Long development over the winter pays off
Callaway Competition looks back at a perfect Race Sunday: At the second round of the ADAC GT Masters at Sachsenring, the team secured the first, worldwide win with the new Corvette C7 GT3-R.
The great success on Sunday could already be thought about following the good results on Saturday. In the first qualifying at the Sachsenring, Jules Gounon (F) set the fifth time in the #77 Roller/Valvoline Corvette. The sister car, the #69 AutoArena Corvette with Patrick Assenheimer behind the wheel (D), suffered bad luck following an off into the gravel, setting only the 17th best lap-time.
The Frenchman Gounon had a good start into the one-hour-race on Saturday and managed to secure second place after only a few corners. The Safety-Car was employed four times and made the racing flow difficult. Callaway Competition pitted the #77 first, but some positions were lost. Thanks to a great charge through the field by Daniel Keilwitz (D), the car crossed the finishing line in a well-deserved fourth position. The #69 AutoArena Corvette was penalised with a drive-through due to a collision with a Porsche and came home in 19th place.
Keilwitz only managed P9 in Sunday´s qualifying, but a breath-taking start from ninth to three was the first step towards the great success. The #77-driver overtook the Audi on lap two to take second place and only four laps later, he also managed to overtake Ludwig in the Mercedes. Keilwitz was able to put a gap between him and the chaser straight away and drove 0.5 seconds faster per lap then his competitors. Jules Gounon kept the lead after the pitstop and extended his lead by 1.5 seconds per lap. Unfortunately, a Safety-Car destroyed all the progress, but thanks to a perfect re-start, the young Frenchman took victory at the chequered flag with the #77 Roller/Valvoline Corvette C7 GT3-R.
The sister car suffered once again a tough qualifying with only P18. Dominik Schwager (D) lost a couple of positions at the beginning of the race, but found himself continuously in great fights for positions. A drive-through-penalty put the #69 AutoArena Corvette back into P13.
“We are very proud of our drivers”, say Giovanni Ciccone and Ernst Wöhr, Team Principals Callaway Competition. “Everything went absolutely perfect on Sunday! Daniel had an amazing start and Jules was able to control and manage his last stint without great effort. It feels fantastic to have the first victory with the new Corvette. The hard work over the winter has finally paid off.”
The team based in Leingarten is currently in third and fourth place in the drivers and team standings respectively.
The next ADAC GT Masters race will take place from 3rd until 5th June 2016 at the Lausitzring. For more information, please visit http://www.callaway-competition.de.
Daniel Keilwitz - #77 Roller/Valvoline Corvette C7 GT3-R:"I was on the throttle at the right moment and that was decisive. Of course, I was lucky that there were so many gaps to drive through and I decided to overtake at the outer line. That was the plan in my head and I am glad it worked out. We were able to pull away with the new tyres during the first laps. Jules did a great job in the end. The win is so well-deserved by everyone in the team for all their hard work over the winter. And it is a great birthday present for Giovanni.”
Jules Gounon - #77 Roller/Valvoline Corvette C7 GT3-R:"It was just great! I don´t know how to describe it, but there are no words for Daniel´s start. He handed me a perfect car with good tyres at the pitstop, which made my job easier. I then really put my foot down and controlled the field, but then the Safety-Car came out and I had to do everything all over again. My strategy was to have three fast laps and then just try and manage the remaining laps and everything worked well. I am very pleased to have Daniel as my team-mate this year, because I can learn a lot from him.”
Patrick Assenheimer - #69 AutoArena Corvette C7 GT3-R:"Unfortunately, we were one second too fast at the pitstop and got penalised. But I think, looking at the laps over the weekend, we had a decent performance. Without the penalties, we could have reached the Top-10. I had about eight overtaking moves in Sundays and Saturday´s race and it was a lot of fun. We just have to focus more on qualifying to ensure our pace is strong enough for a better starting position, so we can attack from further up the field during the race.”
Dominik Schwager - #69 AutoArena Corvette C7 GT3-R:"It was a difficult weekend for us. Patrick and I did not manage to get it right in qualifying. We had two good races, but didn´t make the most of it. The penalty on Saturday was unfortunate but quite tough from our point of view. Sunday´s penalty was annoying. But we are very please, that the other car has won, because everyone does a really great job.