On Thursday at the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Tradeshow in Indianapolis, Callaway Competition USA unveiled their Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R and announced that Daniel Keilwitz and Michael Cooper as two full-time drivers for the 2018 Pirelli World Challenge.
The matte black carbon Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R shown at PRI is one of two that will run as full season factory efforts in the Pirelli World Challenge GT class. The GT3-R spec C7 Corvette racecars will be featured in both the sprint races as well as the two-driver SprintX races. The racing livery and additional drivers for the SprintX races will be announced at a later date.
On hand for the announcement at PRI was Reeves Callaway, Pirelli World Challenge President and CEO Greg Gill and driver Michael Cooper.
“We are proud to have Daniel and Michael on board for our 2018 effort,” said Callaway. “Both drivers have won several championships and will be excellent brand ambassadors for the Corvette C7 GT3-R’s debut year of American Competition. Daniel brings with him a wealth of knowledge about our team and the car, and Michael has years of experience on the tracks we’ll be competing on. Together, with the team we’re assembling, this will be an excellent program to show our future customers what the Corvette C7 GT3-R is capable of.”
The 28 year-old German racer has been a fixture in racing with Callaway having spent eight years with the team racing in the German ADAC GT Masters series. Keilwitz and Callaway won the 2013 ADAC GT Masters Championship and have finished in the top three for 2014, 2016 and 2017 series championships. He is the most successful driver in the series with 19 overall wins.
“I’m really looking forward to join Callaway Competition for the Pirelli World Challenge in 2018,” said Keilwitz. “I have done a lot of races for them in Europe and now I’m really happy to join them also in the USA for my ninth year with the team. The car is really amazing and was performing really well in Europe against all the big manufacturers, so I’m sure that it will perform also well in USA. Of course we have to get some experience with the car on the new tracks, but we also bring a lot of experience from Europe to the USA from the past two years racing with this car. We clearly want to show that the Callaway C7 GT3-R is a great performing and winning car. I’m really proud to be part of this team.”
Michael Cooper is no stranger to the Pirelli World Challenge, as his winning ways in the PWC began during his rookie year in 2012 by winning the TC Championship. Cooper was named a GM factory driver in 2015 and that year won the GTS Championship with Blackdog Speedshop. He would finish third in the 2016 GT Championship with two wins and seven additional podium finishes for Cadillac Racing. Last year, he finished second in the driver Championship for Cadillac Racing, and earned the inaugural SprintX Championship with co-driver Jordan Taylor.
“I’m very proud to be joining Callaway Competition USA for their factory effort next year,” said Cooper. “The Corvette C7 GT3-R has already proven itself on track in Europe, and I’m eager to start testing. The team that is being assembled by Callaway is top-notch, and will no doubt put us in contention for the championship. This will be an exciting year for the car’s debut in the Pirelli World Challenge.”
The Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R was designed, manufactured and homologated for General Motors by Callaway Competition GmbH. With Cadillac Racing closing out their successful PWC program, that opened the door for the Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R to race in North America. The Pirelli World Challenge series kicks off on March 9-11 on the streets of St. Petersburg Florida. For more information, visit callawaycars.com and world-challenge.com
You can watch today’s annoucement from PRI in this video from Callaway Cars USA:
Callaway Cars USA
Reeves Callaway On Racing the Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R in the Pirelli World Challenge
Callaway Competition to Field Two Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-Rs in 2018 Pirelli World Challenge
Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R Takes on the Nurburgring in VLN Series