In one of the absolute worst kept secrets in all of motorsports Merceds AMG has made the not so secret news official. They will be coming Stateside with their AMG GT3 and will race in both IMSA and PWC. For IMSA Mercedes has partnered with Riley Motorsports. They will run a two-car factory-supported program. One car running under the “AMG-Team Riley Motorsports” banner and a second entry for WeatherTech Racing. A third AMG GT3 will be racing in the hands of Aussie Racer Kenny Habul. That officially makes it 3 new marques running in IMSA next season. Mercedes joins Acura and Lexus as new teams competing against the established might of Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Audi. The GTD class is now a full blown Manufactuer battle ground and they will take the fight to North America’s greatest racetracks.
“North America is traditionally a very important market for Mercedes-AMG and the enthusiasm for our performance vehicles is tremendous,” said Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management for Mercedes-AMG. The high demand for the Mercedes-AMG GT3, particularly after the legendary 1-2-3-4 finish at this year’s 24- hour race at the Nürburgring, has inspired us to establish a Customer Sports Program in the U.S. I’m very much looking forward to cooperating with all of the teams and wish them success in the upcoming season.”
As part of the partnership, Mercedes will provide at-track support at every event next year. In addition they will be launching a technology and logistics center in Moorsville, N.C., believed to be operated by Riley.
“Our aspiration for expanding the AMG Customer Sports Program in the U.S. is to provide the same level of comprehensive support that we have provided to teams in Europe for several years,” said Jochen Bitzer, Director of AMG Customer Sports Program. “This requires a close collaboration with the teams in terms of knowhow and race track expertise, which we are now ideally positioned for. We are very excited for a thrilling and hopefully successful season.”
According to Mercedes-AMG, additional teams are “scheduled to announce” their North American Racing plans, believed to be in PWC. Mercedes is coming in a big way, IMSA’s GTD class is quickly becoming one of the premier classes in motorsport. On the whole IMSA is quickly becoming a heavy hitter in World Sportscar Racing. The GTLM class is among the best in the world, GTD is quickly on the rise and the New DPi formula is attracting major interest.