Correction: A previous version of this story falsely stated that Callaway Competition’s No. 26 Corvette C7 GT3-R failed to finish Rd. 4 of the 2018 Pirelli World Challenge season because of an engine failure; in fact, the car ran out of fuel after on-track contact with a Porsche caused its undertray to become dislodged, increasing fuel consumption by dragging on the pavement. Further, some ambiguous wording made it seem as though the team experienced an engine failure during or just after practice, when in fact, the team’s decision to rebuild the engine was preemptive, as data indicated that a breakdown might be on the horizon. Both of these inaccuracies have been addressed.
Last weekend’s Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Texas at Circuit of the Americas was a fruitless one for Callaway Competition, which failed to complete either of the two GT SprintX races after suffering a series of misfortunes. The Grand Prix of Texas was only the second weekend of events on the Pirelli World Challenge calendar, the first being held earlier this month in St. Petersburg, Florida, where Callaway Corvette driver Daniel Keilwitz finished fourth and second in Rounds 1 and 2, respectively.
After looking at the data from the pre-race practice session on Friday, Callaway Competition detected that a problem with the LS9-based engine in its No. 26 Corvette C7 GT3-R was imminent, and made the decision to preemptively source a new block and conduct a rebuild. With some help from Chevrolet, Sportscar365 reports, Callaway managed to track down a block at a parts depot outside of Dallas, making a 500-mile round trip in the night to obtain it. Reeves Callaway’s son Pete, an accomplished engine builder, worked alongside Callaway Cars Managing Director Mike Zoner to turn that block into a new racing motor for the team.
The engine built and installed in time for Round 2 of the Grand Prix of Texas, the No. 26 Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R took to the grid, with Daniel Keilwitz splitting seat time with driver Eric Curran. It made it through 25 full laps of competition before stopping on track after running out of fuel, with just three laps to go.
According to a PR Representative for Callaway Competition in the US, that the car ran out of fuel was at least partly to do with it having made contact with a Porsche during lap 5. The incident knocked the No. 26 Callaway Corvette’s undertray loose, causing it to drag on the pavement and increase fuel consumption.
Callaway Competition’s second planned entry for the 2018 Pirelli World Challenge Championships has been delayed indefinitely as the outfit has had to divert some attention and resources to its two-car ADAC GT Masters effort. Michael Cooper had been selected to drive the second Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R entry.