Keilwitz/Gounon secure two podium finishesAfter disqualification for Audi, Callaway Competition wins second raceGreat Comeback from Assenheimer/Schwager to finish in P4Americans Said/Curran take Top-10 finish
After a one month break for the ADAC GT Masters, Callaway Competition took part with three Corvette C7 GT3-R in last weekend’s sixth and seventh round of the GT Championship at the Austrian Red Bull Ring. Following two podium finishes for the #77 Roller/Valvoline Corvette for Jules Gounon (F) and Daniel Keilwitz (D), the team based in Leingarten has taken over the lead in both the drivers and teams championship. A later disqualification of the winning car by Audi meant race victory for Callaway Competition in the second race.
All three Corvettes C7 qualified in the Top-15 in the first qualifying. Gounon/Keilwitz did not give away their third place on the grid and finished on the podium, taking over the lead of the championship at exactly mid-season. Keilwitz put the Corvette C7 with the number 77 onto Pole Position in the second qualifying and was able to remain in the leading position until the pit-stop window in the second race. Whilst Keilwitz went slightly off the race line, Laurens Vanthoor took advantage in his Audi and drove past Keilwitz. In a heart-beating final that saw two Safety-Car periods, Gounon put pressure onto the front-runner Florian Stoll, but had to settle in second place when crossing the finishing line. However, Callaway Competition secured the race win in the end after all with the disqualification of Stoll/Vanthoor later that day.
The #69 AutoArena Corvette experienced a weekend with ups and downs. Following P10 in the first quali, Patrick Assenheimer (D) and Dominik Schwager (D) drove up into a great fourth place and secured a top-finish for the third time in a row. Unfortunately, the #69 retired in the second race having qualified in a strong P5.
The two Americans running in the Whelen Corvette, Boris Said and Eric Curran, had a very strong weekend as well. At their premiere at the Red Bull Ring, Said/Curran qualified the #31 Corvette C7 in 14th and 9th position. In the race on Saturday, the American duo finished in the Top-10.
„I am very pleased to see the development of this season, that all our hard work and our efforts are paying off and that all this is being reflected in us leading the championship now“, say Giovanni Ciccone and Ernst Wöhr, Team Principals Callaway Competition. „Daniel Keilwitz and Jules Gounon did a great job this weekend. But all our other drivers impressed with top performances as well and we can be proud of the whole´s team’s performance. But we should not rest on our laurels now, but come back at the Nürburgring strong again in two weeks.
The next ADAC GT Masters race takes place from 5th until 8th August 2016 at the Nürburgring. For more information, please visit www.callaway-competition.deDriver Quotes:
Daniel Keilwitz - #77 Roller/Valvoline Corvette C7 GT3-R:"Our goal was to take the lead in the championship and that is what we have done. It was not an easy race with the extra ballast of 30 km from the second race at Lausitzring. We tried to stay clear of everything. Other teams had to fight quite hard. During the pit-stop phase, we lost a position, but in the end it was not tragic. Our race ran as planned: I had a good start and was able to set the pace from the front. We are pleased with the result and have extended our lead in the championship.“
Jules Gounon - #77 Roller/Valvoline Corvette C7 GT3-R:"Another race track that was new to me, but I found a good rhythm early on and I really liked the atmosphere and nature here. We are very happy about having taking over the lead in the championship. Big thanks to my team-mate Daniel (Keilwitz), who drove a fantastic race. P3 on Saturday was the maximum we could achieve. Both Porsche and Bentley were very strong. Now it is half-time and we are leading, it feels great. But the season is still long and we have to focus race by race.“
Patrick Assenheimer - #69 AutoArena Corvette C7 GT3-R:"To start from 10th and finish in fourth is a great result. The car is great. We had a good start and did not lose a position. We managed to make up some ground during the race, also thanks to a few accidents of our competitors. Dominik (Schwager) drove a really good race.“
Dominik Schwager - #69 AutoArena Corvette C7 GT3-R:"P4 was the best we could achieve. We were not quicker than the ones running in front of us in the end. Every team had a little off during the race. We took advantage of that and drove through the field. A great result for Callaway Competition. The team did a great job.“
Boris Said - #31 Whelen Corvette C7 GT3-R:"We really enjoyed the weekend, the track is great and the team did a really good job. It was a good feeling to finish in the Top-10 and in overall, the whole weekend was a fantastic result for the whole team.“
Eric Curran - #31 Whelen Corvette C7 GT3-R:"All in all, it was a good weekend, it was just a shame that we did not finish in the second race. We started from P9 and we could have had an even better result than in the race on Saturday.“