June 10, 2018 –
Callaway Competition Wins Both Saturday and Sunday Races at the Red Bull Ring!
Both Callaway drivers start on the Pole and win both races; Callaway now leads both Teams’ and Drivers’ Championship Points Standings.
This weekend, in the picturesque town of Spielberg, Austria, Callaway Competition completely dominated the ADAC GT Masters’ Red Bull Ring event. Corvette drivers, Marvin Kirchhöfer and Daniel Keilwitz, enjoyed a spectacular outing, each capturing Pole Position for the Saturday and Sunday races and then winning both races. Saturday’s Race 1 was Kirchhöfer’s first ADAC GT Masters victory while, on Sunday, Keilwitz got his 8th career Red Bull Ring win in a mostly-rainy Race 2, finishing 4.2 seconds ahead of a charging, second-place Lamborghini Huracán GT3.
Following this weekend’s performance, Kirchhöfer and Keilwitz have a 24 point advantage over second place in Drivers’ Championship standings, and Callaway Competition is 12 points ahead of second place in the Teams’ Championship race.
The next race weekend on the ADAC GT Masters circuit is scheduled for August 3-5, at the Nürburgring in Nürburg, Germany. The time-honored racetrack is considered to be Callaway Competition’s “home-track”, but they’ll have to bring their A-game as, once more, they’ll be competing with the world’s fastest GT3 race cars: Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Honda NSX, Lamborghini, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche.
Comments (courtesy ADAC)
Marvin Kirchhöfer: “We weren’t expecting to win twice. I’m all the more delighted now that we’ve achieved that. It was a perfect weekend for us, with a maximum points yield. Next on the itinerary are some tracks where it’s going to be harder for us to compete at the front.”
June 9, 2018 –
Callaway Competition wins Saturday’s Race at the Red Bull Ring
excerpts from ADAC Motorsport News:
The Corvette pairing of Marvin Kirchhöfer (24, GER) and Daniel Keilwitz (28, GER, both Callaway Competition) lived up to their billing as favourites in Saturday’s ADAC GT Masters race at the Red Bull Ring. The duo were in dominant form as they claimed their first win of the campaign. “It means a lot to me to have won in the ADAC GT Masters,” said debutant winner Kirchhöfer after the race. “I am very happy and now just savouring the moment.”
Pole-sitter Marvin Kirchhöfer had no problem in asserting his lead at the start. After a brief safety car deployment to recover the Audi R8 LMS of Filip Salaquarda (34, CZ, Team ISR), the Corvette driver opened a clear gap on the rest of the field, which was up to three seconds by the time he called in for the mandatory pit stop. Partner Daniel Keilwitz continued in like fashion after the break. At the flag, the 2013 champion retained a 0.6-second lead to secure the first victory of the season for reigning ADAC GT Masters champions Callaway Competition. For record race winner Keilwitz, it was his 20th success in the Super Sports Car League and his seventh at the Red Bull Ring. Team-mate Kirchhöfer was delighted about his personal first victory.
Comments from the winners
Marvin Kirchhöfer (Callaway Competition, Corvette C7 GT3-R): “I would say that the key to our victory today was getting pole position. We had a great race with a perfect strategy. It was not quite as easy as it looked, because we were struggling a bit with tyre degradation.”
Daniel Keilwitz (Callaway Competition, Corvette C7 GT3-R): “It could not have gone any better. The Corvette is a perfect fit for the Red Bull Ring. We know we have to win here if we want to be in contention for the title, because there are other tracks such as the Sachsenring that aren’t so good for us. During the two safety car deployments towards the end, I was picking up graining, but I still had two good restarts. That was a solid basis for retaining the lead.”
June 8, 2018 –
Corvette Driver Kirchhöfer Sets First Best-Time-of-Weekend at Red Bull Ring
– Oliver Runschke, photos ADAC
• Callaway Competition driver goes fastest in first Practice Session
• Austria-based teams in close pursuit
• Four brands in positions one to four
Corvette driver Marvin Kirchhöfer (24, GER, Callaway Competition) excelled in the first free practice session of the ADAC GT Masters at the Red Bull Ring, clocking the fastest lap and reaffirming the status of the US sports car as favourite for this fastest track on the calendar.
However, the gap to his closest pursuers was a mere 0.074 seconds. The two Super Sports Car League races in Austria will be shown live and in full length on Saturday (from 12:45 CEST) and Sunday (from 13:00 CEST) by SPORT1. Alternatively, they can be watched online via the livestreams provided by sport1.de, adac.de/motorsport and youtube.com/adac.
A Corvette has already won six times in the ADAC GT Masters since 2013 at the Red Bull Ring. This year, the race weekend once again got off to a promising start for the American muscle car.
Marvin Kirchhöfer, from Kleeberg in Saxony, driving the C7 GT3-R entered by Callaway Competition set the best time on the Austrian track in a first free practice session that was blessed with sunshine and temperatures around the 26°C mark. It was the first occasion that he had ever topped the Super Sports Car League timesheets: “Things have been going well for us here, starting with the tests on Thursday, even though the weather with intermittent rain showers made it a bit more difficult at times. We have set our sights high for this track. Everyone knows that it suits the Corvette. Consequently, we need to make sure that we perform well this weekend.”
Kirchhöfer shares the cockpit of the Corvette with Daniel Keilwitz (28, GER), who holds the record for ADAC GT Masters wins on the 4.32km circuit – six in all.
Second fastest in the morning with a lap time of 1:29.668 minutes was the Ferrari 488 GT3 driven by Alfred Renauer (33, GER) and Luca Ludwig (29, GER) for whose team, HB Racing, the Red Bull Ring is home turf.
Third place was claimed by another Austrian team: Rolf Ineichen (40, CH) and Christian Engelhart (31, GER) in the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 prepared by GRT Grasser Racing Team were just 139 thousandths of a second off the pace of the lead Corvette.
They were followed by Mike David Ortmann (18, GER) and Markus Winkelhock (37, GER, both BWT Mücke Motorsport) in the best of the Audi R8 LMSs, ahead of fellow Audi drivers Kelvin van der Linde (21, ZA) and Sheldon van der Linde (19, ZA, both Montaplast by Land-Motorsport).
As so often at the Red Bull Ring, the time gaps were very narrow: at the end of the session, there were 25 vehicles within one second of each other.
Multiple milestones at the Red Bull Ring
Four of the ADAC GT Masters contestants will reach a major career milestone in Saturday’s race at Spielberg. Sebastian Asch (32, GER, Team Zakspeed BKK Mobil Oil Racing), who has already competed in more Super Sports Car League races than any of the current line-up, will be making his 140th appearance.
For Ferrari driver Luca Ludwig (29, GER, HB Racing), it will be his 120th start in the series, while for Robert Renauer (33, GER, Precote Herberth Motorsport) in the Porsche it will be the 100th.
Making it a quartet of round numbers is BMW driver Claudia Hürtgen (46, GER, RWT Racing) contesting her 80th race, albeit this time in a Corvette C7 GT3-R.
2018 ADAC GT Masters Calendar
13/04/18 – 15/04/18 Motorsport Arena Oschersleben
27/04/18 – 29/04/18 Autodrom Most (CZ)
08/06/18 – 10/06/18 Red Bull Ring (A)
03/08/18 – 05/08/18 Nürburgring
17/08/18 – 19/08/18 Circuit Park Zandvoort (NL)
07/09/18 – 09/09/18 Sachsenring
21/09/18 – 23/09/18 Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg
June 5, 2018 –
Red Bull Ring: Callaway Competition, Guaranteed for the Podium
Callaway Competition intends to further extend its exceptional Spielberg record. Since 2013, the Corvette Team from Leingarten, Germany has mounted the podium nine times, with six times as race winner.
With much momentum in the Alps: The ADAC GT Masters season continues for Callaway Competition this coming weekend at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria.
With the third weekend of the 2018 season, the Corvette Team is again flying high with Team Boss Mike Gramke: On the program at the June 9-10, Races 5 and 6 are scheduled for Spielberg – on arguably one of the most scenic racetracks in Motorsport.
The remote course, 4.326 kilometers (2.69 mi.) long and located about 50 kilometers (approx. 30 mi.) from Graz, is nestled in the mountains of Styria. At an elevation of almost 700 meters (2300 ft.), it is the highest race track in the schedule of the “League of Super Sports Cars”. The track also ranks at the very top of the drivers’ popularity scale.
On the technically demanding Alpine course, with its unusually steep ascents and descents, with grades of up to 12%, torque is especially in demand. The Corvette C7 GT3-R delivers the required torque, as it has already demonstrated numerous times.
At the second of the three ADAC GT Masters events located outside of Germany, the two drivers, Daniel Keilwitz (28/Villingen) and Marvin Kirchhöfer (24/Markkleeberg), want to build on the performance of the second race weekend. In Most, in the Czech Republic, the pair drove to second place on the podium in both races.
Corvette Double Victory, 2017 – Winners: Keilwitz/Gounon (Callaway Competition) Second Place: Barth/Hackländer (RWT Racing). Last year has shown what is possible at the Red Bull Ring with the Corvette C7 GT3-R. Callaway Competition is also the most successful ADAC GT Masters team with six victories at the Red Bull Ring. Therefore, once again this year, a guarantee for the podium.
“No other route in the ADAC GT Masters schedule seems to be suited for the Corvette as well as the Red Bull Ring. Even if the conditions are, without a doubt, more difficult this year than in past years, we’ll have a good chance to replenish our point standing. And as with any other racetrack, Qualifying will be a determining factor in how we finish the races.” Team Boss Mike Gramke
“In the last few years, the Red Bull Ring has always been a good place for us. The racetrack suits our Corvette. I believe that, this year, we’ll fight for the podium once again.” Driver Daniel Keilwitz (28/Villingen)
“I’m looking forward to my first use with the Corvette at the Red Bull Ring. Now, above all, we want to build on the results of (Autodrom) Most. Ultimately, it should happen. Naturally, this would be great. I’m still missing a victory in the ADAC GT Masters.” Driver Marvin Kirchhofer (24/Markkleeberg)
The two races in Spielberg will begin on Saturday at 13:15 pm (live on Sport1) and on Sunday at 13:08 pm (live on Sport1). In addition, the races are online in the livestream on sport1.de, adac.de/motor sport and Youtube.com/adac.
April 12, 2018 –
Fascinating Facts about the ADAC GT Masters
The tension is rising two days before the ADAC GT Masters enters its twelfth season at Oschersleben. Here are the key facts about the first race of the year at the weekend (April 13th – 15th). The two races in the Super Sports Cars League will be shown live and in full length by SPORT1 on Saturday and Sunday. The programme starts at 13:00 CEST. They can also be watched online via the livestream on sport1.de, adac.de/motorsport and youtube.com/adac.
– Motorsport Arena Oschersleben is hosting the ADAC GT Masters season opener for the eleventh time. 26 Super Sports Cars League races have so far been contested on the circuit near Magdeburg.
– The 2018 calendar comprises a total of seven race weekends in Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria and the Netherlands.
– The ADAC GT Masters will visit the Czech Republic for the first time in 2018. It becomes the sixth country after Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Slovakia to have staged the competition.
– The only new circuit on the itinerary is Autodrom Most. It is the 13th track to have been used by the series.
– Seven former ADAC GT Masters champions will be competing at Oschersleben: Christopher Haase (2007), Sebastian Asch (2012 and 2015), Maximilian Götz (2012), Daniel Keilwitz (2013), Kelvin van der Linde (2014), Luca Ludwig (2015) and Christopher Mies (2016).
– There will be two former motor racing world champions on the grid, namely two-time FIA WEC Champion Timo Bernhard and ex-FIA GT1 champion Lucas Luhr.
– Daniel Keilwitz has won more races than any other driver in the ADAC GT Masters – 19 in all. The Corvette driver also holds the record for the most victories in a single season: in 2014, he stood on the top rung of the podium six times.
– 19 drivers will be making their ADAC GT Masters debut at Oschersleben: Timo Bernhard, Victor Bouveng, Andrea Caldarelli, Jake Dennis, Christopher Dreyspring, Philipp Ellis, Jimmy Eriksson, Max Hofer, Mikkel Jensen, Lucas Luhr, Giorgio Maggi, Frank Perera, Timo Scheider, Kim-Luis Schramm, Jan-Erik Slooten, Oscar Tunjo, Aaro Vainio, Dries Vanthoor and Christopher Zoechling.
– There are two women in the 2018 ADAC GT Masters line-up – returnee Claudia Hürtgen and Rahel Frey. They are the previous winners of seven and two races respectively in the Super Sports Cars League.
– Two of the contestants are also team bosses: Timo Bernhard drives for KÜS Team75 Bernhard, which is jointly owned by the sports car star and his father Rüdiger. Jan-Erik Slooten will drive the Porsche entered by his team Iron Force by RING POLICE.
– The starting grid for the 2018 ADAC GT Masters will once again be highly cosmopolitan, with drivers from 15 different countries. Germany is the best represented with 35 drivers – almost half of the field – ahead of Switzerland (7), Belgium and Austria (4 each).
– The youngest driver in the field is Switzerland’s Ricardo Feller, a distinction he carries over from last season. The Audi driver will still be 17 years old when the campaign begins.
– The 36 cars in ADAC GT Masters line-up, including Audis, BMWs, Corvettes, Ferraris, Hondas, Lamborghinis, Mercedes-AMGs and Porsches, muster almost 20,000 horsepower between them.
– The Audi R8 LMS is the most popular model in the ADAC GT Masters (13), followed by the Mercedes-AMG GT3 (six) and the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 (five).
– Audi is also the most successful brand in the series, with a total of 31 victories, followed closely by Corvette with 29 wins and Lamborghini with 27.
– Newcomer Honda becomes the 18th brand to be represented in Super Sports Car League history. The local favourites of Honda Team Schubert Motorsport have opted for the NSX GT3.
– Ferrari are returning to the GT Masters for the first time since 2012. The Italian brand has three previous race wins to its credit (2007 and 2011).
– Callaway Competition were in at the start of the ADAC GT Masters in 2007. The 27 victories notched up over the years by the Leingarten-based outfit makes it the most successful team in the history of the series.
– BMW Team Schnitzer and BWT Mücke Motorsport together with ADAC GT Masters returnees Phoenix Racing and Team Rosberg have five DTM driver titles and 54 DTM race wins between them.
– There are no fewer than four teams making their debut in the Super Sports Car League – AutoArenA Motorsport, EFP by TECE, IronForce by RING POLICE und Team ISR
– First-class education: Several contestants in the ADAC GT Masters started their careers in the various ADAC junior formula series, including Klaus Bachler, Maximilian Buhk, Indy Dontje, Christian Engelhart, Ricardo Feller, Maximilian Götz, Mikkel Jensen, Marvin Kirchhöfer, Remo Lips, Giorgio Maggi, Dennis Marschall, Stefan Mücke, Mike David Ortmann, Jeffrey Schmidt, Kim-Luis Schramm and Luca Stolz. Max Hofer is making the step up from ADAC TCR Germany this year.Link to ADAC GT Masters 4/12/2018 Press Release
March 20, 2018 –
Callaway Competition Announces New Driver Line-up
from ADAC GT Masters website news
Marvin Kirchhöfer is named new lead driver for Callaway Competition in ADAC GT Masters. Frank Kechele and Daniel Keilwitz will support Kirchhöfer.
Callaway Competition will embark on the defense of their ADAC GT Masters title with a new driver in the line-up. Marvin Kirchhöfer (24, Germany) will share the team’s Corvette C7 GT3-R with Frank Kechele (31, Germany) and with former champion Daniel Keilwitz (28, Germany) this season. The Super Sports Car League will get the season under way on the weekend of April 13-15 in the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben. SPORT1 will broadcast all races live.
Once again in 2018, Callaway Competition will rely on the services of a combination of drivers similar to the one that last year won the drivers’ team and junior titles: a talented junior driver partnered with an experienced, fast teammate. “Marvin Kirchhöfer showed his class throughout his debut year in the ADAC GT Masters in 2017,” says Mike Gramke, who, after a long period of time acting as Callaway’s technical director, will also take on the role of Team Principal for the 2018 season. “He will have two very strong teammates in Frank Kechele and Daniel Keilwitz, from whose experience he can benefit. Frank will stand in for Daniel at Oschersleben and Most, as Daniel has racing commitments elsewhere (in North America for Callaway Competition USA in Pirelli World Challenge). Frank has always been one of the fastest in the field, and Daniel’s track record in the ADAC GT Masters is simply outstanding.”
With Marvin Kirchhöfer, Callaway, which is the most successful ever in the series with 27 wins to its name, has signed an intrepid young driver. Kirchhöfer, who contested his debut season in a Mercedes-AMG in 2017, is looking forward to his second year in the series. “I’m very happy to be racing for Callaway Competition this year,” said the 24-year-old German, who won the Formel ADAC in 2012. “I’ve already had a brief test session in the Corvette in France and it immediately made a very positive impression on me. I’m really looking forward to pre-season testing at the end of March in Oschersleben.” Kirchhöfer replaces last year’s champion Jules Gounon (24, France), who will no longer drive in the ADAC GT Masters, and intends to follow in the Frenchman’s footsteps: “I definitely want to secure my maiden win in the ADAC GT Masters and rack up as many points as possible. That’s my goal, for sure! As regards the overall standings, we’ll have to wait and see how the season develops. There were a lot of new things I had to deal with last year as a newcomer from formula racing, but I’m now more accustomed to GT motor racing and can concentrate on what’s important, which makes me feel very confident.”
Kirchhöfer will be partnered by Frank Kechele and by Callaway veteran Daniel Keilwitz from the third meeting onwards at the Red Bull Ring (Austria). Three-time race winner and record-breaking pole-sitter Kechele will line up at Oschersleben and Most (Czech Republic). “I’m delighted to be back in the ADAC GT Masters for the first time since the 2015 season finale and to be driving for Callaway Competition,” said Kechele. “This is a great opportunity for me. The team does a good job year in, year out. When you race for Callaway, you know that you’ve got the backing of an extremely competent team. I aim to do my bit in the first two races and notch up plenty of points with Marvin.”
March 12, 2018 –
Callaway Competition Celebrates Podium Finish in Corvette C7 GT3-R Debut
by PWC Series Staff
St Petersburg FL –
The Pirelli World Challenge debut of the Callaway Competition USA Corvette C7 GT3-R was hailed a success on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida on Sunday afternoon. Driver Daniel Keilwitz earned a top five finish and a second place finish during the double header, moving him to second position in the championship standings.
“We are very pleased we had a chance to demonstrate the championship performance of the Corvette here in North America,” said Team Owner Reeves Callaway. “I’m happy to see the front running performance from Europe continued for the North American debut. We had two really good tough races, and Daniel was able to show his skills against a very talented field of drivers. I am thrilled to be able to please the Corvette fan base with some great racing.”
In his first time on track at the temporary street course, Keilwitz and the Corvette C7 GT3-R took to the circuit quickly, setting competitive lap times in each practice session. Keilwitz qualified third for race one, and as the field took the green flag for the opening race of the season, the No. 26 Corvette C7 GT3-R led the field heading into turn one. Forced wide by the 61 Ferrari on the straight, Keilwitz found himself on paint wet from the morning’s rain, making braking ineffective. The Corvette missed the turn, but recovered in time to avoid contact as the field roared by. Keilwitz recovered and rejoined the field in eighth. A caution period assisted the German, allowing him to quickly catch the rear of the field and immediately work on climbing his way back up the chart.
The Corvette C7 GT3-R showed strong power and maneuverability on the tight street course, and climbed up to fifth position in a matter of minutes. Keilwitz quickly closed in on the No. 24 Porsche of Michael Christensen, and passed for fourth position on the inside of turn one with fifteen minutes remaining. Keilwitz held position for the remainder of the race, finishing in fourth place in his first American race event.
Keilwitz’s fast lap in race one set a second place starting position for race two, starting on the outside of turn one. He slipped into third position on the start, behind Daniel Morad and the No. 2 Mercedes and race leader Scott Hargrove in the No. 96 Porsche. The No. 61 Ferrari of Toni Vilander made the pass to take the third place position, but in lap eight, the Corvette C7 GT3-R reassumed the position. Three laps later, he passed Morad in turn one to take second place and set the fastest lap of the race. Two more cautions came out during the final 30 minutes of the race, as Keilwitz reeled in the leader to fight for the lead position. A win was within his grasp until an incident brought out a red flag, ending the race ten minutes early. While the win was certainly only a few laps away, the Callaway Competition USA team celebrated a job well done, and the first podium in U.S. competition for the car.
The Pirelli World Challenge next competes at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas for Rounds 1 & 2 of the SprintX championship: a 60 minute race in which two drivers share the driving duties for the same car. The driver joining Keilwitz will be announced shortly, as the team has confirmed the Callaway Competition C7 GT3-R will run in the event March 23-25. For event information, visit world-challenge.com.
Driver Quote | Daniel Keilwitz
Race One: Started P3 | Finished P4
Race Two: Started P2 | Finished P2
“The start was bad for me because we started with low tire pressures. I had wheel spin at the green flag and lost two positions to the others guys. We knew if we played it cool, I’d be faster once we came up to temperature. I was able to overtake the Ferrari and the Mercedes, and try to catch the Porsche. It was hard to handle the tire pressure at the restart, so I lost a lot of time, but made it up. I caught the Porsche, and started to fight for the win, but we didn’t get that chance with the red flag. It’s important that the driver involved is okay and didn’t get hurt.”
March 11, 2018 –
GP of St. Petersburg GT/GTA Round 2 GT Cup Rd.2 Race
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Former open-wheel ladder series star Scott Hargrove of Tsawassen, B.C., Canada has made a spectacular switch to sports cars this weekend with a pair of GT victories in the 2018 season opening Pirelli World Challenge doubleheader in the streets of St. Petersburg. Hargrove won Sunday’s GT Sprint event by 0.414-seconds in the No. 96 Pfaff Motorsports/Castrol Porsche 911 GT3 R sports car.
Hargrove, a former St. Petersburg winner in the USF2000 series back in 2013, was a star through the USF2000, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights prior to making his sports car debut this weekend, and the 23-year-old Canadian left little doubt that he could be a star in this form of motorsports too.
After coming from last to win Saturday in the 50-minute GT event, Hargrove started from the pole and held off Germany’s Daniel Keilwitz, who made his U.S. racing debut in the No. 26 Callaway Competition USA Corvette C7 GT3-R, to score a near perfect 51 of a possible 52 points with two wins and a pole position.
“It was a great weekend, a little unexpected after yesterday’s qualifying but it was a great comeback for the team, Pfaff Motorsports,” said Hargrove. “Today there was a much better view into turn 1 and when we pulled out onto the track, there were so many marbles from Indy Cars. I knew that I could quickly run into the wall going into turn one like we did yesterday, so I had to be a little bit smarter on that at the start.
“At the first restart, I had a good jump and I tried the exact same thing the second time but, of course, (Daniel) is smart and he figured out what I was going to do. So he got around me and then it was a fight side-by-side a couple of times, both slipping and sliding.”
Hargrove dashed to the front at the drop of the green flag Sunday at the 14-turn, 1.8-mile temporary street circuit lining the St. Petersburg harborship. Fellow Canadian Daniel Morad in the No. 2 CRP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 pressured Hargrove in the early laps before Keilwitz took over the runner-up position on lap 11.
With Keilwitz charging from two seconds back, Hargrove made a couple of nice restarts after caution periods and held his advantage over the Corvette driver, Morad and Porsche’s Michael Christensen in the Tampa-based Alegra Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
Unfortunately, the Round 2 event was red-flagged on the 26th lap when 2016 PWC GT champion Alvaro Parente of Portugal had a massive impact in the turn 10 tire wall. Parente, in the No. 9 K-PAX Racing Bentley Continental GT3, was able to walk away from the incident, but the event was then concluded for the day after a major cleanup effort by the safety workers.
Parente was checked out at the track medical center Sunday afternoon and later released.
Following Hargrove and Keilwitz for the GT finish was Morad, who finished third in both GT events at St. Pete, Christensen, GTA class winner Martin Fuentes of Mexico City, Mex., in the No. 07 Squadra Corsa Garage Italia Ferrari 488 GT3, Rodrigo Baptista of Brazil in the No. 3 K-PAX Racing Bentley Continental GT3, 17-year-old Parker Chase of New Braunsfels, Tex., in the No. 19 TruSpeed Audi R8 LMS, Parente and Yuki Harata of Japan in the No. 55 Dream Racing Motorsports Lamborgini Huracan GT3.
“It’s my first time here in the U.S. racing and that makes it really fun for me,” said Keilwitz. “The fans are great here. It’s a little different for me but I really like to race here, so it’s a good first adventure for me. Unfortunately, we had the red flag. I think I could have managed to go a little bit faster, but I waited until the end. Now we’ll never know what could have happened. The Corvette here is similar to the one in Europe. I’ve been racing Corvettes for nine years now, running the C6 GT3 and now the C7 GT3 for over two years now in Europe so I’m very familiar with them. I just have to get used to the tracks here.”
The international GT field included eight drivers from nine different countries and eight separate auto makes in the top-ten.
Fuentes took the GTA top honors Sunday over Baptista, Chase and Harata.
“It’s great to be back in the Pirelli World Challenge,” said Fuentes. “This is one of the best championships I’ve ever raced. The format that you guys have is amazing – from start to finish you push 110%. I’m back with Ferrari and I’m back on the podium and that always feels good so I’m happy to be here. There are a lot of young guys out there so I’m trying my hardest, trying to stay in shape, and I’m still young at heart. I’m happy to be racing against these young fast kids.
The upcoming Pirelli World Challenge events will be held at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) on March 23-25 with the season opening races for the GT SprintX, GTS SprintX and Touring Car classes including the all-new TCR division.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Round 2 results Sunday for the Pirelli World Challenge GT 50-minute sprint race at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Results are provisional until posted Final.
Pos, PIC, Class, Name, Hometown, Car, Laps, Status, Race Time, Gap
1, 1, Pro,Scott HARGROVE,Tsawwassen, BC, CANPorsche 911 GT3 R (991),26,Not Running,37:58.857,
2, 2, Pro,Daniel KEILWITZ,Villingen-Schwenningen,GER,Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R,26,Not Running,37:59.271,0.414
3, 3, Pro,Daniel MORAD,Toronto, ON,CAN Mercedes-AMG GT3,26,Not Running,38:00.724,1.867
4, 4, Pro,Michael CHRISTENSEN,Karlslunde,DEN, Porsche 911 GT3 R (991),26,Not Running,38:02.626,3.769
5, 1, Am,Martin FUENTES,Mexico City, MX,Ferrari 488 GT3,26,Not Running,38:03.964,5.107
6, 2, Am,Rodrigo BAPTISTA,São Paulo, BRABentley Continental GT3,26,Not Running,38:09.197,10.340
7, 3, Am,Parker CHASE,New Braunfels, TX,Audi R8 LMS,26,Not Running,38:09.753,10.896
8, 5, Pro,Alvaro PARENTE,Porto, PORT,Bentley Continental GT3,25,Not Running,36:50.044,1 LAP
9, 4, Am,Yuki HARATA,Narita,JAP,Lamborghini Huracan GT3,25,Not Running,38:11.733,1 LAP
10, 6, Pro,Spencer PUMPELLY,Atlanta, GA,Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3,20,Not Running,29:20.039,6 LAPS
11, 7, Pro,Toni VILANDER,Kankaanpää,FIN, Ferrari 488 GT3,13,Not Running,16:09.906,13 LAPS
December 7, 2017 –
Callaway Competition USA Announces Keilwitz and Cooper in 2018 Pirelli World Challenge Effort
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., (December 7, 2017) – Thursday morning at the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show, Callaway Competition USA unveiled the Corvette C7 GT3-R, announcing Daniel Keilwitz and Michael Cooper as the two full time drivers for the 2018 factory GT effort in the Pirelli World Challenge.
Team owner Reeves Callaway and Pirelli World Challenge President and CEO Greg Gill opened the press event alongside a matte black carbon Corvette C7 GT3-R, one of two that will be entered as full season factory efforts in the GT class. The GT3-spec homologated Corvette C7 GT3-R will compete in the GT class in both the sprint races, as well as the two driver format SprintX races. Drivers for the SprintX events will be announced at a later date.
“We are proud to have Daniel and Michael on board for our 2018 effort,” said Callaway. “Both drivers have won several championships and will be excellent brand ambassadors for the Corvette C7 GT3-R’s debut year of American Competition. Daniel brings with him a wealth of knowledge about our team and the car, and Michael has years of experience on the tracks we’ll be competing on. Together, with the team we’re assembling, this will be an excellent program to show our future customers what the Corvette C7 GT3-R is capable of.”
While Daniel Keilwitz may be new to competition in the United States, the 28 year old German is no stranger to sports car racing or Callaway Competition. Keilwitz began his career in go karts in 2000, spending four years there before moving up to the German Production Car Championship in 2005. After finishing tenth in the championship, he competed in the ADAC Procar series, finishing second in the 2006 championship. In the three years to follow, he continued his driver development in the Mini Challenge, twice finishing in the top five championship results. This first of three championship titles came in 2010 when he clinched the FIA GT3 European Championship with Callaway Competition. Keilwitz joined the ADAC GT Masters series in 2011, and has risen to become the most successful driver in the series with 19 overall race wins. Together, Keilwitz and Callaway clinched the 2013 championship, and have finished in the top three in the 2014, 2016, and 2017 championship standings. In 2017, Keilwitz earned the ADAC GT Masters team title, with teammate Jules Gounon also on the effort. Although Keilwitz will be new to all the tracks on the 2018 Pirelli World Challenge calendar, his eight years of experience with Callaway Competition and two years behind the wheel of the Corvette C7 GT3-R will prove invaluable to Callaway Competition USA’s North American Debut.
“I’m really looking forward to join Callaway Competition for the Pirelli World Challenge in 2018,” said Keilwitz. “I have done a lot of races for them in Europe and now I’m really happy to join them also in the USA for my ninth year with the team. The car is really amazing and was performing really well in Europe against all the big manufacturers, so I’m sure that it will perform also well in USA. Of course we have to get some experience with the car on the new tracks, but we also bring a lot of experience from Europe to the USA from the past two years racing with this car. We clearly want to show that the Callaway C7 GT3-R is a great performing and winning car. I’m really proud to be part of this team.”
Fresh off winning the 2017 SprintX Championship, American racer Michael Cooper joins the team, bringing with him four championship titles in six years of competition. The 28 year old began his racing career in the 2010 Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Challenge, earning two wins and three podiums in his rookie season. In 2011, he clinched the Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup championship title, and the following year, the Pirelli World Challenge rookie again wheeled his way to the top of a championship, as the 2012 TC champion. In the two years to follow, Cadillac racing twice tested with Cooper, and in 2015, made him a GM Factory driver in their Pirelli World Challenge efforts. Cooper wasted no time proving himself, earning the 2015 GTS championship title with Blackdog Speedshop, and finishing third in the 2016 GT championship with two wins and seven additional podiums representing Cadillac Racing. Cooper returned to the GT class with Cadillac Racing in 2017, finishing second in the driver championship, and earning the inaugural SprintX Championship alongside Jordan Taylor.
“I’m very proud to be joining Callaway Competition USA for their factory effort next year,” said Cooper. “The Corvette C7 GT3-R has already proven itself on track in Europe, and I’m eager to start testing. The team that is being assembled by Callaway is top-notch, and will no doubt put us in contention for the championship. This will be an exciting year for the car’s debut in the Pirelli World Challenge.”
Introduced to competition in 2016, the Corvette C7 GT3-R, designed, manufactured and homologated on behalf of General Motors by Callaway Competition GmbH produced a successful debut and sophomore season, winning the 2017 ADAC GT Masters Series Driver and Team Championships with Jules Gounon and Daniel Keilwitz. Now available for competition in the United States, the Corvette C7 GT3-R will no doubt be a championship contender again in 2018. The season will begin March 9-11 on the streets of Saint Petersburg, Florida. For more information, visit callawaycars.com and world-challenge.com. Inquiries on a customer racing program can contact GT3@Callawaycars.com.
About Callaway Competition
Founded by Reeves Callaway in 1976, Callaway has been a performance partner of the world’s biggest automotive brands, producing specialty vehicles, engineering services, and performance products. Dedicated to high-quality development, Callaway companies have spent over 30 years as an OEM supplier. Established in 1993, Callaway Competition develops, constructs, and campaigns Corvette-based race cars, celebrating a long running success in sports car racing. Callaway enjoys a legendary record at many of the world’s great race tracks: Circuit de la Sarthe, Spa, Suzuka, Paul Ricard, Nurburgring Nordschleife and GP courses, Monza, Vallelunga, Hockeheim, Daytona, Lime Rock, Road Atlanta, Sears Point, Laguna Seca, Charlotte, Texas World Speedway, Watkins Glen and Mugello.
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