Follow Callaway Competition Racing in 2018
Follow Callaway Competition Racing in 2018

The European Champion team is coming to America. That’s right Callaway Competition has existed in Germany for years as the exclusive supplier of the Chevrolet Corvette C7 GT3-R to European race teams. Fresh off their championship in the 2017 ADAC GT Masters series, Callaway Competition will again be the sole GM Corvette C7 GT3-R chassis supplier but now in the US.

The Callaway Corvettes will compete in the 2018 Pirelli World Challenge GT series of races.  The Callaway Competition race team is racing two Corvette C7 GT3-R cars in a professional racing series of Sprint races called Pirelli World Challenge, in the GT class in which all the race cars are Homologated to FIA rules"

Here is some background on the different prevalent terms:

Callaway Tahoe RST SC569 on display at the Chevrolet tent

Driver of the #26 Callaway Corvette GT3 is Daniel Keilwitz of Germany fresh of his European 2017 AGDT Championship. This will be his first time racing in the US. First time in America for him too.

Pirelli the tire manufacturer, is the title sponsor and all race cars will compete on the same spec Pirelli tire to ensure even competition, as tire specs can greatly affect performance. Most professional auto racing series like Formula 1 or NASCAR will use a common tire spec with one chosen manufacturer.

World Challenge; in the spirit of this race series competitors from all over the world will drive cars manufactured by companies hailing from all corners of the world.

GT; stands for Grand Touring which loosely has meant the big horsepower hardtop coupes. In this case, Callaway Corvette C7 Z06 will be competing in a GT3 class of race cars as homologated by the FIA.

GT3 Class; The class group known as GT3 allows for a wide variety of car types to be homologated with almost no limit on engine sizes and configurations or chassis construction or layout. GT3 cars must be based on production road car models in mass production. Performance of all the Group GT3 cars are regulated, either by the GT Bureau of the FIA or by a series' specific ruling body, through a Balance of Performance that adjusts limits on horsepower, weight, engine management, and aerodynamics to prevent a single manufacturer from becoming dominant in the class. The cars in GT3 are designed to have a weight between 1200kg and 1300kg with horsepower between 500hp and 600hp. All cars have a very similar power to weight ratio. As of March 2017, 47 different cars have been homologated for competition in Group GT3 by the FIA.

Group GT3 cars can be built either directly by the automotive manufacturer, such as Porsche, Audi, or Mercedes-Benz, or built by racing teams and tuning companies at the behest of the manufacturer, such as Ford GTs built by Matech Concepts, Lamborghinis built by Reiter Engineering, Aston Martins by Prodrive, or the Corvette C7 GT3-R by Callaway. 

FIA; The FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile) is generally known by its French name or initials, even in non-French-speaking countries, but is occasionally rendered as International Automobile Federation. Is the To the general public, the FIA is mostly known as the governing body for many auto racing events. FIA also promotes road safety around the world.

The most prominent role for FIA is in the licensing and arbitration of Formula One and World Rally Championship motor racing.

Race Cars competing in the Pirelli World Challenge GT class will conform to construction build rules as governed by the FIA with “Balance of Power” adjustments to be decided by the Pirelli World Challenge staff on a race by race basis.

Homologation; (from the verb homologate, meaning "to approve or confirm officially") is the process of certifying or approving a product to indicate that it meets regulatory standards and specifications, such as safety and technical requirements as intended by a Governing body, in this case the FIA.

Sprint Race Format; The Pirelli World Challenge has two different race format in which the GT class cars will run. First is a “Sprint “, which is time limited to 50 minutes or a designated amount of laps whichever comes first. The goal being first across the finish line wins!. The idea is to race through one tank of fuel, no planned pit stops or driver changes.

This is a popular format for TV as its true flag to flag race no stopping to change tires, drivers or add fuel.

Second is the the Sprint X format does allow for planned driver changes and fuel stop and generally runs a bit over an hour. 

The Pirelli World Challenge Championship 2018 season begins with The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, one of the biggest event weekends in the Tampa Bay, Florida area as the opening race for the IndyCar Series season for a eighth consecutive year in 2018.  

The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is run on the actual City streets that have been laid out for a  1.8-mile, 14-turn waterfront circuit that includes a combination of adjacent downtown streets circling Pioneer Park, the Duke Energy Center for the Arts, The Dali Museum and extending onto the runways at Albert Whitted Airport.

The circuit overlooks Tampa Bay and picturesque St. Petersburg Harbor and Marina.  To learn more about the event, visit gpstpete.com, ‘like’ its Facebook page at facebook.com/GPSTPETE or follow the event on Twitter@GPSTPETE #FirestoneGP Follow Callaway Corvette #c7gt3r

The Pirelli World Challenge GT Class Race Cars

  • Acura NSX GT3
  • Aston Martin Vantage GT3
  • Audi R8 LMS Ultra GT3
  • Bentley Continental GT3
  • Callaway Corvette GT3
  • Ferrari 458 Italia GT3
  • Lamborghini Huracan LP GT3
  • Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3
  • McLaren 650S GT3
  • Nissan GTR Nismo GT3
  • Porsche 911 GT3R

 

The 2018 Schedule for the Pirelli World Challenge GT Series

  • March 9-11 Streets of St. Petersburg
  • March 23-25, Circuit Of The Americas Austin TX
  • April 13-15, Streets of Long Beach, CA
  • April 28-30, VIRginia International Raceway, Virginia
  • May 18-20, Canadian Tire Motorsport, Toronto CA
  • May 25-28, Lime Rock Park, Lime Rock CT
  • June 22-24, Road America WI
  • July 13-15, Portland International Raceway OR
  • August 10-12, Utah Motorsports Campus, UT
  • Aug. 31-Sept. 1-2 Watkins Glen International NY