Mercedes-AMG to take on the battle for the title on five continents
With the 12-hour race at Bathurst on the first weekend of February, Mercedes-AMG is taking on the new Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli (IGTC) season. The performance and sports car brand from Affalterbach aims at building on the very successful previous season, in which two drivers’ titles and the runner-up spot in the manufacturers’ standings could be achieved in the global endurance series. To achieve this, Mercedes-AMG is submitting high-quality drivers for 2019 IGTC that includes five rounds on as many continents this season. Maximilian Buhk, Maro Engel, Maximilian Götz, Thomas Jäger (all GER), Yelmer Buurman (NED), Raffaele Marciello (ITA), Gary Paffett (GBR), Luca Stolz (GER) and defending champion Tristan Vautier (FRA) will all be taking on a full IGTC programme while supporting various Mercedes-AMG Performance and Customer Racing Teams in the process.
- Mercedes-AMG increases its involvement in the Intercontinental GT Challenge
- Nine high-quality Mercedes-AMG drivers with a full IGTC programme
- Participation of various Performance Teams in the races on five continents
Affalterbach – Mercedes-AMG Motorsport again puts the focus of its Customer Racing activities on the Intercontinental GT Challenge. Last year, the teams with the Mercedes-AMG GT3 competed in all four endurance races of the series for the first time and secured two drivers’ titles for the brand straight away: next to Tristan Vautier, who came out on top in the overall standings, Kenny Habul (AUS) was another Mercedes-AMG GT3 driver to win the bronze category title. In the manufacturers’ standings, Mercedes-AMG secured runner-up spot and an even better result is the aim for 2019. With this goal in sight, Mercedes-AMG has expanded its IGTC programme for this year even further.
For the new season, the Intercontinental GT Challenge increased to a total of five rounds on five continents. The season gets underway with the 12-hour classic at Bathurst (1-3 February), followed by the 8-hour race at Laguna Seca Raceway in California (28-30 March), the Spa-Francorchamps 24 Hours (25-28 July), the Suzuka 10 Hours (23-25 August) and the IGTC finale, to be held in South Africa for the first time with the 9-hour race at Kyalami (21-23 November).
Participation of Performance Teams with extended support from Mercedes-AMG is planned for all events. Some of the best Mercedes-AMG drivers will be behind the wheel, from defending IGTC champion Tristian Vautier and reigning Blancpain GT champion Raffaele Marciello to current DTM champion Gary Paffett. With Maximilian Buhk, Maximilian Götz and reigning Blancpain Endurance champions Yelmer Buurman, Maro Engel and Luca Stolz Mercedes-AMG’s permanent IGTC line-up includes further high-class drivers.
Stefan Wendl, head of Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing: “The Intercontinental GT Challenge is a highly attractive series. All the five endurance races are very demanding and the effort from our rivals is even bigger than in previous years. As a result, repeating our achievements from 2018 will not be easy, but we will do our utmost. We have put together a super strong driver line-up and numerically, we have the biggest presence in the GT3 field for the Bathurst season opener. Therefore, our expectations are at least as high as our anticipation.”