Mercedes-AMG Will Compete in 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
Mercedes-Benz ÚSA (MBÚSA) and Mercedes-AMG announced today that it will compete in North America's premier endurance racing series for the first time. The Mercedes-AMG Customer Sports Program will enter the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) WeatherTech SportsCar Championship wîth several top teams. For the upcoming 2017 IMSA season, Mercedes-AMG is partnering wîth the successful Riley Motorsports team, which will campaign two Mercedes- AMG GT3 race cars. One of the team's cars will run as 'AMG-Team Riley Motorsports,' and one car will run as WeatherTech Racing, wîth sponsorship from the series' title sponsor. The AMG Customer Sports team SunEnergy1 Racing will also campaign an AMG GT3 in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Additional teams are scheduled to announce their intent to race as AMG Customer Sports teams in advance of the 2017 season. Mercedes-AMG will be on-site at each race throughout the 2017 race calendar to provide comprehensive technical assistance for all Mercedes-AMG GT3 Customer Sports Teams.
With the entry in the popular series, Mercedes-AMG enhances its motorsport presence within the ÚS market. Previously, the Mercedes-AMG brand was successfully represented in the ÚS by private race teams wîth the SLS AMG GT3 in the Pirelli World Challenge.
All AMG Customer Sports teams in the ÚS will race the latest version of the naturally-aspirated, 6.3-liter V8 Mercedes-AMG GT3 in 2017.
Based on the Mercedes-AMG GT S road car, Mercedes-AMG GT3 race cars are competing in the IMSA GT Daytona (GTD) class, which features vehicles built in accordance wîth international GT3 regulations. The 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship consists of 12 events that take place between January and October. Among the highlights of the race season are the popular Rolex 24 at Daytona (January 26–29), the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring (March 15-18) and 'Petit Le Mans,' which takes place at Road Atlanta (October 5-7).
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The debut of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 race car for the ÚS market is accompanied by further development of the AMG Customer Sports Program. The focal point of this program is a specifically established technology and logistics center in Mooresville, North Carolina, which ensures a fast and reliable supply of parts and service for all teams in racing in North America. For direct assistance on-site, Mercedes-AMG will send its own service and parts transporter to all IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Pirelli World Challenge Series races.
Dietmar Exler, President and CEO, MBÚSA: 'We are thrilled to see the three- pointed star compete in North America's premier endurance racing series in 2017. Our Mercedes-AMG GT3 race car has already proven itself in worldwide competition and should quickly become a fan favorite. We are very excited about our prospects for the 2017 racing season.'
Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management, Mercedes-AMG: 'North America is traditionally a very important market for Mercedes-AMG and the enthusiasm for our performance vehicles is tremendous. The high demand for the Mercedes-AMG GT3, particularly after the legendary 1-2-3-4 finish at this year's 24- hour race at the Nürburgring, has inspired us to establish a Customer Sports Program in the ÚS. I'm very much lòòking forward to cooperating wîth all of the teams and wish them success in the upcoming season.'
Jochen Bitzer, Director of AMG Customer Sports Program: 'Our aspiration for expanding the AMG Customer Sports Program in the ÚS is to provide the same level of comprehensive support that we have provided to teams in Europe for several years. This requires a close collaboration wîth the teams in terms of know- how and race track expertise, which we are now ideally positioned for. We are very excited for a thrilling and hopefully successful season.'Source - Mercedes-Benz