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2nd Round – ADAC GT Masters
CALLAWAY COMPETITION TRENDING UPWARD
In the second round of the ADAC GT Masters 2020 schedule at the Nürburgring, the Callaway Corvette, driven by Markus Pommer (29 / Heilbronn) and Jeffrey Schmidt (26 / Liestal), finished fifth in the second race and consequently achieved the best result of the season for Callaway Competition.
Last weekend (August 14-16), the Callaway drivers demonstrated the upward trend in the second round of the ADAC GT Masters on the Sprint Course of the tradition-rich Nürburgring.
After the disappointing start to the season in Niederlausitz, the Corvette team from Leingarten, Wuerttemberg, Germany had big plans for the second round in the Eifel. The new Corvette-Duo wanted to pick up on the 3.629-kilometer course where they had left off at Sunday's race with a strong comeback.
In the two free practice sessions on Friday, the Callaway team ran a program where the focus was placed less on fast lap times. Rather, important data was collected regarding the tires and the setup.
In the first of two races last weekend, Callaway Competition suffered a setback, like at the Lausitzring. This time it was technology that ended the race early. On lap 18, Markus Pommer headed for the pits to change drivers as planned and handed the car over to Jeffrey Schmidt in 13th position. The 26-year-old Swiss racer could only drive two meters, then the technology went on strike.
After a brief shake of the head, team boss Mike Gramke’s team did what they are now known for: Night Shift. The crew worked on Pommer and Schmidt’s Corvette C7 GT3-R until 7:30 in the morning. Instead of swapping the engine, it was nearly completely dismantled and certain components were replaced.
Ninety minutes after completing the overnight work, Jeffrey Schmidt rewarded the team with a sensational qualifying session. On the last lap, he managed to leap to the second row of the grid with the third fastest time.
In the race, Jeffrey Schmidt got off to a good start and attacked the pole-setter directly, who blocked the attack. The leader left his left side so wide-open that three other cars were able to pass easily. On the first lap, the Callaway driver was in fourth position.
During the first half of the race, the first four racers put on an exciting race, with thrilling but fair duels at a very high level. Until the pit stop, Schmidt was always ready to fill the gap to advance his position.
After the driver change, Markus Pommer unfortunately fell victim to the pit stop transition area. Slower vehicles that had just completed their pit stop in front of him resulted in losing several positions.
By the end of the race, Markus brought the Callaway Corvette home in a strong fifth place and gained a total of 11 points.
Next month (September 18-20), Callaway Competition intends to finally shake off the bad luck at their home race at the Hockenheimring with another attack at the podium.
“We're heading in the right direction, but we haven't completely shaken off our bad luck. We were highly motivated for a comeback at the Nürburgring. The early retirement in the first race is all the more aggravating. Especially for the team that has to work a night shift again, like after the Lausitzring accident. Nevertheless, nobody buries their head in the sand and everyone continues to push full throttle, so that there is always a great car in the morning. Of course, the pressure was really high on me because I really wanted to reward the guys. I gave everything in Qualifying, got the last thousandth out of it, so we were able to reward ourselves with third place. It was a great satisfaction for everyone and, at the time, it felt like a Pole.” Jeffrey Schmidt (26 / Liestal)
“Jeffrey drove a great Qualifying on Sunday. His last lap was really, really good. He was doing very well in the race and stuck to the bumper of the third-place Precote Herberth Porsche until the pit stop. Unfortunately, it was difficult for us to transition. Because the Precote Herberth Porsche, who drove into the pit in front of us, was also placed directly behind us in the pit lane, I had to be very careful when driving out so as not to cause an ‘Unsafe Release’. I had to look in the rearview mirror all the time while a car was also in the pits in front of me for his change. As a result, we lost a few crucial tenths of a second, which allowed two WRT Audis to pass us. It's a shame, because I think, but for that, it would have been possible to do more.” Markus Pommer (29 / Heilbronn)
“Somehow, since Hockenheim last year, we’ve had a bug in there. But now the performance was right and we showed again on Sunday where our aspirations lie. I hope that we have now overcome this phase and that over the next four weeks we can finally score as many points as possible in both races.” Mike Gramke (Team Principal)
ADAC GT Masters 2020:
18.09. – 20.09.2020 Hockenheimring
02.10. – 04.10.2020 Sachsenring
16.10. – 18.10.2020 Red Bull Ring (AUT)
30.10. – 01.11.2020 Circuit Zandvoort (NED)
06.11. – 08.11.2020 Motorsport Arena Oschersleben FINALE
Text: A.Dannenberg / Motorsport-Karriere.de
Foto: Axel Weichert