A third win of 2017 and a runner-up spot on the final weekend of the season at Hockenheim were enough to give Callaway Competition their second team title in the ADAC GT Masters. The first time that the team led by Ernst Wöhr and Giovanni Ciccone emerged top of the Super Sports Car League pecking order was in 2009. As early as Saturday, the outfit from Leingarten near Heilbronn in Baden-Württemberg had wrapped up the drivers’ and Junior championships with Jules Gounon (22, FRA). “What a perfect year,” says Wöhr. “There was nothing more that we could have won this season. We have done everything we could at every stage of the year, and that was our secret of success.”
27 race wins, 24 pole positions, two drivers’ titles and two team titles since 2007 – Callaway Competition are not only the longest-serving team in the ADAC GT Masters but also the most successful. They have been contesting the Super Sports Car League since the inception of the series. While all of their rivals rely on racing cars supplied by large manufacturers, Callaway compete exclusively with GT3 sports cars based on the Corvette – initially it was the C6 series, but in 2016 they switched to the current C7 model.
The company was founded as Wöhr & Ciccone in 1985. Three years later, it expanded and took over as European distributor for sports cars built by the US tuner Reeves Callaway. In 1994, the Callaway Competition racing department was established. Callaway started out by competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. When the team eventually entered the ADAC GT Masters, they won the team title in 2009, and the drivers’ championship four years later with Daniel Keilwitz and Diego Alessi.
In 2016, a new era began for Callaway. This was the year in which they made the changeover to the Corvette C7 GT3-R and hit on the winning combination of the veteran Daniel Keilwitz and new kid on the block, Jules Gounon. “Daniel is a safe pair of hands,” says Giovanni Ciccone. “Unfortunately, he had to miss out on three races because of an injury. But despite that, he still managed to finish the campaign as runner-up. He showed us here on his return that he is back in peak form again. Daniel started his career with us, and we are proud and happy that he has stuck with us. Jules is an exceptional talent. He has got better and better as the year has progressed. It’s almost unbelievable what he has achieved at the age of 22, and with so little GT3 experience too.” Already in the 2016 season, Gounon’s first in the Super Sports Car League, the duo were in contention for the title right up until the final race. So when the 2017 campaign began, there was one unambiguous objective, namely to win the championship.
“This year everything has been going our way,” says Ciccone. “Although we were not always the fastest, we won more races than anyone else and were the most consistent in terms of scoring points. It’s great to have won both the team and drivers’ championships in a single season.” Unlike in previous years, Callaway entered only one vehicle in 2017. “We worked closely with RWT Racing, who also used a Corvette, which allowed us to experiment with the setup. We couldn’t have done that with just one car. So, a vote of thanks is due to Gerd Beisel and his team. They have been an immense help.”
Source. ADAC GT Masters/Photo. ADAC Motorsport