After a slightly troubled start to their ADAC GT Masters campaign, due to technical issues and unwanted attention from other competitors, it all came right today for Olly and his team mate at Callaway Competition, Daniel Keilwitz. Here is the series’ release giving all the details:
Daniel Keilwitz (24, Germany) and Englishman Oliver Gavin (41) could not have wished for a better start to the ADAC GT Masters race weekend at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. Two weeks before Formula 1 returns to this circuit with its magnificent backdrop of the Austrian Alps, Keilwitz and Gavin put their Callaway Competition Corvette on pole position for both the Saturday race and the Sunday race. “By booking the front slot twice, we have the best prospects this weekend,” said Keilwitz, whose double victory at the Red Bull Ring last year paved the way to ultimately taking the 2013 title. “Now we have to convert that into race results, which certainly won’t be easy.”
Qualifying 1 for Race 1 on Saturday:
Five drivers in five super sports cars bearing five different badges on their grilles fought out a tense battle in qualifying for the race to be held on Saturday. Gavin went out first in his Corvette and set a high benchmark, but then had a tense wait before it was confirmed that he had secured his maiden ADAC GT Masters pole. Albert von Thurn und Taxis (30, Germany) in the Reiter Engineering Chevrolet Camaro, Hari Proczyk (38, Austria) in a Grasser Racing Lamborghini Gallardo, Robert Renauer (29, Germany) in a TONINO Team Herberth Porsche 911 and Maximilian Götz (28, Germany) in an HTP Motorsport Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG all came close to dislodging the Englishman from his perch but didn’t quite succeed. Lamborghini man and local favourite Proczyk was 0.333 of a second slower than the time set by the Corvette works driver but at least has the satisfaction of starting from the front row tomorrow. Row 2 will be shared by Götz and von Thurn und Taxis. Last year’s ADAC GT Masters runner-up Renauer starts from fifth.
“I put in a really good clean lap,” said a delighted Gavin. “However, pole position is only one small step; the really hard work comes on Saturday and Sunday. It won’t be easy to win here, but our Corvette has the speed. Daniel and I have a similar driving style, and I have a good feeling about these two races. Now we have to keep our fingers crossed and hope that we have a bit of luck.”
Qualifying 2 for Race 2 on Sunday:
A duel between two American muscle cars dominated the qualifying session for Sunday’s race. Just as his partner Gavin had done in the previous session, Daniel Keilwitz established an early lead which then came under attack by Czech driver Tomas Enge (37) in the Reiter Engineering Chevrolet Camaro. The ex-Formula 1 driver caused a minor sensation by shaving 0.003 seconds off the time of the reigning ADAC GT Masters champion, but the Corvette driver promptly counterattacked, reclaiming pole position with a second sortie onto the track.
Gerhard Tweraser (25, Austria), who actually lives in Spielberg, qualified third in one of the two Lamborghini Gallardos entered by local outfit Grasser Racing ahead of Dutchman Jeroen Bleekemolen (32) in another Callaway Competition Corvette. Maximilian Buhk (21, Germany) in an HTP Motorsport Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG was fifth fastest in the session but a grid penalty incurred in the last race at the Lausitzring bumps him down by five positions. Moving up to claim the fifth spot is René Rast (27, Germany) in a Prosperia C Abt Racing Audi R8.
“I put in some very good laps at the start of qualifying and thought that I was a certainty for pole,” said Keilwitz after claiming his fifth P1 start in the ADAC GT Masters. “I couldn’t believe that Tomas Enge had bettered my time in the Camaro. So I went back out onto the track, drove at the absolute limit and got the maximum I could out of the car. In the end, it proved to be just enough.”
Stay tuned for more over the weekend!