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Callaway Corvette Wins Rain-Affected Race 2

Keilwitz, Kirchhoefer take championship lead as Corvette wins race 2 at Red Bull Ring…

Photo: ADAC GT Masters

Daniel Keilwitz and Marvin Kirchhoefer secured victory in Sunday’s second ADAC GT Masters race at the Red Bull Ring, as Callaway Competition completed a sweep of the weekend.

The Corvette C7 GT3 R pair worked through a period of wet weather bookended by two dry spells to win the 60-minute contest, after Keilwitz led away from pole position.

With rain falling shortly after the start, Callaway chose to wait until the opening of the driver swap window to perform its switch to wet tires, while other teams elected to run a two-stop strategy by coming in sooner.

Kirchhoefer assumed the lead with around 20 minutes to go when the off-kilter group pitted right at the end of the window, before going on to extend his lead over the chasing one-stop pack as the circuit started to dry.

The Corvette driver crossed the line 4.2 seconds ahead of Mirko Bortolotti, who hauled the ORANGE1 by GRT Grasser Lamborghini Huracan GT3 into the top two with a scintillating charge from 24th on the grid.

Bortolotti, who took over from Andrea Caldarelli, inherited slick tires during the Huracan’s only stop to give himself a substantial pace advantage when the rain cleared up.

The Italian first dispatched Mikkel Jensen’s Schnitzer-run BMW M6 GT3 at the penultimate corner, before dragging past Filip Salaquarda’s ISR Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 on the next lap.

Bortolotti then caught and overtook Markus Pommer in the No. 47 HTP Motorsport Mercedes AMG GT3, which Maxmilian Goetz started, on the final tour.

Pommer, who was on wets, moved up to second with a measured overtake on the inside of Filip Salaquarda at the Remus right-hander with 10 minutes remaining, before Bortolotti came through.

Pommer held on to take third, with no threat from Jensen or Salaquarda who ended up fourth and fifth on the same tire strategy.

In sixth was Luca Stolz in the Zakspeed Mercedes started by Sebastian Asch, while Ezequiel Perez Companc came seventh in the No. 19 Grasser Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3.

The result means Keilwitz and Kirchhoefer move to the top of the standings, having leapfrogged the Herberth Motorsport Porsche pair of Robert Renauer and Mathieu Jaminet, which finished 10th.

It also marked the first one-two for the Callaway Competition outfit in GT Masters since the 2014 visit to the Red Bull Ring, when Keilwitz co-drove with Oliver Gavin.

RESULTS: Race 2

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365 and e-racing365, with a focus on the FIA World Endurance Championship and various electric racing series.

11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. kv

    June 10, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    CALLOWAY has made a point,that a CORVETTE C 7 R IS A VETTE TO BE DEaLT WITH.GM will have to hit the proverbial GRAND SLAM with the C 8 TO BE A GT 3 champion.

    • Not impressed

      June 10, 2018 at 1:42 pm

      Then why couldn’t it run a decent lap the only appearance in the US? Or can’t they sell any of the cars? If it’s a great GT3 and they want to sell cars they should be selling like crazy and yet NOTHING outside of the team?

      • Bird

        June 10, 2018 at 2:56 pm

        They actually have sold a car. To RWT Racing. I think your a bit harsh. Just cause they haven’t sold a lot doesn’t mean it’s not good. GT Masters is filled with factory backed entries from all the German manufacturers so it isn’t easy to win there. It’s just hard to sell cars when there are 12 other GT3 cars on the market all of which come with support from manufacturers. Callaway isn’t a large company and they don’t get any support from GM so give them a break. They made a great car, they just don’t have the resources to maintain a customer program.

        • Andy Flinn

          June 11, 2018 at 12:39 pm

          Bird, it’s a zero sum game. Trash Callaway long enough and – MAYBE – maybe GM (P&M) will come back to PWC GT3.

          What they don’t understand is that when forced by PWC to choose between providing their GT3 Caddys to privateers or leaving the series, GM picked the second option.

          • Brian

            June 13, 2018 at 2:07 pm

            I personally DON’T want PM to come to GT3. Their GTE customer support is a joke and their Camaro’s haven’t sold jack squat outside the US. Only 1 team who is so far up the butts of PM purchased 2. I’d rather have a team like Callaway continue to build and win Championships, thank you….

      • Andy Flinn

        June 11, 2018 at 12:34 pm

        Not impressed, by your ability to ignore the PWC round at St. Pete (round one) this year where the Callaway Corvette finished SECOND.

        With proper support, the Callaway GT3 Corvette, especially with Keilwitz behind the wheel, is a potential front running car in PWC.

        That’s a demonstrated FACT

  2. Jlm G

    June 10, 2018 at 5:43 pm

    They seem to have given up on their Pirelli WC campaign for 2018, which won’t make it easier for them to sell customer cars to NA teams, one of their stated goals for running in the PWC.

    • Matt

      June 10, 2018 at 11:25 pm

      I think its US program had a giant funding issue. Really lame they couldn’t own up to it instead of making it into a bigger deal than it is and telling a lie about how there aren’t any LS9 blocks available. They clearly run the car just fine in Europe with less accessability to parts.

      • Still not impressed

        June 11, 2018 at 8:37 am

        You have to wonder how they felt we’d believe there was a shortage of LS9s in the US but they haven’t had a single engine problem in Europe? Is that the land of the LS9 and we’re in bizzaro world? I’m not being too harsh as claimed above, I think we are being as harsh as we are on ANY and every promised car/project that never materialized as they promised. No real showing in PWC and then disappear back to GT Masters, do they run anywhere else or only dominant in one series?

        • Andy Flinn

          June 11, 2018 at 12:46 pm

          Still not impressed, you obviously have an axe to grind, but at least you acknowledge, in a backhanded sort of way, that the Callaway GT3 Corvette is a championship-winning car.

          By the way, how many series does the GM factory Corvette program “dominate”?

          It would make sense that Callaway races in GT Masters since Callaway is a small German company, no?

          • Paul

            June 13, 2018 at 2:17 pm

            Andy is correct. Callaway simply run ADAC as its all local tracks which is cheaper, plus they already have an established set of German based sponsors (including Valvoline Deutschland).

            What people don’t know is the USA team was run by the street car group and not the dedicated Racing team based in Germany (which they brought some engineers over for those races.)

            I can guarantee you that if a Team or sponsor came to them and wanted to run another series like Blancpain, they would do it. Look at Suzuka 10hrs. Bingo Racing is partnering with them and bringing over their team to properly run it. Expect a good result from them in August.

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