ADAC GT: Callaway reflect on Nurburgring and ahead to Austria
The last round of the ADAC GT Masters at the Nurburgring yielded successful results for the Leingarten based team: two pole positions, a podium and a double victory in the Gentlemen standings. The second race on Sunday saw Toni Seiler and Jeroen Bleekemolen finish second overall, with Diego Alessi and Daniel Keilwitz recording a top-five result.
One step forward for the team, but have not yet resolved all the problems. The first race on Saturday successfully saw a successfull start for Callaway's Diego Alessi ahead of Andreas Wirth in leadership, both Corvette were at the top of the leaderboard until the driver change. After the driver change however, there was unfortunate contact between Daniel and Christian, who came straight out of the pit lane from his stop. Hohenadel touched his teammate in the rear, which spun Keilwitz around. Both were able to continue. Alessi / Keilwitz finished the race in fourth, with wirth/Hohenadel eliminated after a gearbox failure. "I am very sorry about the contact, but I had no choice in this situation," said Christian regarding the incident. "I was already completely on the brakes and had no place to go."
In the second race on Sunday, the first half of the race also saw a Corvette at the top. This time it was pole sitter Jeroen Bleekemolen, who confidently lead the race. After the driver change to Seiler, the Swiss had to be hold off the 2nd place BMW. In the end though Bleekemolen/Seiler ended up second overall and celebrated as they claimed their second win in the Gentlemen category. Diego Alessi and Daniel Keilwitz were on course for a podium with two laps before the end of the race, but then two more opponents to Alessi squeezed past, which saw the Corvette finish the race in fifth. "We have assessed the performance of the tyre over the distance and something appears to be wrong during the final laps, which was a bit critical," Alessi said. "I was then involved in a duel with Toni Seiler for second place, which a Ford and a BMW exploited to overtake me." Andreas Wirth and Christian Hohenadel finished the race in their Corvette in seventh position.
"We have made a step in the right direction over the last few weeks, even if we have looked better here in the higher temperatures that we actually were," said Callaway Competition team boss Giovanni Ciccone after the race weekend at the Nürburgring. "The very hot temperatures on Friday have played into our hands, thus the tyres were perfectly working and we were able to drive to two poles."
"During the race on Saturday and Sunday, the track temperature was more than ten degrees lower, we saw significantly that the performance of the tyres yielded different performances. I must also issue a credit to Yokohama and our technology partner Bilstein. We have spent the summer working hard along with Yokohama and Bilstein. Cooperation was very well with both of these partners, which supported us during these tests in order to help bring us back to the front. This is certainly not self-evident and I am glad that there are other motorsport groups with the same enthusiasm and operating passion as ours."
Callaway Competition is looking to capitalize on this momentum when the team competes this weekend at the Austrian Red Bull Ring. "After our performance at the Nürburgring we travel to Austria optimistic," said Ciccone. "The Red Bull Ring is certainly (as long as it is dry) one of the best tracks on the calendar, so our expectations for the two races are already very high." Diego Alessi also shares this view: "For me there is only the pole in qualifying and nothing else This is by far the best route for Corvette in the entire calendar, a pole is required.. We must extract maximum points this weekend, because we do not know exactly what the other routes bring. "