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MERCEDES-AMG CELEBRATES MOST SUCCESSFUL CUSTOMER RACING SEASON TO DATE

In the 2022 season, Mercedes-AMG has continued its success story in customer racing with race and title wins in the world’s most significant GT series. The teams with GT3 and GT4 cars from Affalterbach raced on all six continents and racked up 63 teams’ and drivers’ titles as well as four manufacturers’ titles for AMG in the process. That is a new record in the twelve-year history of the Customer Racing programme. Highlights are three titles in the Intercontinental GT Challenge (IGTC), the overall win in the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa, the ADAC GT Masters championship win and the title in the Fanatec GT World Challenge Powered by AWS manufacturers’ standings. Worldwide, the Customer Racing Teams competed in over 470 races and celebrated 80 race and 225 class wins while doing so. In total, over 600 podium results could be secured. The international competitiveness of the Customer Racing cars and the reliable worldwide support convinced both existing and new customers. As a result, over 240 Mercedes-AMG GT3s and over 180 Mercedes-AMG GT4 were delivered by this time. In the 2023 season, the new Mercedes-AMG GT2 further extends the portfolio.

Outstanding IGTC and endurance performance

During the endurance racing highlights, the Customer Racing Teams presented themselves in excellent form all year long. In the highly competitive IGTC, there were four consecutive race wins across two seasons. It started with Raffaele Marciello (SUI), Jules Gounon (FRA) and Timur Boguslavskiy (FIA) in February 2022. The Mercedes-AMG Team AKKA ASP trio won the Kyalami 9 Hour, the postponed finale of the previous season. After that, the historic 1-2-3 in the Bathurst 12-hour race got this year’s IGTC season off to a perfect start: first place for SunEnergy1 Racing with Jules Gounon, Kenny Habul (AUS), Martin Konrad (AUT) and Luca Stolz (GER). Second place for Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Racing with Maro Engel (GER), Daniel Juncadella (ESP) and Kevin Tse (MAC). And third place for Triple Eight Race Engineering with Broc Feeney (AUS), Shane van Gisbergen (NZL) and Prince Jefri Ibrahim (MAS).

The successful streak in the IGTC reached its next highlight during the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa. To celebrate AMG’s 55th anniversary in style, Mercedes-AMG Team AKKODIS ASP drivers Jules Gounon, Daniel Juncadella and Raffaele Marciello brought the long-awaited overall win back to Affalterbach for the first time since 2013. In second place, Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed’s Luca Stolz, Maximilian Götz (GER) and Steijn Schothorst (NED) completed the 1-2 in the world’s biggest GT3 event. On the next IGTC tour stop, the Indianapolis 8 Hour, Mercedes-AMG was unbeatable, too: for Mercedes-AMG Team Craft Bamboo Racing with Daniel Juncadella, Raffaele Marciello und Daniel Morad (CAN), the overall win was a reward for a remarkable recovery drive. In the season finale, the Gulf 12 Hours at Yas Marina Circuit, AMG driver Daniel Juncadella was crowned the new IGTC champion. Prior to the finale, Mercedes-AMG had already secured the manufacturers’ title while Kenny Habul and Martin Konrad had sealed the Pro-Am championship.

In the 50th running of the ADAC TotalEnergies 24h Nürburgring, the Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing Teams added another endurance racing highlight. An intense race saw Maximilian Götz, Adam Christodoulou (GBR) and Fabian Schiller (GER) finish second overall for Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed. Their teammates Maro Engel, Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella finished in third place in the anniversary race at the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife.

A range of titles in GT World Challenge

In GT World Challenge with its various endurance and sprint race events, Mercedes-AMG was also successful and won the manufacturers’ title for the fourth time. In the continental branches of the series (America, Asia, Australia, Europe), the Customer Racing Teams racked up numerous overall and class wins. In the process, the drivers’ and teams’ title wins in Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS for Raffaele Marciello and the AKKODIS ASP Team deserve a special mention. Together with his fellow drivers Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella, Marciello also came out on top in the prestigious Endurance Cup classification, as did the AKKODIS ASP Team. In the Asian championship, the TripleEight JMR team was crowned in the teams’ championship.

Drivers’ title in ADAC GT Masters and runner-up in DTM

Like in the European GT World Challenge, Raffaele Marciello also was the benchmark in ADAC GT Masters. With his MANN-FILTER Team Landgraf, the AMG driver consistently scored points throughout the season and secured the drivers’ championship as a result. Second place in the teams’ standings for MANN-FILTER Team Landgraf and third place in the drivers’ standings for Drago Racing Team ZVO pairing Jules Gounon and Fabian Schiller rounded out the good season result for Mercedes-AMG in the popular and competitive sprint series.

After the the drivers’ and manufacturers’ title win in the 2021 DTM season, Mercedes-AMG and Lucas Auer (AUT) were co-favourites for the 2022 DTM crown in both the manufacturers’ and drivers’ standings. In a pair of dramatic races in the Hockenheimring finale, Auer scored a win to secure runner-up spot in the drivers’ standings. In the battle for the manufacturers’ title, Mercedes-AMG also secured second place.

Mercedes-AMG GT3 also strong in national championships

Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing Teams also enjoyed championship success at national level. In the British GT Championship, RAM Racing claimed the teams’ and drivers’ titles with Jules Gounon and Ian Loggie (GBR). In the newly- British Endurance Championship, Tom Jackson and Wayne Marrs (both GBR) of the Rob Boston Racing team were crowned as the inaugural champions of the series. George Kurtz (USA) of the Crowdstrike Racing by Riley Motorsports team competed in GT America and secured the title in the North American SRO series in commanding fashion. In France, Racetivity with Emmanuel Collard and Charles-Henri Samani (both FRA) beat the competition in the Ultimate Cup Series.

Worldwide GT4 achievements

The Mercedes-AMG GT4 has been racing worldwide since 2018 and again proved to be a candidate for victories in 2022. In the North American IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, Mercedes-AMG won the manufacturers’ title as well as the drivers’ championship in the GS BRONZE class by Gary Ferrera and Kris Wilson (both USA). In the GT4 European Series, Jean Luc Beaubelique and Jim Pla (both FRA), together with the AKKODIS ASP Team, won the drivers’ and teams’ titles in the Pro-Am class. The team also secured the AM class title. GTO Racing Team’s  Brian Lee (TPE) and Hideto Yasuoka (JPN) were successful in GT World Challenge Asia with their Mercedes-AMG GT4. The 5ZIGEN team scored an early class title win in the Japanese Super Taikyu series. At the Nürburgring Nordschleife, the Waldow Performance team ran a Mercedes-AMG GT4 in the Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS), enabling its driver Janis Waldow (GER) to win the SP10 class championship title.

Mercedes-AMG GT2 and Mercedes-AMG GT Track Series extend customer sports programme

Next to the sporting achievements, two relevant new products marked the 2022 Customer Racing year. In March, the performance and sports car brand from Affalterbach presented the Mercedes-AMG GT Track Series. The strictly limited special edition has been conceived for use during track days and club sport events. In December 2022, the Mercedes-AMG GT2 was unveiled, the most powerful homologated race car by Mercedes-AMG to date. The new GT2 particularly aims at ambitious amateur drivers, male and female. With this car, Mercedes-AMG bridges the gap between the increasingly professionalised GT3 segment and the entry-level segment with its GT4 option. The new race car will have its first outings in 2023.

Glamorous end-of-season celebration in Barcelona

To celebrate the record season 2022, the Customer Racing family already got together in Barcelona at the beginning of November. After a two-year hiatus, the traditional “Night of the Stars” could be held in the presence of teams, drivers and co-operation partners again for the first time. The highlight of the gala was the awards ceremony for the winners of the brand-internal Customer Racing championship. For eight years already, Mercedes-AMG has been honouring the most successful teams in the customer sports programme with a high-quality trophy and exclusive prizes from its partners. In this way, the performance and sports car brand from Affalterbach expresses its appreciation for the exemplary representation of its cars in the various race series all over the world.

“For Mercedes-AMG, the 2022 motorsport year was a two-sided affair. While the Formula 1 season was very challenging, the Customer Racing programme presented itself more successful than ever before. Our customer teams with the Mercedes-AMG GT3 and the Mercedes-AMG GT4 put in an outstanding performance, showing great team spirit in the process. From all the achievements, I am particularly happy with our 1-2 in the Spa 24-hour race. Over 50 years ago, this race laid the foundation of the legend of the AMG motorsport brand. The spirit from that era lives on in our customer sports programme. For the expansion of the programme, we presented the new Mercedes-AMG GT2 in 2022, making an important step for a successful future. I am proud of everyone involved who made this record year for our successful Customer Racing programme possible. Motorsport is a team effort and that starts with us in Affalterbach. The entire team has not only brought cars capable of winning to the market, we also offer a worldwide customer-oriented support system without which all these achievements wouldn’t have been possible either.”
Christoph Sagemüller, head of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport

For the year 2022, we must clear a bigger space on our history wall as we have never had so many great achievements in customer racing before.  Our teams have completed an impressive record season with the Mercedes-AMG GT3 and the Mercedes-AMG GT4. Especially in endurance racing, the road to victory almost invariably went through Affalterbach, as the Intercontinental GT Challenge showed. In 2022, our AMG Motorsport family has grown once more. And it is nice to see that, despite all the internal competition, everybody is pulling into the same direction whenever it is necessary. Many thanks to all the drivers and teams who contributed to the great achievements of the past season. Moreover, my thanks also go out to HWA AG as the teams once again could perfectly rely on its worldwide support while running the cars.”
Stefan Wendl, head of Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing.

Source. Mercedes

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