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Mercedes-AMG to start the 2019 motorsport year with a pair of endurance highlights

Friday 11th January, 2019 - 3:45pm

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The goal is clear: after its most successful season ever, Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing is aiming at wins in motorsport series all over the world in 2019 as well. The first ones are envisaged in January in two prestigious endurance racing classics. In the 24-hour race in Dubai from 10-12 January, the BLACK FALCON team will be competing as the previous year’s winners. In the Daytona 24 Hours on 26-27 January, the Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports is starting the new IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season as the defending IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup champions. At the legendary Daytona circuit, Team TGM will be starting off the new year as the defending champions in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge with the Mercedes-AMG GT4.

  • BLACK FALCON intends at repeating previous year’s win at Dubai
  • Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports and P1 Motorsports to compete in Daytona endurance racing classic
  • Mercedes-AMG GT4 racing in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge

Dubai / Daytona Beach – In the Dubai 24-hour race, Mercedes-AMG is aiming at its fifth victory in the desert metropolis. The BLACK FALCON team already secured the overall win for the performance and sports car brand from Affalterbach in the years 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2018. This year, the team is running the Mercedes-AMG GT3 with starting number 2 with last year’s race winners Abdulaziz Al Faisal (KSA), Hubert Haupt (GER) and Yelmer Buurman (NED), paired with their new teammate Saud Al Faisal (KSA). The sister car with starting number 3 that retired while on course for victory last year will have Khaled Al Qubaisi (KSA), Jeroen Bleekemolen (NED), Ben Keating (USA), Manuel Metzger (GER) and Luca Stolz (GER) as its drivers. Four additional Mercedes-AMG GT3s will be run by CP Racing, Hofor Racing, HTP Motorsport and MP Motorsport, among others with support from Mercedes-AMG Driver Bernd Schneider (GER).

The field of 78 cars in Dubai includes six GT3 and four GT4 cars from Affalterbach. The race starts on Friday, 11 January at 15.00 hrs local time (12.00 hrs CET).

Title defence for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 and GT4 in North America
Traditionally, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season gets underway with the 24-hour highlight at Daytona. Last weekend (4-6 January) already, the Mercedes-AMG GT3 and GT4 teams participated in the “Roar Before the Rolex 24” at Daytona International Speedway. In the major three-day test prior to the classic endurance race, the teams racked up numerous laps and refined their set-ups at the 5.7 kilometres long track.

For Mercedes-AMG, the Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports will be racing as the defending IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup champions in Florida. Ben Keating (USA), Felipe Fraga (BRA), Jeroen Bleekemolen (NED) and Luca Stolz (GER) will be alternating as the drivers at the legendary oval. Last year, the team with starting number 33 ended up fourth, only just missing out on a podium finish. With a good result, Riley Motorsports aims at lying the foundation for another title defence, the team already having won the Endurance Cup in 2017 and 2018. The P1 Motorsports team is running the second Mercedes-AMG GT3 at Daytona with Dominik Baumann (AUT), Maximilian Buhk (GER), “JC” Perez (COL) and Fabian Schiller (GER). The start of the Daytona 24 Hours is on Saturday, 26 January, at 12.35 hrs EST (18.35 hrs CET).

On Friday, 25 January, the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge already starts its new season with a four-hour race at Daytona. The seven Mercedes-AMG GT4s again include winning Team TGM with starting number 46. Hugh Plumb and Owen Trinkler (both USA) will be racing as the reigning Grand Sport class champions for the team owned by Ted Giovanis (USA), who himself will be racing the team’s second Mercedes-AMG GT4 together with Guy Cosmo (USA).

Stefan Wendl, head of Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing: “2018 was the most successful season in history of Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing. But there is no time to rest on these laurels. Traditionally, the new season already starts in January with two undisputed classics: the 24-hour races at Dubai and Daytona. In both events, teams will be competing as defending champions with our Mercedes-AMG GT3 and GT4. Anticipation and expectations are accordingly high. We know about the strengths of our cars, particularly on the long distance, and we will again support our teams on site with maximum technology, equipment and know-how to start off the new season in a successful way. We wish all the teams and drivers a lot of success and we are delighted to see the lights turn to green for the year 2019.”

Mercedes-AMG GT3 and GT4 in the Dubai 24 Hours*:

Nr.
Class
Car
Team
Drivers
2
A6-PRO
Mercedes-AMG GT3
BLACK FALCON
Abdulaziz Al Faisal (KSA), Saud Al Faisal (KSA), Yelmer Buurman (NED), Hubert Haupt (GER)
3
A6-PRO
Mercedes-AMG GT3
BLACK FALCON
Khaled Al Qubaisi (UAE), Jeroen Bleekemolen (NED), Ben Keating (USA), Manuel Metzger (GER), Luca Stolz (GER)
10
A6-AM
Mercedes-AMG GT3
Hofor Racing
Christiaan Frankenhout (NED), Kenneth Heyer (GER), Michael Kroll (SUI), Alexander Prinz (GER), Chantal Prinz (SUI)
19
A6-AM
Mercedes-AMG GT3
MP Motorsport
Bert de Heus (NED), Daniel de Jong (NED), Henk de Jong (NED)
25
A6-AM
Mercedes-AMG GT3
HTP Motorsport
Brice Bosi (LUX), Indy Dontje (NED), Alexander Hrachowina (AUT), Martin Konrad (AUT), Bernd Schneider (GER)
85
A6-AM
Mercedes-AMG GT3
CP Racing
Charles Espenlaub (USA), Joe Foster (USA), Shane Lewis (USA), Charles Putman (USA)
405
GT4
Mercedes-AMG GT4
ERC SPORT
Katarina Kyvalova (SVK), John Minshaw (GBR), Gabriele Piana (ITA), Ryan Ratcliffe (GBR)
454
GT4
Mercedes-AMG GT4
QSR Racing School
Jimmy de Breucker (BEL), Rodrigue Gillion (BEL) Mario Timmers (BEL), Nico Verdonck (BEL), Michiel Verhaeren (BEL)
462
GT4
Mercedes-AMG GT4
Ciceley Motorsport
Frank Bird (GBR), Ben Paliwoda (USA), Derek Pierce (GBR), Jordan Witt (GBR)
488
GT4
Mercedes-AMG GT4
Dragon Racing
Saeed Al Mehairi (UAE), Rob Barff (GBR), Greg Caton (GBR), Phil Quaife (GBR), Josh Webster (GBR)

* subject to changes by short notice

Mercedes-AMG GT3 and GT4 in the Rolex 24 At Daytona*:

Nr.
Class
Car
Team
Drivers
33
GTD
Mercedes-AMG GT3
Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports
Jeroen Bleekemolen (NED), Felipe Fraga (BRA), Ben Keating (USA), Luca Stolz (GER)
71
GTD
Mercedes-AMG GT3
P1 Motorsports
Dominik Baumann (AUT), Maximilian Buhk (GER), JC Perez (COL), Fabian Schiller (GER)
4
GS
Mercedes-AMG GT4
Team TGM
Guy Cosmo (USA), Ted Giovanis (USA)
33
GS
Mercedes-AMG GT4
Winward Racing / HTP Motorsport
Indy Dontje (NED), Russel Ward (USA)
35
GS
Mercedes-AMG GT4
Riley Motorsports
James Cox (USA), Dylan Murry (USA)
46
GS
Mercedes-AMG GT4
Team TGM
Hugh Plumb (USA), Owen Trinkler (USA)
56
GS
Mercedes-AMG GT4
Murillo Racing
Eric Foss (USA), Jeff Mosing (USA)
57
GS
Mercedes-AMG GT4
Winward Racing / HTP Motorsport
Christian Hohenadel (GER), Bryce Ward (USA)
65
GS
Mercedes-AMG GT4
Murillo Racing
Brent Mosing (USA), Justin Piscitell (USA), Tim Probert (USA)

* subject to changes by short notice

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