The grand finale to the 2017 24H Series takes place this weekend at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. In this US round of the championship, Hofor Racing powered by Car Collection aim to extend their successful run in the 24H Series and also to win the Continents Championship. The Swiss team is in second place in all eight classifications, one point behind the current leaders, and will be fighting for victory in the A6 AM class as well as for the championships. BLACK FALCON, IDEC SPORT RACING and ROFGO Racing also each have one Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the A6 Pro classification and will be keen to end the campaign on a high. The endurance race on the prestigious US racetrack will additionally feature two Mercedes-AMG GT4s entered by Mercedes-AMG test teams BLACK FALCON and HTP Motorsport.
Three questions for Thomas Jäger
Thomas, in your role as test and development driver, you are very much involved in work on the new Mercedes-AMG GT4. How satisfied are you with the current state of the new vehicle?
Thomas Jäger: We are very satisfied. The Mercedes-AMG GT4 has met our high expectations. In our initial test at the Nürburgring, namely the six-hour VLN race, we won our class at the first attempt. And on our debut at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, we even achieved a one-two in the GT4 class of the 12-hour race. What’s more, another Mercedes-AMG GT4 started from pole position and set the fastest race lap. This shows that the AMG GT4 is not only fast but has staying power.
You’ve just mentioned the successful tests, and there’s another one scheduled to take place under race conditions at the weekend, with two Mercedes-AMG GT4s competing in the 24-hour race at the Circuit of the Americas. What further insights are you hoping to obtain?
Thomas Jäger: Our objective is to perfect the Mercedes-AMG GT4 for trackday drivers, whether they are amateurs or professionals. This calls for extensive testing. The outings on the Nürburgring and at Spa were always going to provide different weather conditions, including some heavy rainfall. In the endurance race at Austin (Texas), we will have another set of drivers behind the wheel. In this way, we get important feedback from different users which we can then incorporate into the ultimate fine-tuning.
In 2018, the Mercedes-AMG GT4 will officially go into race day action. What are your expectations for the new vehicle?
Thomas Jäger: We want to present our first customer teams with a fully developed car that is capable of winning right from the start. Its first deployments will be the 24-hour race in Dubai and the four-hour race at Daytona. Our previous tests and results have shown that the Mercedes-AMG GT4 has huge potential. My thanks go to all the test teams and our development partner HWA who have done a great job so far. Not to forget all the Mercedes-AMG employees in Affalterbach for having laid the groundwork for the AMG GT4 with the Mercedes-AMG GT R road vehicle. We look forward to the 2018 motorsport season with a new car, new racing series and hopefully many successes.
Source. Mercedes/Photo. Gruppe C Photography