ADAC: Daniel Keilwitz looks ahead to Sachsenring
After an impressive victory at the last ADAC GT Master race in Zandvoort, Callaway Competition are heading to Sachsenring for their next race. Their last victory took place in the only race that is held outside of Germany. This victory gives drivers, Daniel Keilwitz and teammate Diego Alessi the championship lead. As the new leader of the "league of super sports car" Keliwitz continues his winning ways. Keliwitz won the 2010 GT3 European Drivers Championship. His Italian team-mate and he will compete at the next race with their Corvette Z06R on 08-10 June. In an interview the ADAC, Keilwitz explains the strengths of the Corvette and what he expects the challenges will be at the next the in Saxony.
After your debut victory in the ADAC GT Masters and leading the championship standings you must be pleased with the start of the season?
"It feels good to be at the top. However, there it also a bit surprising for us that we are so far ahead. We did not expect that we would be so fast at Zandvoort, and were surprised by the results. Zandvoort is actually a track that favors cars with good aerodynamics and this favors our Corvette. It also has a very good engine and excellent brakes. It went very well at Zandvoort and it was much better than expected."
Callaway Competition has revised the Corvette for the 2012 season. How noticeable are the modifications?
"The car is more balanced since they have made changes to the chassis. It is now more balanced and gives the driver a little more leeway when it is at the limit. We are using a smaller engine this year. I was very skeptical at first, because of its smaller capacity and lower torque. However am I pleasantly surprised, because now we have a broad power band, which helps exiting the corners. At Zandvoort, the new engine proved how good it is."
This is your third year with the Callaway team, how do you think you influence the Corvette's development?
"The Callaway team always takes into account the opinions of their drivers. This includes my teammate Diego Alessi, Heinz-Harald Frentzen and myself. Some things that are not of valuable to me can be important for other drivers. We see ourselves as a team and we work together. In the ADAC Zurich 24 hour-race at the Nurburgring I shared the Corvette with three works drivers from Corvette Racing. They were very complimentary about the continuous improvement the team made to the car throughout the event. I am however, usually just try to adjust myself to changing track conditions as I am very comfortable driving this Corvette."
Your teammate Diego Alessi was in top form at Zandvoort and started from pole position. What makes this season so strong?
"Diego is a very fast driver and the new car is very good. The new Corvette requires a slightly different driving style, which suits his driving -style very much."
What are your expectations for the next race at the Sachsenring?
"The Sachsenring course favors sports car with mid-engine placement. This mean that the, Audi, Ferrari, Lamborghini or even the Ford GT should be in the favorite position. After our success at Zandvoort, I think our car will work well on the Sachsenring course. I hope that we can achieve a positive result in the top five. We have learned a lot from our past mistakes last year. Instead of taking violent risks, we are waiting to make our moves when the time is right to do so. This tactic is working well for us so far. At start of the season in Oschersleben, we used this strategy and finished on the the podium. In the second race at Zandvoort we were able to finish sixth after a very poor qualifying session. This has helped us gain valuable points and the championship lead. We will try and use the same strategy at the Sachsenring. We will work to take no unnecessary risks and be safe so we get a good result."