Oschersleben, Germany: Callaway Competition, located in Leingarten, Germany, won the opening round of the 2013 ADAC GT Masters series with its eight-year-old Corvette Z06.R GT3. Drivers Daniel Keilwitz and Diego Alessi finished ahead of the No. 12 Second Place BMW Z4 GT3. Callaway has continued to upgrade the Corvette each year to keep it competitive with its rivals' more-modern entries.
The winning Z06 was one of the original '06 "Captured Test Fleet" vehicles and was delivered to GM Europe once its test cycle was complete in late 2005. It was then purchased by Callaway Competition and converted into a GT3 racecar the following year. That it's still winning today is a testament both the Corvette engineering team and the Callaway race crew.
Keilwitz-who won the 2010 FIA GT3 Drivers Championship in the same car-qualified second on the grid with a 1:27.699. His time was 0.192 second slower than that of the pole-winning Mercedes Benz SLS AMG GT3. Keilwitz passed the Benz in the first corner and was closely pursued by the gullwing hot-rod for next 30 minutes. After pitting for a mandatory driver change, the SLS left the pit box too early and was assessed a 60-second stop-and-go penalty, effectively ending its chance for victory.
Meanwhile, Keilwitz continued a torrid pace. By the time he pitted on lap 22 of the 40-lap race, he had built a comfortable gap over the second-place BMW. Alessi took over and drove the Corvette to the checkered flag with a 3.684-second gap over the Bimmer.
The next ADAC GT Masters race will be held at the famous Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium.