Callaway C7 GT3: Spring Update
The development of Callaway Competitions new C7 GT3 car has been very quiet. In July 2013, the team announced their intention to launch a successor to their multi-championship winning Z06.R GT3 Corvette. This venerable warrior has raced successfully since its Silverstone, England debut in 2006. Recently the cloak has been removed at the Callaway Competition headquarters in Leingarten, Germany. Development of the new car is running at full speed. "Ernst Wöhr (Director of Callaway Competition) has been working for months, day and night on the new car," says Giovanni Ciccone, Ernst partner at Callaway Competition.
The project faltered for a few months, but in the winter of 2013/2014 the car was completely designed in the computer. A new C7 was parked at Callaway’s shop so construction on the first car could begin. The original plan was to begin testing in mid-2014 and to contest the first race this year. But then the reorganization of the GT class and lack of clear direction halted the project. Progress remained halted until the so-called convergence for the reorganization of the FIA GTE and GT3 class failed. The GT3 situation was confusing and Callaway Competition waited until the smoke cleared.
The clever Swabians have some unfinished business with the C7 model designation. Callaway dominated the GT2 class in the mid-1990s. The Leingarten team created an all new racecar for the GT1 class. It was a Callaway design not a remake of the Corvette production car and it was called Callaway C7. It was a carbon fiber front engine GT design with gull wing doors. "But before development was completed the GT1 class ended. That cost several million marks. Ciccone recalls, “That was the most extreme racecar that ever rolled out of the shop in Leingarten.
The new C7 will bring more happiness to the Callaway Competition team. The roll-out is planned for this summer and be followed by an intensive test program. The new C7 GT3 will begin competing at the start of the 2016 season. The previous generation Z06.R GT3, is currently the only active Corvette GT3 racer. It has become a sprint star with manageable qualities in endurance racing. Its successor will be developed so it follows the previous cars success. "We are developing it with regard to long-distance races and will use only the best components from renowned suppliers," says Ciccone.
The C7 GT3 comes with a great heritage. It won the FIA GT3 Team Championship in 2007, The FIA GT3 Drivers Championship in 2008, The ADAC GT Masters Team Championship in 2009, The FIA GT3 Drivers Championship in 2010, and the ADAC Drivers Championship in 2013! With this winning history backing the C7 GT3 development the second-generation GT3 Corvette will be very successful says Ciccone: "The new Corvette is not only a good race car, but a very good street car. With so many new GT3 cars appearing in 2016, a good car will not be sufficient. You will require a very good car to be successful."