With victories and titles in the most significant race series, Mercedes-AMG Motorsport has continued the success story of its customer sports programme in the year 2021. From the range of over 30 championship titles that could be won in the course of the season, still challenging because of the Covid-pandemic, the DTM drivers’ title for Maximilian Götz (GER) stands out. Moreover, Mercedes-AMG underlined its aspiration as a globally successful performance and sports car brand by winning the manufacturers’ titles in DTM and GT World Challenge. Across the globe, the Customer Racing Teams competed in 474 races and were able to celebrate 93 race wins and 229 class wins in the process. In total, 573 podium results for drivers with the Mercedes-AMG GT3 and the Mercedes-AMG GT4 were achieved.
In the eleventh year of its existence, the success of the Mercedes-AMG Motorsport customer sports programme remains unabated. In spite of the restrictions that were still in place because of the pandemic, the number of race participations was just as high as in the year 2019. From Brazil to Sweden, from Lithuania to Thailand: in 26 countries all over the world, the Customer Racing Teams participated in a total of 474 races. The international competitive capabilities of the race cars from Affalterbach and the reliable worldwide support convince existing and new customers in equal manner. As a result, over 200 Mercedes-AMG GT3s have been delivered worldwide.
Drivers’ and manufacturers’ titles in DTM
No less than five teams embarked on a campaign for the title in DTM – the largest contingent of all manufacturers represented in the series. After convincing achievements, the first manufacturers’ championship win for Mercedes-AMG in the new GT3 era was already sealed during the penultimate race weekend. In the heart-stopping finale at Norisring, Mercedes-AMG Team HRT driver Maximilian Götz then added the icing on the cake, the 35-year-old securing the coveted DTM drivers’ title with a pair of race wins. In total, the teams with the Mercedes-AMG GT3 scored six wins and 18 podium results.
Accomplishments in endurance racing highlights
In January, the motorsport year had already started with a victory for the history books. In the Daytona 24-hour race, Mercedes-AMG Motorsport achieved a sensational 1-2 in the GTD class. Indy Dontje (NED), Philip Ellis (SUI), Maro Engel (GER) and Russell Ward (USA) won the Rolex 24 At Daytona with the #57 WINWARD Racing entry, followed by Mikael Grenier (CAN), Kenny Habul (AUS), Raffaele Marciello (ITA) and Luca Stolz (GER) in the #75 SunEnergy1 Racing car. It was the maiden victory for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 at the legendary American oval.
The other two 24-hour highlights during the season ended with podium results, too. In the ADAC TOTAL 24h-race at the Nürburgring, affected by changeable weather conditions, Maximilian Götz, Daniel Juncadella (ESP) and Raffaele Marciello drove the Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed car to third place after a spectacular finish. In the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa, the Silver Cup teams convinced with a 1-2: Madpanda Motorsport secured first place in class with drivers Rik Breukers (NED), Ezequiel Perez Companc (ARG), Patrick Kujala (FIN) and Ricardo Sanchez (MEX), followed by Toksport WRT with Marvin Dienst (GER), Axcil Jefferies (ZIM), Paul Petit (FRA) and Oscar Tunjo (COL).
A class win in the Indianapolis 8 Hour, a round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge, by SunEnergy1 Racing was the successful conclusion to the season of the major endurance racing events. Mikael Grenier, Kenny Habul and Martin Konrad (AUT) finished the 8-hour race in first place of the Pro-Am class.
Manufacturers’ title in GT World Challenge
Mercedes-AMG Motorsport underlined the global competitiveness of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 with its repeated manufacturers’ title win in GT World Challenge. In the three continental series in America, Australia and Europe, the Customer Racing Teams racked up numerous podium finishes, resulting into the title in the competition with six renowned brands going to Affalterbach for the third consecutive time.
In the 15 sprint and endurance races with the strongly contested GT World Challenge Europe, a Mercedes-AMG GT3 was first across the finish line on five occasions. Four victories were achieved by Maro Engel and Luca Stolz for Mercedes-AMG Team Toksport WRT, the two securing runner-up spot in the Sprint Cup drivers’ standings as a result. Felipe Fraga (BRA), Jules Gounon (FRA) and Raffaele Marciello, meanwhile, added the fifth race win for Mercedes-AMG Team AKKA ASP. Marciello claimed runner-up spot in the series’ overall standings as a result. With a total of ten class wins in the Silver and Pro-Am categories, Mercedes-AMG was the most successful brand in the field.
A lock-out of the top three in ADAC GT Masters
The Mercedes-AMG Motorsport teams also had outstanding achievements in the national top series. The undisputed season highlights include a lock-out of the top three in ADAC GT Masters. At Lausitzring, Team Zakspeed Mobil Krankenkasse Racing, MANN-FILTER Team LANDGRAF – HTP/WWR and Mercedes-AMG Team Toksport WRT delivered a clean sweep of the podium for the brand. With twelve podium finishes and three victories from the series’ total of seven race weekends, the drivers with the Mercedes-AMG GT3 consistently delivered good results, so that three teams still had chances of winning the title going into the finale at the Nürburgring. Eventually, Maro Engel and Luca Stolz (Mercedes-AMG Team Toksport WRT) concluded the season as the best-placed Mercedes-AMG duo in third position of the drivers’ standings.
Championship titles in Nürburgring Endurance Series
The Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS) also contributed to the comprehensive collection of titles. In three classes, Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing Teams ended up in first place of the final standigs. Janine Shoffner (USA) and GetSpeed Performance were crowned champions in the SP9 Am class. With the Mercedes-AMG GT4, Mustafa Mehmet Kaya (TUR) and Mike Stursberg (GER) of the BLACK FALCON Team TEXTAR won the SP8T category. The winners’ trophy in the additional GT4 class SP10 went to Marcel Marchewicz and Schnitzelalm Racing.
Prestigious victories in Asia
In Asia, Customer Racing Teams also delivered prestigious achievements. Once again, Mercedes-AMG was victorious in the legendary Macau Grand Prix: following an overnight effort by the Craft-Bamboo Racing pit crew, Darryl O‘Young secured victory in the Macau GT Cup at the Guia Circuit. Meanwhile, ENDLESS SPORTS sealed the class win with the Mercedes-AMG GT4 in the 24-hour race at Fuji.
Next to wins and titles in series all over the world, the customer teams and their drivers again had the possibility to secure the coveted trophies in the Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing Championship this season. The winners in the brand-internal competition will be announced on Friday, 17th December.
Christoph Sagemüller, head of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport: “This year, we have further expanded one of the structural pillars of our involvement in motorsport. Next to the comprehensive Customer Racing Programme all over the world, there was also the successful start of our Mercedes-AMG GT3 in DTM. That this effort was rewarded with two titles in the maiden season right away is making us really happy! Thus, our customer sports system has proven itself once again. It is the foundation for our drivers and teams who again have represented the Mercedes-AMG brand all over the world in a first-class way. Behind all the titles and victories, there is a lot of effort and passion from everyone involved. For that, I would like to thank all the drivers, teams and the colleagues at Mercedes-AMG. Special thanks also go out to our strong partners. Without them, we wouldn’t have achieved these accomplishments.”
Stefan Wendl, head of Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing: “This year has shown once again that no other Customer Racing Programme is as wide-ranging as ours. We have celebrated success at the most legendary race tracks of this world and we have won the GT World Challenge manufacturers’ title for the third time in a row. That is making us incredibly proud. Surely, the two DTM titles were the most emotional ones. Many thanks to all the drivers and teams who have contributed to these great achievements! My thanks also go out to HWA AG as the teams were able to rely on its worldwide support while running the cars.”