joy was tempered. “On the one hand, we are pleased about our great collaboration with Renger. On the other hand, it is a great pity that Daniel was not able to drive, where he contributed a great deal to the Corvette’s development. But his health comes first, and we wish him a continued good and rapid recovery.” Daniel Keilwitz took advantage of his free weekend to reveal his qualities as a commentator. When the regular Callaway driver can get behind the wheel again has not been decided yet. Callaway Competition is not getting much of a rest. In two weeks the next racing weekend is already on the schedule. The Swabian team aims to collect more championship points on the Nürburgring at the beginning of August.