Two Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing teams will be battling for respective class championships while a third will run its first race in a Mercedes-AMG GT3 on a familiar track at the Utah Motorsports Campus in this weekend’s Pirelli World Challenge SprintX Grand Prix of Utah, August 11 – 13. A doubleheader race weekend featuring Rounds 7 and 8 of the 10-race Pirelli World Challenge SprintX season, both CRP Racing and Black Swan Racing will be looking to bolster their championship bids in Utah while DXDT Racing will make its debut with Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing on the 3.048-mile, 14-turn road course at the Utah Motorsports Campus..
Co-drivers Ryan Dalziel and Daniel Morad race the No. 2 CRP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the top-tier SprintX GT Pro division. The duo won in their first race weekend together at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) in April and have been in contention for the GT Pro class championship ever since.
Drivers Dalziel and Morad come to Utah second in the SprintX GT Pro championship standings with 84 points, 23 points behind the class leader and two points ahead of the third-place competitor. The No. 2 CRP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 team also has 84 points and heads into this weekend’s doubleheader in a three-way tie for second in the Sprint X GT Pro team championship standings
Tim Pappas co-drives the No. 54 Black Swan Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the SprintX GT Pro/Am class with professional driver teammate Jeroen Bleekemolen. The duo won the GT Pro/AM class in the same VIR race in which Dalziel and Morad were victorious.
Pappas and Bleekemolen also hit the podium one SprintX race ago at Lime Rock Park with a third-place Pro/Am showing. The duo comes to Utah fourth in the SprintX Pro/Am standings with 91 points. Pappas and Bleekemolen are four points behind the third-place competitor, who is not scheduled to race this weekend, and only 13 points shy of the driver that is currently second in the championship.
Making their 2017 SprintX Pro/Am debut, David Askew and Aaron Povoledo co-drive the No. 63 DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3. Based in a race shop near the Turn 1 grandstands at the Utah Motorsports Campus paddock, DXDT Racing tested their Mercedes-AMG GT3 on their home track in May.The team also participated in a series-organized pre-season test at VIR earlier in 2017.
A complementary championship to the more traditional Pirelli World Challenge sprint series, SprintX events require two drivers per car and a driver change in both of each weekend’s 60 minute sprint races.
Following unofficial testing today, the Pirelli World Challenge SprintX schedule gets underway with two one hour practice sessions on Friday, August 11.
Saturday, August 12, begins with SprintX qualifying at 10:45 a.m. MDT before the first of the weekend’s two one-hour races at 1:40 p.m. MDT.
The final race of the weekend is scheduled to green at 12:30 p.m. MDT on Sunday, August 13.
Ryan Dalziel, Driver – No. 2 CRP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3: “The last couple of races have been tough for the CRP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3. Unfortunately, we are not in the points hunt for the Sprint championship, however, we are still contenders for the SprintX championship. Daniel and I are looking to keep that attack alive at Utah. I’ve had good success at Utah in the past and hopefully we get a little Balance of Performance (BoP) help for Utah so we can be competitive again. The team has done a fantastic job in recent races dialing in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 chassis, but we’ve just been struggling per the rules compared with our competitors. I’m confident Pirelli World Challenge will make the necessary adjustment to each car so the racing can be closer than the previous couple of events. I can’t wait to get to Salt Lake City. It’s a town I really enjoy and a track I love. For everyone at Devilbiss and HAWK Performance we need to be back to a winning way.”
Daniel Morad, Driver – No. 2 CRP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3: “I’m looking forward to rejoining CRP Racing and Ryan Dalziel in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 after the long break from SprintX action. I’ve been following along with the team’s progress, and I can’t wait to get back to work with the whole crew. We’re sitting in second place in the SprintX standings, so consistent, good results are critical in these last two weekends.”
Jeroen Bleekemolen, Driver – No. 54 Black Swan Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3: “I haven’t been to Utah since 2010. We ran a different track configuration back then, but in unofficial testing today the Mercedes-AMG GT3 really seems to like the track we are using this weekend. It’s very hot here, but the car has a nice air flow inside that will help with that. The goal was always to finish high up in this championship. A top-three would be awesome but we won’t give up on the championship as long as we have a chance. At the same time, I hope we can win more races this season. This weekend will be crucial to set up our chances for the final races at Circuit of The Americas. The 2010 race was the only time I have been to Utah before. That was also with Black Swan Racing and Tim Pappas. We won that race so our track record is 100% here! Let’s try to keep it that way.”
Aaron Povoledo, Driver – No. 63 DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3: “I’m beyond excited to finally take this Mercedes-AMG GT3 into battle! We did two days of testing in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 here back in May, which went really well. Our competition has been running and tuning on their cars all year. We need to be mindful that this really is our first day of school and not get distracted by what the others are doing. We will just put 110% of our focus into making the best of every session of every day, and all of the moments in between. We also tested at VIR earlier this year, and right out of the box the times we did would have put us on the front row of the SprintX race there. That’s a testament to what an incredible machine this Mercedes-AMG GT3 is. It’s hands down one of the best thought-out and designed GT cars I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. So, first day of school or not, I race to win and we have an incredible car and team behind us!”