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Alessi and Keilwitz Win ADAC GT Masters Drivers Championship

Walt Thurn Sep 30, 2013
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Diego Alessi and Daniel Keilwitz were named the ADAC GT Masters driver champions for 2013, wheeling the Corvette Z06.R. The final race of the season at the Hockenheim circuit was action packed and the championship outcome was not final until the checkered flag fell. The duo finished sixth, which secured the 2013 title by five points (179 to 174). Their closest pursuers, Maximilian Buhk and Maximilian Götz, lost the engine in their Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 near the end of the race. "We've done it at last," said an emotional Keilwitz, after watching his partner bring the car home in P6. Callaway Competition also finished second in the team championship title race seven points behind the winning Audi Team.

 Corvette Z06R GT3 ADAC Hockenheim 2/2

The final race got off to a dramatic start for Keilwitz. As he reached the hairpin, he was spun around by Simon Knap's DB Motorsport BMW Z4. This pushed him to the back of the field. Keilwitz responded by turning lap after lap at qualifying times. He moved from last place and back into the Top Ten. Jeroen Bleekemolen captured the pole position in a Callaway Competition Corvette and slowly extended his lead on the field. On Lap 14, Buhk parked his Mercedes-Benz losing his engine. Now Keilwitz and Alessi only needed to bring their Corvette home in one piece. Under the watchful gaze of Dr Thomas Sedran, President and Managing Director of Chevrolet and Cadillac Europe, Alessi finished sixth and secured the title.

"After getting spun round on the first corner, I almost gave up there and then," said Keilwitz. "But I couldn't believe that we were going to let our title chances slip away in such a fashion, and I went back on the offensive. I had good race pace, and the other drivers were very fair, not trying to block me on my pursuit. It was high time that we won this title. There's no way I could have let us lose it once again in the very last race."

After crossing the finish line, Alessi was at a loss for words: "I'm absolutely speechless, and I can't believe what just happened. I've seen a lot of things in my career as a driver, so when I saw Daniel spun around on the first lap, I was resigned to losing and convinced that, once again, it wasn't to be our year. But the motor racing deities seem to have had a change of heart. After Daniel embarked on that amazing pursuit, my hopes were restored. Then, after that stroke of bad luck for the Mercedes-Benz, we were able ease up a little." Meanwhile, Bleekemolen had controlled the first half of the race, but after the driver changeover, his Swiss colleague Toni Seiler (55) came under heavy pressure from Kechele's Ford. Kechele managed to take the lead from Seiler' on Lap 22. Claudia Hürtgen and Dominik Baumann retired their BMW Z4 following a collision between Hürtgen and Seiler in the final phase of the race.



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