The fourth round of the FIA GT3 European Championship at the circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet/France ended with a perfect result for Callaway Competition. Championship leader Christian Hohenadel and Daniel Keilwitz scored a double victory in their Corvette Z06.R, developed and built by Callaway Competition in Germany. The two championship leaders extended their lead in the drivers championship with the great result in France, as did Callaway Competition in the team championship. Mike Parisy and Joakim Lambotte completed the Callaway-Corvette success at the former French Formula One track with two second places in a Corvette of Callaways latest customer team Graff Racing. Also Marius Ritskes and Bernard van Oranje in the second Callway-Corvette had something to cheer about in France. The two Dutchmen drove two strong races and scored a championship point for he first time this season.
In Saturday’s first race, Hohenadel and Keilwitz scored a perfect start-finish-victory. Daniel Keilwitz secured his first pole position in the FIA GT3 European Championship for the race and made the best out of it at the start. He took the lead and handed over the Callaway-Corvette to Christian Hohenadel midway through the race in first position. When Keilwitz pitted, Bernard van Oranje in the second Callaway-Corvette took the lead and lead for the first time in a FIA GT3 race. After the pit stops, Hohenadel retook the lead and secured a fine victory, Ritskes/van Oranje finished twelfth. „I had a really good start,“ Keilwitz said after the race.“ Then we had the Safety Car out after the first lap due to an accident. Also my restart went really well and I had no problems to control the race.“
In Sundays second race, Hohenadel started the race and was seventh at the end of the first lap, after starting from fourth. He tried to make up some lost ground, but stuck behind a competitor. Hohenadel was quicker, but couldn’t pass the other car, so the Callaway pit crew reacted quickly and called Hohenadel to the pits very early for the mandatory driver change. Due to the good call of the Callaway team, Keilwitz moved to fourth position after the pit stops and had a great run until the end of the race. He passed the three cars in front of him ten minutes before the chequered flag and took a fine third win of the season in the #101 Corvette. “The start was really hectic, I stuck behind another car”, Hohenadel explained after the race. “Although I was much faster, he blocked me. I didn’t want to overtake with too much risk, as I wanted to save the car and the tires for Daniel. The team reacted quickly and called me in, so Daniel had the chance to run some quick laps with no traffic. As in Saturday’s race, there was a Safety-Car after the first lap, this also helped much the save the tires.”
Not only Hohenadel/Keilwitz cheered in France, also their team mates Marius Ritskes and Bernard van Oranje. The two Dutchmen drove their strongest race of the season on Sunday and scored their first championship point in tenth position. „We are really satisfied with our tenth place and our first point“, said a happy Marius Ritskes after the race. „For two drivers of the bronze driver category like we are, this is a really great result. And it’s even better to see which competitors we bet today. I have to say a really huge thank you to the team. Our car is always perfect prepared and a joy to drive.“
“This was one of our most successful weekends in the FIA GT3-European Championship“, Callaway Competition boss Ernst Wöhr was happy after the success of his team and his cars in France. „It can hardly be better, with two cars built by us in front in both races. In the second race we had four cars in the top ten, which is fantastic.”
Callaway Competition extended the lead in the team’s championship after the France round, Christian Hohenadel and Daniel Keilwitz have a comfortable lead in the drivers championship. The FIA GT3 European Championship takes a summer break now and will be back on track mid September in Portugal.
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