Strakka Racing is pleased to confirm that it will be entering two Mercedes-AMG GT3 cars in the remaining Intercontinental GT Challenge races in 2019 as a performance team of Mercedes-AMG. Later this month the British squad will take on the California 8 Hours at Laguna Seca before the calendar moves on to the Spa 24 Hours, the Suzuka 10 Hours and the Kyalami 9 Hours.
Leading the charge in the #42 will be Gary Paffett, Tristan Vautier and Lewis Williamson. Christina Nielsen will compete in all four races in the #43, alongside drivers Adam Christodoulou, Dominik Baumann and Adrian Henry D’Silva.
Gary Paffett is a two time DTM champion, taking the crown in 2005 and 2018, with 23 race wins and 48 podiums to his name. The 37-year-old will compete in the Intercontinental GT Challenge alongside his driving duties in the FIA Formula E Championship with HWA. Reigning Intercontinental GT Challenge Driver’s Champion Tristan Vautier also has accolades including the 2011 Star Mazda Championship title and was the 2012 Firestone Indy Lights Champion. He has a vast amount of experience in sportscar racing, with race wins including the 2016 Blancpain GT Sprint race final in Barcelona. Lewis Williamson continues with Strakka Racing for the fourth year. 2018 saw him pick up the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup Pro-Am Drivers Championship title.
Danish racing ace and double IMSA champion Christina Nielsen teams up with Strakka Racing for the first time in the #43 this season. She is the first female to win the WeatherTech Sportscar Championship series title and has won marque endurance events including the 12 Hours of Sebring and 6 Hours of Watkins Glen. She will be joined by Adam Christodoulou, who won the 2008 British Formula Renault championship, the Star Mazda Championship title a year later, the 2016 Nürburgring 24 hours and was 2018 Champion of the Continents 24 Hour series. Dominik Baumann has achieved success over the past six years in sportscar racing, including winning the 24h Nürburgring qualifying race and the FIA GT3 European Championship.
Due to business commitments that clash with the race calendar, Nick Leventis has decided to take a sabbatical from driving for the 2019 season. This will also include the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup.
The California 8 Hours will take place 28-30 March at Laguna Seca Raceway, California, USA.
Jay Davenport, Strakka Racing Director: “We are very happy with our line-up for IGTC this season. We have a lot of experience and a lot of success with the drivers that will be lining up in the #42 and #43 and we cannot wait to get on track at Laguna Seca at the end of the month to get our campaign started.”
Christina Nielsen #43: “I’m thrilled to team up with a team and a brand that for sure has proved to be among the best in business. I drove the Mercedes-AMG GT3 for the first time at Bathurst in February, and I can’t wait to get back in that awesome car again. I like new challenges, and this time I really found some. This is a new championship for me, a new car and a new team, and I’m looking forward to it. There’s a lot of races ahead on tracks I have never been at, but luckily the first race with Strakka will be at one of my favourites. I can’t wait to get back to Laguna Seca with this new squad.”
Gary Paffett, #42: “I’m really looking forward to starting the IGTC season. I competed at Bathurst with Black Falcon and Craft Bamboo and now I’m excited to get the rest of the season starting with Strakka racing and working with my new teammates. I’ve never been to Laguna Seca before so I’m looking forwards to driving on that track and can’t wait to get going. After that we go to Spa, which is a circuit that I know, and I’ve competed in the 24hrs a couple of times already. It’s going to be a good year doing this alongside my Formula E racing.”