Callaway Corvette C7 R clinches prestigious German GT Masters title with Jules Gounon
Photo and report: Willem J. Staat
Last year Frenchman Jules Gounon(a 2nd generation driver) lost the German ADAC GT Masters title due to a crash at Hockenheim in the final stages. But this year the Callaway Corvette C7 R managed to clinch the prestigious ADAC GT Masters title in the first race at the same venue last Saturday. It was not an easy ride for Gounon in 2017. Daniel Keilwitz broke his leg at Spa during the summer months and had to sit a number of races. During his absence Keilwitz was being replaced by Dutchman Renger van der Zande and Spaniard Aldo Costa to enable Gounon valuable points for the championship. A win at Zandvoort was one of the highlights. Theoretically six drivers were in a position to clinch the title last Saturday. But the Corvette’s main contender was the Schnitzer BMW M6 GT3 with Phillipp Eng which also had a chance. At Schnitzer both drivers threw away their chances due to contact with another competitor. On Saturday Eng was being involved in an incident with the Audi R8 from Christopher Haase and on Sunday the car dominated the whole race with heavy pressure from the GRT Grasser Lamborghini with Engelhart/Ineichen and the Herberth Porsche with Renauer/Müller. In the penultimate Catsburg turned Renauer around at the hairpin and the Stewards immediately rewarded Catsburg with a 30 secs. penalty which dropped the Schnitzer-car totally out of contention for a Top 3 result in the final standings. The overall win now went to the GRT Lamborghini Huracan GT3 from Engelhart/Ineichen. Gounon/Keilwitz were rewarded second and it meant that Keilwitz despite his absence at several races finished second in the final standings! In the penultimate race the Callaway Corvette took a flag to lights victory from pole which was enough to clinch the title. For Callaway it was the second ADAC GT Masters title since 2013. Really a great performance. The ADAC TCR races were both being red flagged due to crashes. Wins went to Harald Prozyck and Josh Files with Opel and Honda. Files clinched the title. In F4 the title went to Prempower driver Juri Vips from Estland. VAR drivers Felipe Drugovich and Artem Petrov won R1 and R3. The second race went to Lirim Zendelli. For Vips a 3rd place was enough to clinch the title and to beat his Premapower teammate Marcus Armstrong with 4,5 points. It was a great season in all three categories.