Lewis Hamilton hungry to win home race at Silverstone

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Lewis Hamilton heads into next weekend’s British Grand Prix knowing he has a great chance of winning his home race for the second time, with teammate Nico Rosberg the only realistic rival for victory.

The British driver won the race back in 2008 for McLaren with one of his finest displays in a Formula 1 car, but has since failed to return to the top step of the podium. He was leading from pole position at last year’s race, only for a tire failure to scupper his hopes of victory and force him to settle for a fourth place finish.

In 2014 though, Mercedes has been the dominant force, and Hamilton will be keen on cutting the gap to championship leader Rosberg on home soil.

“Silverstone is obviously a special race for me and the support I have there is just incredible,” he explained. “The British fans are the absolute best in the world and it’s really humbling to see thousands of people out there cheering you on – no matter what the weather or the result.

“I won the race in the wet in 2008, which was just the best feeling. I think the gap was around 60 seconds at the end, and I’d lapped everyone up to third place which was just unreal. I could never have hoped or dreamed for a race like that – especially at my home grand prix. That has to be one of the best moments of my career.

“I loved raising that gold trophy in front of the home crowds and I’m determined to get my hands on it again this year.”

In Austria, Hamilton slipped to 29 points behind Rosberg in the drivers’ championship after finishing second to the German, and he will want to avoid losing even more ground at Silverstone.

“It was great to get another one-two finish for the team in Austria and I’m so proud of all the hard work everyone is putting in to keep us at the front this season,” the Briton said. “Of course, it wasn’t the result I wanted personally and it was disappointing not to be able to capitalise on my pace when it was clearly there. But in the end, coming back to second place was positive in terms of damage limitation.”

The Callaway Corvette GT3 is coming to America, in PWC

Photo: Callaway Competition USA
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Pirelli World Challenge has been in need of some good news from a car count standpoint early into this offseason, and receives it Monday with confirmation Callaway Competition will bring its GT3-spec homologated Corvette C7 GT3-R Stateside next season.

The withdrawal of the factory Cadillac Racing program after PWC’s season finale in Sonoma in September has opened the door for the factory-blessed Corvette C7 GT3-R to run in North America, because Cadillac’s ATS-V.R has been the lone GT3-spec car under the General Motors awning for the last three seasons, while the Callaway Corvette has raced only internationally.

Reeves Callaway has been on site at the tail end of the PWC season to survey the opportunity and now a deal has been struck for a factory effort to run next year, before the Callaway Corvette program becomes a customer effort in 2019. This follows the same timeline as Acura did with its new NSX GT3 this year to run it as a factory program in 2017 before shifting to customer efforts in 2018.

“Joining the Pirelli World Challenge has been a long term objective for Callaway Competition,” Callaway said in a release. “Now the field is a roll-call of the most capable sports cars from every country. To do well here, you must beat the best in the world. What better way to showcase our iconic American car?

“For 2018, we will run a Callaway factory team to give us the best chance of continuing the championship record the Corvette has achieved in international competition. For 2019, we will not race against our customers, but provide high-quality support to them in the tradition of other manufacturer customer racing support programs.”

“For several years fans have asked when they would see the Callaway Corvette GT3 run in the Pirelli World Challenge,” added Greg Gill, President and CEO of Pirelli World Challenge. “The wait is over and we are very pleased to announce the arrival of the Callaway Corvette GT3 for the 2018 season.”

The Callaway Competition USA Corvette C7 GT3-R will be unveiled and both full season drivers announced at the Performance Racing Industry show in Indianapolis on December 7 at the Pirelli World Challenge booth. Following the unveiling event, the car will be on display for the remainder of the trade show. Details of the presentation will be announced in the coming weeks.

Callaway’s confirmation comes amidst the likely drawdown of potentially nine or 10 cars that raced in PWC’s GT and GTA ranks either all season or most of it in 2017, among at least five manufacturers. That’s not to say those losses can’t be recouped elsewhere on the grid, over the next several months before the St. Petersburg season opener in March.

PWC will hold its annual state of the series and competitor meeting to finalize the next year’s plans at the PRI show as well.