Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 Prepared for 2011 Racing Season
The SLS AMG GT3 Gullwing is prepared for the new season in Le Castellet, it will enter 14 race series around the world
by Jim Davis | 24 March 2011
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Following the successful conclusion of the development and test program, deliveries of the SLS AMG GT3 to customer teams are moving forward as planned. A total of 31 orders have been received for the 2011 racing season, and all the vehicles will be in the hands of the customers by early July. During configuration runs on the Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet (France), the teams and racing drivers were able to familiarise themselves with the racing version of the gull-wing model and commence their setup work for the 2011 motor sport season. Bernd Schneider, five-time DTM Champion for Mercedes-Benz, and Thomas Jäger, also a Mercedes-Benz DTM driver from 2000 to 2003, were on hand together with the AMG Customer Sports Team to provide knowledgeable support.
“This year the SLS AMG GT3 will appear in numerous national and international race series. All our AMG personnel are looking forward to this immensely,” says Ola Källenius, General Manager of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. “With the SLS AMG GT3, AMG is once again demonstrating its enormous experience from more than 40 years of motorsport, and its great expertise in the development of unique high-performance cars.”
The focus of the configuration runs in Le Castellet was not only on different suspension and aerodynamic setups, as the engineers and technicians also had the opportunity to practice pitstops and tyre-changes by way of intensive preparation for the 2011 motorsport season. And it was not only technical aspects that were important during the two-day event in Le Castellet, as an attractive media and PR package was also presented for the customer teams and drivers. Professional photographers and film teams produced extensive material which will be freely available to the teams during the 2011 season.
Backup by the AMG Customer Sports Team during the season
The AMG Customer Sports Team will also give support to the customer teams on matters of servicing and replacement parts within Europe. This support concept for the 2011 motorsport season envisages comprehensive backup during the ADAC GT Masters, the Nürburgring VLN Endurance Championship, the FIA GT3 European Championship and the 24-hour races at Nürburgring and Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium). A 24-hour parts service and a technical hotline will be provided for all other racing events and test runs. As the AMG customer sports coordinator, Thomas Jäger will support the teams and provide a central point of contact for all organisational and technical matters.
Expert support from Bernd Schneider and Thomas Jäger
During the rollout event in Le Castellet organised by Mercedes-AMG, record-holding DTM Champion Bernd Schneider and Thomas Jäger were on hand to give advice and assistance to the teams. Schneider and Jäger have absolved the entire development and test programme for the SLS AMG GT3, and took part in four races with it in autumn 2010 and January 2011. With one victory and two third places, the racing version of the gull-wing model amply demonstrated its potential.
In 2011 a total of 16 customer teams from 8 nations will be at the starting lines with the SLS AMG GT3:
- Black Falcon (Germany)
- Eurotech Racing (Great Britain)
- G-Private Racing (Germany)
- Graff Racing (France)
- Gravity Charouz Racing (Czech Republic)
- Heico Motorsport (Germany)
- Horn Motorsport (Germany)
- Mamerow Racing (Germany)
- MS RACING (Germany)
- Petronas Syntium Team (Malaysia)
- Preci-Spark (Great Britain)
- Race & Event GmbH (Germany)
- ROWE RACING (Germany)
- Sports & You (Portugal)
- Viage KRK Racing (Belgium)
- Vodka O Racing (Australia)
Well-known drivers in the racing gull-wing will include Kenneth Heyer (Wegberg, 31, Black Falcon), Lance David Arnold (Duisburg, 24, Heico Motorsport), Olivier Panis (France, 44, Graff Racing), Jarek Janis (Czech Republic, 27, Gravity Charouz Racing) and Anthony Kumpen (Belgium, 32, Viage KRK Racing).
In 2011 the SLS AMG GT3 will compete in 14 different race series conducted under FIA GT3 rules in 8 countries, and the race calendar also includes three prestigious 24-hour races.
- ADAC GT Masters (Germany)
- Nürburgring VLN Endurance Championship (Germany)
- Nürburgring 24-hour race (Germany)
- Spa-Francorchamps 24-hour race (Belgium)
- Silverstone 24-hour race (Great Britain)
- FIA GT3 European Championship
- GT3 Endurance Series
- British GT Masters (Great Britain)
- Britcar GT Championship (Great Britain)
- FFSA GT Series (France)
- Czech Endurance Championship
- Belcar (Belgium)
- Spanish and Portuguese GT Championship
- Australian GT Championship
The racing version of the SLS AMG is developed and produced by AMG in close collaboration with HWA AG. The HWA team is one of the most successful in international motorsport, as witness 10 driver’s titles in the DTM and ITC, as well as two FIA GT Championship titles. No other brand has won as many DTM races and DTM titles as AMG-Mercedes.
The SLS AMG GT3 is built by HWA AG, while its AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine is produced in the AMG custom shop. Both the car and engine are assembled completely by hand.