ADAC GT: Hockenheim Preview
This weekend marks the final ADAC GT Masters race of the season for Callaway Competition and their new for 2016 C7 GT3‐R. Once again, the title will come down to the wire for the Leingarten based team. With only two points separating the nr77 Valvoline entry of Jules Gounon and Daniel Keilwitz, the team will be hoping to maximize this weekend's results.
The first half of the season began well, with the team capturing the C7 GT3's maiden win in only its third ever race. Later, a 1‐2 at the Lausitzring cemented the team’s hard work heading in to the summer break. Another pair of podiums for the French/German duo vaulted the pair into the lead of the Championship by a staggering 39 points.
Now with only 2 points separating both the nr77 and the Nr29 Audi of Land Motorsport, the team will be looking more for good fortune, rather than outright pace. Daniel Keilwitz is optimistically approaching this weekend’s finale: "I'm looking forward to the races at Hockenheim. A lot will depend on the results in qualifying, because the teams always post very similar times at Hockenheim."
Apart from the season long duo of Patrick Assenheimer and Dominik Schwager, the team will field the Nr31 Whelen backed Corvette in the hands of rookie drivers Lucas Mauron and Maximilian Hackländer. Both drivers will compete this weekend at the ADAC GT Masters for the first time. "Both drivers impressed us by virtue of their accurate technical observations and driving skills", explained Ernst Wöhr. "All of this, despite the fact that there was a lot of traffic on the track that day (of testing). I'm pleased that they will be driving for us, because I believe that these young men have a successful future in motor racing ahead of them."
Finally, RWT Racing will field their venerable Corvette Z06‐R GT3 with drivers Sven Barth and Remo Lips. The duo have been performing very well this season despite racing their previous generation Corvette. Remo Lips heads into the season finale leading the Amateur category and will hope to secure top results as well.
The first race kicks off at 13:15 local time (07:15 Eastern in the USA), with streaming coverage at: www.adac‐gt‐masters.de
Giovanni Ciccone (Team Principal Callaway Competition): "If someone had told us at the start of the season that we would be battling for the title on the final weekend, I wouldn´t have believed them. The first half of the season in particular went surprisingly well for us. It would be great to win the title with the new Corvette in its first campaign. Our compliments to all of our drivers and to the entire team; without the immense joint effort, we could never have got ourselves into this good position. The closeness of the contest at Hockenheim is of course magnificent for the fans in the grandstands and for those watching at home on TV."
Daniel Keilwitz (Nr77 Valvoline/Roller C7 GT3): "Going into that first race, we never thought that we would become competitive with the new Corvette C7 so early on. My first title win in the 2013 ADAC GT Masters season was very special, but this year the starting field has been much stronger, so to repeat that success would be really fantastic. Even if we don´t finish as champions, we will still have experienced an outstanding year. Regardless, I'm looking forward to the races at Hockenheim. Due to the proximity of the circuit, our Callaway Competition team has been testing there extensively for many years now. We know exactly how to tackle the track. A lot will depend on the results in qualifying, because the teams always post very similar times at Hockenheim."
Jules Gounon (Nr77 Valvoline/Roller C7 GT3): "I never expected us to have such a good chance of winning the title with just the Hockenheim weekend to go. To see my name and that of Daniel up there in the roll call of ADAC GT Masters champions would be superb. Even second place would be a huge success. Two points are nothing. Essentially, we all go into this weekend on zero. Connor and Christopher will be giving 100 percent; we will also be giving 100 percent. It´s going to be incredibly tense, and I just can´t wait for it to start. The Hockenheimring is one of the few tracks that I already know from the ADAC GT Masters, so I´m looking ahead to the races with confidence."
Patrick Assenheimer (Nr 69 AutoArenA.de C7 GT3): "Every season is different and new, which makes it very exciting. This year has been a great development for me as a driver, with both the new car and a new driver-partners. It's not only the last weekend of ADAC GT Masters, it's also my home race this weekend at Hockenheim. I want to give again my best and fight for the team championship for Callaway Competition."
Dominik Schwager (Nr 69 AutoArenA.de C7 GT3): "I hope we have a good race this weekend. We have been fast all year, but the results unfortunately have not shown. We will do the best to finish both races in the points, but it is always hard to predict anything before the weekend, because the lap times in this championship are very close."
Sven Barth (Nr13 RWT Racing Z06-R GT3): "We must lay a good foundation with our Corvette GT3 Z06.R again in qualifying. The bar is likely to be quite high, as all teams compete under special strain (given the final race). I think with a smart strategy and no mistakes, we should look good."
Remo Lips (Nr13 RWT Racing Z06-R GT3): "Hockenheim offers some excellent overtaking places. If our speed is good, this will add some extra motivation for myself and Sven. My aim is wrap up our title in Race 1, so that we can push to the maximum without having to worry about the title."
Gerd Beisel (Team Owner- Nr13 RWT Racing Z06-R GT3): "We always enjoy racing at Hockenheim, as the track is just a few kilometers away from our shop. We want offer thanks to our sponsors and friends for their great support. We will hope to give them all the trophy, leading in to the winter break."