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ADAC GT MASTERS 2021
TOUGH JOB AHEAD FOR CALLAWAY COMPETITION
The sixth and penultimate race weekend of the 2021 ADAC GT Masters season is the “home game” of Callaway Competition. After the unfortunate appearances of the last two years, the Corvette racing team would like to shape its home game in a completely different way this year. The team has big plans for the home race, which is located only 60 kilometers from Callaway Competition in Leingarten.
The international German GT Championship, also known as the ADAC GT Masters, will hold its sixth and penultimate race weekend of the season this coming weekend, October 22-24, in Hockenheim, Baden-Württemberg. That will mean this year's home race for the German Corvette racing team, Callaway Competition.
For drivers and teams, the well-known “home games” are always a highlight of the season. Sponsors, friends, fans and family members usually flock to the track in large numbers and cheer with their teams and drivers. So it is again for Callaway Competition, as Leingarten is located around 60 kilometers from the racetrack, where the Corvette C7 GT3-R was developed and built.
If the home races end up with a victory, as in 2018 with drivers Marvin Kirchhöfer and Daniel Keilwitz, they will be remembered for a long time. But dark clouds hover over memories of the last two “home games”. No victories, no podiums, no points… the Corvette didn't even finish in the last four races at the Hockenheimring.
At Callaway Competition, you don't believe in a curse, however. After all, with four victories at the tradition-rich racetrack, they’re still the most successful team in the “Super Sports Car League”. In 2013, the team celebrated the driver’s championship with Diego Alessi and Daniel Keilwitz for the first time at its home race. 2017 was the greatest success in team history. Together with Jules Gounon, at Hockenheim, Callaway Competition celebrated the second title in the driver and team classes and a first-time win in the Pirelli Junior classification.
After the team got off to a strong start in the 2021 season, Callaway Competition struggled with the consequences of the Lausitzring fire during the last race weekend at the Sachsenring. Mike Gramke’s team rebuilt the Corvette C7 GT3-R in record time, but there still might have been damage hidden somewhere, as the car didn’t perform as expected at the Sachsenring.
For the upcoming home race this weekend in Hockenheim, the team completely dismantled the Corvette again and swapped several components in order to return to pre-Lausitzring inferno performance.
At this year's home race, Marvin Kirchhöfer (27 / Lucerne, Germany) who caused cheers and champagne in the last home win in 2018, is again at the wheel of the #77 Corvette.
The Hockenheimring also feels like a home race for the second Callaway Competition driver, Jeffrey Schmidt (27 / Liestal, Switzerland). The history-rich track is the closest to Switzerland and Schmidt expects numerous supporters from the neighboring country.
“Based on our experience, Hockenheim is actually a good track for us. For some reason, for the past two years, Hockenheim hasn't been quite the racetrack where Corvette has been successful. It's hard to say why. In 2018, when I won there with Daniel Keilwitz, we had a great performance. The following year, with Markus Pommer, we weren't really quick in qualifying. And yes, the two serious accidents ended our races on the first lap. I can't comment on last year because I wasn't there with Callaway. So I'm really excited to see where we'll end up this year. First and foremost, of course, I hope that we’ve been able to fix all the problems with the car and that there are no further unknowns, as we saw at the Sachsenring. Other than that, obviously, I hope that we will have a good weekend at the Hockenheimring, for the entire team. After all, it's our home race and the guys have really worked their asses off, in true German tradition, twice in the last few weeks. I would be very happy if Jeffrey and I can provide the team with a good weekend and maybe even reward their incredible performance with a podium.” Marvin Kirchhöfer
“Hockenheim is always something special for me and the team. The team comes from close by and the Hockenheimring is the closest racetrack to Switzerland, which is why it's also my home event in Germany and my highlight on the calendar. We don't have a home advantage, but thanks to the additional support from family, friends and sponsors, we're one or two tenths of a second faster. Apart from last year, I always have fond memories of the track. Marvin and I want to win. The team has worked so hard over the past few months and has rarely been rewarded for it. We want to give something back to them now. The team more than deserved the success. So I'm highly motivated and looking forward to the weekend at the Hockenheimring.” Jeffrey Schmidt
“Another real highlight awaits us with the Hockenheimring. It's not just the fact that we have our home game there that makes this event something special. Naturally, we also like to remember the successes we were able to celebrate there over the past few years. We’re geared-up and the whole team has worked hard for it during the past two weeks. It would be the right place to finally get rewarded for all our hard work. After qualifying on Saturday, we’ll have a better idea of where we really stand with our Corvette. In any case, as always, we’ll give everything and, of course, we’re really looking forward to our home race.” Mike Gramke, Team Boss
The German TV broadcaster NITRO will televise both races live on Free-TV, Saturday and Sunday from 4:00 PM, Central European Summer Time, (10:00 AM EDT in USA) from Hockenheim. The two qualifying sessions and both races will also be livestreamed on TVNOW.de and adac.de/motorsport.
Text: A. Dannenberg / Motorsport-Karriere.de
Photo: Axel Weichert