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ADAC GT MASTERS 2021
CALLAWAY COMPETITION PLANS FOR REDEMPTION ON THE RED BULL RING
At the second event of the ADAC GT Masters season, Callaway Competition wants to continue their good performance starting in Oschersleben and again attack the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. After two more-than-unfortunate races last year, the Corvette team has big plans to fashion the two upcoming races on the Alpine racetrack this year in a completely different way.
After a strong opening weekend in Oschersleben, which should have been rewarded with a podium result, Callaway Competition is planning to attack at the Austrian Red Bull Ring on June 11th to 13th, the first event of the ADAC GT Masters 2021 schedule outside of Germany.
The 4.326-kilometer course, picturesquely located in the beautiful Styrian countryside, is always a guarantee for spectacular racing. With its long straights and a variety of turn radii, the switchback is perfect for the high-horsepower race cars from the “Super Sports Car League” such as the Leingarten team’s Corvette C7 GT3-R. In particular, the narrow Turn Two at the end of the long uphill straight offers an ideal spot for thrilling braking maneuvers.
Callaway Competition’s Corvette is definitely one of the favorites in Styria. The muscle car with American roots, developed and built in Leingarten, has always done great on the track. The current C7 GT3-R has already won there five times and the previous model was successful four times - an incredible win rate.
But last year, when a Callaway Corvette competed for the 200th time, the team experienced a historic milestone that shouldn’t be acknowledged, from a sporting point of view.
Due to the Corona pandemic, the fifth run in the Alpine republic was scheduled late in the calendar and Team Boss Mike Gramke’s team had to deal with adverse and fluctuating weather conditions. Rain and temperatures just above freezing prevented the two Corvette drivers Markus Pommer and Jeffrey Schmidt establishing the proper setup during practice. In the end, they had to be content with qualifying 21st and 18th.
This year, success should return. In Oschersleben, returning drivers, Marvin Kirchhöfer (27 / Leipzig) and Swiss driver Jeffrey Schmidt (27 / Liestal), were able to perform well in every session. They made good improvement until the crash in the Sunday race, through no fault of their own, and now they want to build on their progress in Spielberg.
Due to the COVID-19 protocol drawn up by the Red Bull Ring together with the ADAC GT Masters and approved by the authorities, a maximum of 3,000 fans per day can experience the races live in the grandstands for the first time this season, the second weekend of the season.
“I’m going to the Red Bull Ring with a good feeling as we made very good progress at Oschersleben and, of course, also because I won the last race there in the Callaway Corvette. The Red Bull Ring is perfect for the Corvette, so I'm optimistic about the weekend. There are some uphill sections where torque plays an important role. I like the track. It's a lot of fun to drive because it has a lot of fast corners and passing isn’t difficult. What we weren't allowed to do at Oschersleben, we'll try to get at Spielberg. Clearly, the goal will be the podium so I can enjoy the good Wiener Schnitzel afterwards, which I’m looking forward to again.” Marvin Kirchhöfer
“The Red Bull Ring is really a great race track. I always enjoy coming there and I always have fond memories of the course. If it hadn't been for last year. The asphalt is a bit special because it’s very gentle on the tires. So it’s not that easy to get the tires to work. Compared to other tracks, you can drive several fast laps in a row during qualifying. Unfortunately, we just didn't have the right conditions for that last year. This year, I’m optimistic. The team already turned the right screws at the start and if we carry on there, then we can forget about last year.” Jeffrey Schmidt
“The high level of performance in the ADAC GT Masters field means that there’s a severe price to pay with every mistake. So we’re simply not allowed to make any mistakes. And it basically starts with the first session. We want to find a good rhythm and a proper setup right from the start and make the most of our qualifying performance. If we pick up where we left off after qualifying in Oschersleben on Sunday, then we’ll have a good chance for a successful weekend at the Red Bull Ring. We have to develop the opportunity and then take it.” Mike Gramke, Team Boss
Both Spielberg races will be broadcast on Nitro (German TV) on Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 p.m., local time, including preliminary reporting.
Text: A.Dannenberg / Motorsport-Karriere
Bilder: Axel Weichert