Corvettes Dominate FIA GT3 Competition Again
The Corvette Z06R GT3s dominated the both FIA GT3 European Championship races at Brno, in the Czech Republic last week. On a wet track the American cars scored a 1-2-3 finish in the first race of the weekend.
The #16 Graff Racing Corvette Z06R GT3 completed the 25-lap race in 61 minutes. The #101 Callaway Competition Corvette Z06RGT3 followed less than 19 seconds later and the third place #18 Corvette, driven by Selier and Lunardi arrived a scant six seconds after. The pole-sitting Lamborghini Gallardo rounded out the top four places. The rest of the pack began a good 30 seconds behind the top group.
Conditions at the start of the race were so wet that the safety car lead the pack at the beginning. A number of cars started on slick tires, but headed into the pits as soon as the cars were released. Despite very poor visibility for cars behind the leader, the Corvettes of Callaway Competition and Graff Racing were challenging the leader by lap 4.
Successful pit strategy put the two Corvettes at the top of the order, while a series of circumstances brought Dino Lunardi, in the #18 Toni Seiler Racing Corvette up to third place. Lunardi started from 13th position and already fought his way up to P6.
In the second GT3 race of the weekend, Joakim Lambote and Mike Parisy in the #16 Graff Racing Corvette Z06R GT3 took the win, along with a second podium finish for Christian Hohenadel and Daniel Keilwitz in the #101 Callaway Competition Corvette Z06RGT3, who finished in third. A Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 split the pair.
The first few laps were driven with the safety car in front, after a Ford GT and a Porsche failed to negotiate the first turn on start. once clear, the pole-sitting Ferrari 430 Scuderia began to pull away. Bad luck was coming their way, though. During a pit stop, the team was too efficient and let their car go early. They were assessed a stop-n-go penalty for this. A second penalty was incurred after and ruined the Ferrari’s hopes of winning.
Keilwitz and Hohnadel had an exciting race in the #101 Callaway Racing car. Having started 2nd on the grid, they fell to P17 by lap 9. After the pit stop, Keilwitz managed to take them back up the grid to finish 3rd on the podium.
The next GT3 race is provisionally scheduled at Jarama, Spain on June 20.