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A STRONG LINE UP OF AMG-MERCEDES CUSTOMER RACING TEAMS ENTER THE SPA 24 HOURS

The Mercedes-AMG teams and drivers are highly motivated for the season highlight of the Blancpain GT Series in the Ardennes: at the start of the month, on 4 July, the teams tested their cars at Spa and are excellently prepared for what many drivers refer to as the ’24 hour sprint race’. Next to three Mercedes-AMG Performance Teams, another eight Mercedes-AMG GT3 will be run by Customer Racing Teams, the largest entry of race cars from Affalterbach for a 24-hour race at the legendary Belgian race track to date.

With starting number 88, the Mercedes-AMG Team AKKA ASP is running one Mercedes-AMG GT3 with extended works-support, next to two additional customer cars with starting numbers 89 and 90. Last year, the French team already secured itself a podium finish with second place and intends to battle again for a top result in the prestigious race this year. The team receives support from Mercedes-AMG Driver Nico Bastian (GER) and Mercedes-AMG DTM Drivers Daniel Juncadella (ESP) and Edoardo Mortara (ITA).

German team HTP Motorsport from Altendiez is running three cars: Mercedes-AMG Team HTP Motorsport is starting with number 84, the MANN-FILTER Customer Racing car with #48 and another AMG GT3 with starting number 85. Mercedes-AMG Drivers Dominik Baumann (AUT) and Maximilian Buhk (GER), who are also racing for HTP Motorsport in the Blancpain GT Series, want to score not only a good result at Spa, but also additional points for the drivers’ and teams’ championship.

Team BLACK FALCON, based in Meuspath in Germany, is running a total of four Mercedes-AMG GT3: Mercedes-AMG Team BLACK FALCON has starting number 4 while the Customer Racing cars have been allocated #15, #16 and #18 for the Belgian endurance race. The driver line-up includes Mercedes-AMG Drivers Yelmer Buurman (NED), Adam Christodoulou (GBR) and Maximilian Götz (GER).

The entry is completed by Japanese team GOODSMILE RACING & Team UKYO with starting number 00 as an optical highlight as well: with a striking ‘manga’ livery, the Customer Racing Team from the Far East that is mainly racing in the Japanese Super GT Series, will be competing in the Spa 24 Hours as a one-off.

Presentation Mercedes-AMG GT4 At the occasion of the 2017 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps, Mercedes-AMG is presenting its latest race car: the Mercedes-AMG GT4 marks the addition of another vehicle class to the company’s Customer Racing Programme that started with the SLS AMG GT3 in 2010 and continued with the Mercedes-AMG GT3 in 2016. At the occasion of the 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps, the car will be shown to prospects and fans for the first time.

Adam Christodoulou, Mercedes-AMG Team BLACK FALCON #4: “The world’s strongest teams and the best GT3 drivers will be on the grid at Spa. It is the toughest GT3 race in the world. The competition is that close now and the cars are built that well it’s now a 24-hour sprint race. For us as drivers it means we have to be focused and really have to push in every corner, on every straight and every lap to succeed. We have a strong team, driver line up and the car to do it, the Mercedes-AMG GT3, it’s been proven before and it will be proven again to be one of the cars to beat. We will give our best shot to achieve a top position and hopefully we’ll be able to celebrate on the podium at the end.”

Maximilian Buhk, Mercedes-AMG Team HTP Motorsport #84: “Of course, I would like to repeat my victory from 2013, the year of my debut. But in the Spa 24 Hours in particular, there is no way to predict what is going to happen. Therefore, first of all, I would be happy with a clean and faultless race. We will try to score as many points as possible for the Blancpain GT Series. When you don’t score at Spa at all, it can ruin your entire championship campaign. I am also looking forward very much to the parade. After all, when do you have the chance to drive a GT3 cars on normal country roads? The fans also play their part and are always making this event a very special one.”

Stefan Wendl, head of Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing: “For Mercedes-AMG, the 24-hour race in the Ardennes always is a special event because it is here that the legend that is the AMG racing brand started back in 1971. This year, we are celebrating our 50th brand anniversary and victory at Spa would fit in very nicely, of course. Having just missed out on the overall win by finishing second last year, we still have unfinished business. I am delighted that the demand for our Mercedes-AMG GT3 is still very high and the feedback from the teams is so positive. After the large entry in the Nürburgring 24 Hours, this now also shows at Spa where a total of eleven Mercedes-AMG GT3 will be on the grid. Moreover, I am very happy to welcome a new member of the Customer Racing family at the occasion of the 24-hour race that can be seen in action at the race tracks at the end of the year.”

Driver-team allocation Mercedes-AMG Motorsport 24h Spa*

Start nr. Class. Car. Team. Drivers. (in alphabetical order)
00 /
Pro
Mercedes-AMG GT3
GOODSMILE RACING & Team UKYO
Tatsuya Kataoka (JPN), Kamui Kobayashi (JPN), Nobuteru Taniguchi (JPN)
4 /
Pro
Mercedes-AMG GT3
Mercedes-AMG Team BLACK FALCON
Yelmer Buurman (NED), Adam Christodoulou (GBR), Luca Stolz (GER)
15 /
Pro Am
Mercedes-AMG GT3
BLACK FALCON
Jeroen Bleekemolen (NED), Dore Chaponik (USA), Scott Heckert (USA), Brett Sandberg (USA)
16 /
Pro Am
Mercedes-AMG GT3
BLACK FALCON
Maximilian Götz (GER), Marvin Kirchhöfer (GER), Oliver Morley (GBR), Miguel Toril (ESP)
18 /
Pro Am
Mercedes-AMG GT3
BLACK FALCON
Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al Faisal (KSA), Hubert Haupt (GER), Gabriele Piana (ITA), Renger van der Zande (NED)
48 /
Pro
Mercedes-AMG GT3
MANN-FILTER Team HTP Motorsport
Patrick Assenheimer (GER), Indy Dontje (NED), Kenneth Heyer (GER)
84 /
Pro
Mercedes-AMG GT3
Mercedes-AMG Team HTP Motorsport
Maximilian Buhk (GER), Jimmy Eriksson (SWE), Franck Perera (FRA)
85 /
Pro
Mercedes-AMG GT3
HTP Motorsport
Dominik Baumann (AUT), Edward Sandström (SWE), Fabian Schiller (GER)
88 /
Pro
Mercedes-AMG GT3
Mercedes-AMG Team AKKA ASP
Daniel Juncadella (ESP), Felix Serralles (PUR), Tristan Vautier (FRA)
89 /
Pro Am
Mercedes-AMG GT3
AKKA ASP
Ludovic Badey (FRA), Nico Bastian (GER), Alex Fontana (SUI), Daniele Perfetti (SUI)
90 /
Pro
Mercedes-AMG GT3
AKKA ASP
Raffaele Marciello (ITA), Michael Meadows (GBR), Edoardo Mortara (ITA)

* subject to changes at short notice

Source. Mercedes/Photo. John Patterson

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