Callaway Competition, which has been campaigning its Corvette C7 GT3-R in the 2018 Pirelli World Challenge, will take a break from the racing series as it launches its 2018 ADAC GT Masters effort and attempts to find a way past the shortage of available LS9 engine blocks, according to Sportscar365. Callaway will miss the next three PWC events, starting with Long Beach, and continuing through Virginia International Raceway and Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.
“Our homologation was based on an LS engine block part from 2013, and that supply has been exhausted,” Team Principal Reeves Callaway explained to Sportscar365. He said that the Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R is switching to a new engine block part number in the US, and those blocks “have just become available and are currently in testing.”
At the previous two rounds of the Pirelli World Challenge, Callaway Competition missed the first race when data captured during practice showed that a potential engine failure was imminent. The team rushed out to acquire a replacement LS9 block and build a new engine from the ground up, only to run out of fuel on-track during the second race.
In addition to the issues with engine block availability, Callaway has “a race date conflict with the start of season in Europe for the ADAC GT Masters,” Reeves Callaway told Sportscar365. “We have elected to transfer [driver] Daniel Keilwitz from the U.S. operation to the European operation where he can best help us defend the championship,” he said. “The existing engines will be reserved for the start of GT Masters season.”
The team is hoping to get its newly-homologated Corvette C7 GT3-R engine ready for the remainder of the 2018 Pirelli World Challenge season after Canadian Tire, rejoining in time for the races at Lime Rock Park, with Keilwitz again at the wheel.
Callaway Competition hadn’t originally planned on launching a factory racing effort in the Pirelli World Challenge, preferring instead to supply a few GT3-spec cars to customer racing teams in PWC and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The company reversed course on that decision last November, although it doesn’t appear to have an interest in campaigning the car itself past 2018.