Corvette Victory in FIA GT3 Racing
The 2010 season for participants in the European FIA GT3 series began Saturday on the updated, 3.66 mile circuit at Silverstone, England. The FIA competition format runs two races per weekend, one on Saturday and another on Sunday. The GT3 category is one of the most popular series in Europe, with supercars of most every make participating.
Consistent weather in England is often more a dream than a hope and Sunday’s conditions were cloudy, with a track drying from earlier rains. The Corvette fraternity had been running strongly all weekend, with the #101 Callaway Competition Z06R qualifying second and #18 Toni Seiler Racing Vette eventually taking second spot on the podium in Saturday’s race.
Photos: FIA GT3 Championship
Three Z06R Corvettes set out to contest Sunday’s field of 27 entrants, with Dino Lunardi on pole in the #18 Vette and Christian Hohenadel right behind in third with the Callaway Competition #101 car. Mike Parisy was a bit further back in the #16 Graff Racing Z06R.
After 28 laps, Daniel Keilwitz took the checkered flag in the #101 Callaway Z06R GT3 to post the first GT3 European win for the marque since 2008. The German finished more than 10 seconds ahead of Manuel Rodrigues in the Hexis AMR Aston Martin DBRS9.
The GT3 version of the Z06R Corvette uses the LS7 engine putting out 510 horsepower (despite a 75 mm FIA restrictor plate) to a Tremec 6-speed manual transmission. Lightened to just over 2800 pounds, the AP Racing brakes (6-piston front, 4-piston rear) and 325 mm wide Michelin race tires on 18″ rims, make the Corvette a formidable competitor in Europe. It is also one of the crowd favorites for its unique, thundering exhaust note – unlike that of any European V8 engines.