Jules Gounon (21, F) and Daniel Keilwitz (26, DEU, both Callaway Competition) have won the second of two races at the Sachsenring in the 2016 ADAC GT Masters. The new Corvette C7 has thus secured its maiden win in the Super Sports Car League. In a dramatic late burst of action, Philip Geipel (29, DEU) and Rahel Frey (30, CH, both YACO Racing) finished second ahead of Florian Stoll (34, DEU) and Laurens Vanthoor (24, B, both kfzteile24 – APR Motorsport). The second and third placed cars were both Audi R8. “My first win in the ADAC GT Masters, and a first victory for the Corvette C7,” said a delighted Gounon. “What more could I want from today?”
Key facts, Sachsenring, Hohenstein-Ernstthal, Round 4/14
Luca Ludwig (AMG-Team Zakspeed, Mercedes-AMG), 1:18.762 mins
Jules Gounon and Daniel Keilwitz (Callaway Competition, Corvette C7)
Laurens Vanthoor (kfzteile24 – APR Motorsport, Audi R8), 1:21.090 mins
Daniel Keilwitz ploughs his way through the field
After the lights on the gantry went out, pole-setter Luca Ludwig initially held on to the lead. Meanwhile, Keilwitz had made a lightning start, moving up from ninth to third. On the second lap, he also left Laurens Vanthoor trailing behind. After starting from P2, Daniel Abt (23, DEU, Bentley Team ABT) in a Bentley Continental settled back into fourth. The leading group in the first stint consisted of four supercars with different badges on their grilles. Keilwitz continued to display superb racing form. On the seventh lap, he staged a smart overtaking manoeuvre to get past Ludwig and then put several seconds between himself and his closest pursuer. On the 13th lap, Ludwig also had to cede position to Vanthoor.
After the mandatory pit stop, Jules Gounon held on to the lead inherited from team-mate Keilwitz. The seven-second lead they had built up was eroded when the safety car was deployed after Andreas Weishaupt (43, DEU, Bentley Team ABT) spun off track. But even this setback did not faze the young Frenchman, who is contesting his first season in the ADAC GT Masters. He ultimately crossed the line four and a half seconds ahead of the field. First place in the overall standings also gave him victory in the Junior classification.
Philip Geipel had the crowds in the stands at the Sachsenring in raptures of delight. Following team-mate Rahel Frey’s fine preparatory work during the first stint of the race, the local favourite from nearby Plauen went on an impressive charge to cross the finish line in second place, securing the first podium of the season for his team, YACO Racing. Florian Stoll and Laurens Vanthoor achieved their second Top Three finish of the season in a thrilling battle for third place over the last two laps.
Christer Jöns (28, DEU) and Daniel Abt secured the best result of the season for Bentley Team ABT by finishing fourth. Luca Stolz (20, DEU) and Gerhard Tweraser (27, A, both GRT-Grasser-Racing Team) gained almost as many places as Geipel and Frey and booked the best-placed finish for a Lamborghini with P5. Audi drivers Connor De Phillippi (23, USA) and Christopher Mies (26, DEU, both Montaplast by Land-Motorsport) placed eighth behind fellow Audi entrants Daniel Dobitsch (31, A) and Edward Sandström (37, S, both kfzteile24 – APR Motorsport), thereby narrowly defending their lead in the standings on reigning champions Sebastian Asch (29, DEU) and Luca Ludwig (27, DEU, both AMG Team Zakspeed). Norbert Siedler (33, A) and Jaap van Lagen (39, NL, both HB Racing WDS Bau) in another Lamborghini Huracán and Christiaan Frankenhout (34, NL) partnered by Christopher Haase (28, DEU, both Car Collection Motorsport) in an Audi R8 completed the Top Ten.
Comments from the winners
Jules Gounon (Callaway Competition, Corvette C7):
“What a great weekend. A win in only my fourth ADAC GT Masters race – I certainly wasn’t expecting that. This was my first time here at Sachsenring, and in the free practice sessions I was having problems getting used to the track. Thanks also to Daniel [Keilwitz] for having got us off to such an incredible start. When the safety car came out on track shortly before the end, I thought ‘Oh no’, but I stayed calm and was able to maintain my lead.”
Daniel Keilwitz (Callaway Competition Corvette C7):
“If you put your foot down at just the right moment in a flying start, you’re always in with a chance of gaining some positions. This went perfectly for me today. But you also have to have a bit of luck with suitable gaps opening up. Before the driver change, I passed two more opponents and handed the car over to Jules [Gounon] in the lead. He then drove a clean stint right through to the finish. I’m especially pleased about this first victory for the new Corvette . The team has worked hard over the winter to get the car ready for the start of the season.”
Source. ADAC GT Masters/Photo. ADAC Motorsport