Daniel Keilwitz and Marvin Kirchhoefer claimed victory in the opening race of the ADAC GT Masters weekend at the Red Bull Ring, to chalk up Callaway Competition’s first win of the season.
The Corvette C7 GT3 R pair won Saturday’s hour-long contest after Kirchoeffer claimed his maiden pole in the morning and led the opening stint, before handing over to Keilwitz around halfway.
Two-time DTM champion Timo Scheider closed in over the final 11 minutes after the field was bunched up by a safety car, but the BMW Team Schnitzer driver was unable to find a way past.
Keilwitz ultimately crossed the line 0.615 seconds ahead of Scheider’s M6 GT3, sealing his seventh GT Masters win for Corvette and the first for Kirchhoefer after two podiums last time out at Autodrom Most.
The two Schnitzer BMWs offered the most potent challenge to the otherwise dominant Callaway Corvette duo, with Dennis Marschall moving up to third behind Scheider’s team-mate Mikkel Jensen in the opening stint.
Marschall then handed duties over to Victor Bouveng, who on to take the final podium spot despite pressure from Kelvin van der Linde in the best of the Land Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3s, as Keilwitz continued up front.
Kevin Estre, driving the No. 17 KUS Team75 Bernhard Porsche 911 GT3 R, then relegated Van der Linde to fifth after side-by-side contact between the two at the final restart.
Estre had taken over from Timo Bernhard, who started eighth, but the Frenchman worked his way into the top five with a string of exciting overtakes, including one on the championship-leading Herberth Motorsport Porsche shortly after the driver swap.
Robert Renauer and Mathieu Jaminet nonetheless maintained their points lead with a sixth-place finish, while Luca Ludwig and Alfred Renauer took seventh in the HB Racing Ferrari 488 GT3.
In eighth was the Phoenix Racing Audi driven by round one winners Philip Ellis and Max Hofer, ahead of the highest-placed Mercedes AMG-GT3 of Maximilian Buhk and Indy Dontje.
Sunday’s second race gets underway at 1:08 p.m local time.
RESULTS: Race 1