Mika Hakkinen and Matthew Solomon have handed Erebus Motorsport a maiden win in the GT Asia series at Zhuhai, China.
The victory is the 10th consecutive win for Erebus Motorsport’s SLS AMG GT3 program, which has moved offshore following its stint in Australian GT.
Kiwi Earl Bamber and Samson Chan, driving a Ford GT was second while Keita Sawa and Mok Weng Sun in their McLaren claimed third.
Hakkinen started the #36 SLS AMG GT3 from sixth placing on the grid.
He cut through to second by the exit of the first corner, followed by team-mate Lance David Arnold from the third placed starting position.
Disaster struck for Arnold eight laps in when he was informed to shut the #63 Gullwing down for safety reasons due to a technical issue the team detected on the car’s telemetry.
This triggered a short Safety Car period.
Hakkinen, who was caught behind Bamber, pitted the SLS AMG GT3 to hand over to his 17-year-old apprentice.
The youngster showed maturity in using the clear track to his advantage to close the gap to the front runner.
After Bamber handed over, the track positioning between the two cars was neutralised.
With eight minutes remaining, Solomon saw a gap to place the lengthy nose of the flying Gullwing through on the car nearest him and using the 10 stage ABS Braking System to its absolute maximum got by and into the lead.
From there Solomon was not headed and took the historic first win for the AMG Customer Sports program in China.
“I have to admit the start was a plan B and it worked,” Hakkinen said.
“I was really focusing on the start to try and make my way forward, it was difficult to make a good start and with the high wings of the GT3 cars it is very challenging to see the lights change, I did a couple of tricks and they worked.
“The first corner was tight, but that is racing and I looked around and I was in second place, I thought brilliant!
“Matthew did a fantastic job when he got into the car. It isn’t a long race so you have to push all the time and Matthew showed that.”