EU-GT3: Callaway Competition Portimao event summary

Callaway-drivers are FIA GT3 European Champions Christian Hohenadel and Daniel Keilwitz claim title in Portugal Callaway Competition can tick another box in the success story of the most successful team in the FIA GT3 European ...

Callaway-drivers are FIA GT3 European Champions
Christian Hohenadel and Daniel Keilwitz claim title in Portugal

Callaway Competition can tick another box in the success story of the most successful team in the FIA GT3 European Championship. Callaway-drivers Christian Hohenadel and Daniel Keilwitz claimed the 2010 FIA GT3 European drivers title in the penultimate round of the Championship at Portimão in Portugal. In the first race, Hohenadel/Keilwitz finished second in their Callaway Competition-Corvette Z06.R GT3, developed and built by Callaway Competition in Germany. On Sunday in the second race, the new crowned champions took their title in style with the fourth victory of the season. It's the second time in only three years, that Callaway Competition drivers win the driver's championship of the FIA GT3 European Championship. After securing the drivers title in Portugal, the next target for Callaway Competition is now to win the team championship in the final round in Belgium.

Despite a change in the "balance of performance" of the Callaway built Corvette before the Portuguese round, which handicapped the Corvette with more weight and a smaller air restrictor, Hohenadel and Keilwitz already made a big step to the title when Keilwitz took the pole-position for race one. At the start of Saturday's first race, Keilwitz lost two positions, but could gain one place and handed the Corvette over the Hohenadel in second position. Hohenadel then secured the second place finish in the latter part of the race. "I wanted to use the enormous torque of your Corvette-engine at the start, but the other were just faster", Keilwitz resumed the start of the first race. "We lost two seconds at the pit stop, otherwise we could have take the lead after the pit stops,"analysed Hohenadel. "But our goal today was not the win, but to score good points for the championship and finish in front of our title rivals."

Perfect and tactically went Sunday's second race. Hohenadel started in eight position and maintained this position until the driver change, taking big care to save the tires of the Corvette. In the second half of the race, Keilwitz could then take advantage of that and attacked. He took position by position in each lap and subsequently took the lead and claimed the fourth victory of the season. The victory also secured the drivers title, two races before the end of the season. No other driver can catch up with Hohenadel and Keilwitz in point standings.

"At the beginning of the race, I was held by some other cars. I could have gone faster, but I didn't want to take any risk," Hohenadel explained. "Our plan was to save tires in the first part of the race, because I knew Daniel would be good in the second part. We then had a really good pit stop and Daniel did the rest. I'm proud to have him as my teammate, he and the entire team did a brilliant job this year. This is the most famous title I won in motorsport so far."

"This is my title in motorsport today", Keilwitz was happy. "I still don't believe it's true. Christian saved tires as planed in the first half of the race, so my tires were really good until the end. Our next goal is now to win the team championship for Callaway Competition at Zolder!"

Also Dennis Retera and Marius Ritskes drove two very strong races at Portimão, the most successful weekend of the #101 Callaway-Corvette this season. In the first race, the two Dutchman finished in a great sixth place, but got penalised after the race for an avoidable contact and were promoted to 14th place. In Sunday's race, Retera run in fourth place after a great start. After 60-mintes of racing, Retera and Ritskes finally finished eight, secured valuable points for Callaway Competition in the team championship.

-source: callaway competition

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Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Dennis Retera , Marius Ritskes , Christian Hohenadel , Daniel Keilwitz