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Successful first half of the 2012 season for AMG Customer Sports: 18 victories for the SLS AMG GT3 in 2012
- At the top of the table in the FIA GT1 World Championship
- Lead in the driver's ranking of the FIA European GT3 Championship
- Second place in the overall ranking of the ADAC GT Masters
- Third place in the team ranking of the Blancpain Endurance Series
- Preparations for the 24-hours of Spa-Francorchamps in full swing
- AMG Customer Sports Portal assures an optimal supply of spare parts
Affalterbach – Around the globe, 25 customer teams have achieved exemplary good results with the SLS AMG GT3. In the motorsport season of 2012, the race version of the gullwing car starts in more than 15 race series and on four continents. So far, the customer teams have managed to achieve 18 victories in 2012 (dated 25th June 2012).Ola Källenius, chairman of the board of the Mercedes-AMG GmbH: "We are very pleased about the numerous successes achieved by our customer teams with the race version of the gullwing car. So far, we have shipped 49 SLS AMG GT3s worldwide."
FIA GT1 World Championship: The AMG Customer Team ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport confidently takes the lead of the team ranking with 104 points. Having finished among the top three for five times in the first four out of nine race weekends, the German gullwing team is among the challengers for the title. The driver team Marc Basseng / Markus Winkelhock (both GER) ended the race in Nogaro and on the Slovakia Ring winning the respective third position in each, in Navarra they ended the second race finishing second. The sister car, driven by Thomas Jäger (GER) and Nicky Pastorelli (ITA) finished second in the first race in Zolder as well as in the second race in Navarra. Taking the third position in the driver's ranking, Basseng / Winkelhock are currently very close to the front position whereas their team colleagues Jäger / Pastorelli take the fifth position in the ranking with the same number of points. The next FIA GT1 World Championship races take place on the Autodromo Algarve in Portimão/Portugal from 6th to 8th July 2012.
FIA European GT3 Championship: The German-Czech AMG Customer Team HEICO-GRAVITY CHAROUZ won both races in Navarra, Spain, which was the third event in the race calendar. Max Nilsson (SWE) and Mika Vähämäki (FIN) ended the first race winning the first position with their SLS AMG GT3, their team colleagues Maximilian Buhk (GER) and Dominik Baumann (AUT) won the second race. Halfway through the season, the German-Austrian duo, which additionally had victories in Nogaro and Zolder, is top of the driver's ranking with 94 points while HEICO-GRAVITY CHAROUZ comes second in the team ranking. The next FIA European GT3 Championship takes place on the Autodromo Algarve in Portimão/Portugal on 8th July 2012.
ADAC GT Masters: After finishing in the second position once and in the third position twice, Sebastian Asch and Maximilian Götz (both GER) occupy a promising second position in the overall driver's ranking. After six out of 16 races, the kfzteile24 MS RACING Team also won the second position in the team ranking. The customer teams HEICO Motorsport (Kenneth Heyer / Christiaan Frankenhout, GER / NL as well as Harald Proczyk / Dominik Baumann, both AUT), HEICO Junior Team (Maximilian Buhk / Andreas Simonsen, GER / SWE) as well as SMS Seyffarth Motorsport (Maximilian Meyer / Jan Seyffarth, both GER) finish in positions 11, 12 and 13. The Schöner Wohnen Polarweiss Team HEICO with Lance David Arnold and Alexandros Margaritis (both GER) comes 15th. The next two ADAC GT Masters races take place on the Nürburgring Grand-Prix track from 13th to 15th July 2012.
Blancpain Endurance Series: The Belgian AMG Customer Team KRK Racing takes the third position in the team ranking after two out of six races. Karl Wendlinger (AUT), Anthony Kumpen and Koen Wauters (both BEL) finished third in the opening race in Monza (Italien) and currently come fourth in the driver's ranking of the Pro Cup. The sister car with Raf Vanthoor, Dennis Retera and Marius Ritskes (all BEL) started in the Pro/Am Cup, where professional drivers and amateur drivers share the cockpit. Black Falcon starts with two SLS AMG GT3s in the Pro/Am Cup. The drivers Bret Curtis (USA), Mike Parisy (FRA) and Steve Jans (LUX) rank ninth, their team colleagues Oliver Morley (GB), Jérôme Thiry (BEL) and Riccardo Brutschin (GER) have not succeeded in making any points yet, similar to the British team Preci-Spark with David and Godfrey Jones as well as Michael Jordan (all GB). The next race of the Blancpain Endurance Series takes place on 1st July on the Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet (France).
VLN Endurance Championship Nürburgring: The Customer Team ROWE RACING achieved the best result in the famous race series. Alexander Roloff and Jan Seyffarth (both GER), ended the fourth VLN race on the second rank. In the first race, the SLS AMG GT3 of Black Falcon with the drivers Sean Edwards (GB), Manuel Metzger (CH) and Ralf Schall (GER) finished sixth. ROWE RACING ended the third VLN race in the seventh position with Mark Bullitt (USA), Marko Hartung, Roland Rehfeld and Michael Zehe (all GER). The fifth of a total of ten VLN races takes place on 7th July 2012.
24-hour races 2012: AMG Customer Teams successfully finished the first 24-hour race of the year 2012 in Dubai with a 1-2-3. The team Abu Dhabi Black Falcon with Thomas Jäger (GER), Sean Edwards (GB), Jeroen Bleekemolen (NL) and Khaled Al Qubaisi (UAE) crossed the finish line first, followed by two SLS AMG GT3s of HEICO Motorsport with Maximilian Buhk (GER), Christiaan Frankenhout (NL), Max Nilsson (SWE), Andreas Zuber (AUT) and Bernd Schneider (GER) as well as Kenneth Heyer (GER), Andreas Simonsen (SWE), Rodolfo Gonzalez (VEN) and double starter Bernd Schneider. After a commanding finish, the best placed gullwing car of the Hankook Team HEICO Motorsport with Maximilian Buhk (GER), Christiaan Frankenhout (NL), Max Nilsson (SWE), Andreas Zuber (AUT) and Bernd Schneider (GER) as well as Kenneth Heyer (GER), Andreas Simonsen (SWE), Rodolfo Gonzalez (VEN) and double starter Bernd Schneider (GER) finished the 24-hours Nürburgring with the third overall position.
24-hour race of Spa-Francorchamps: The next traditional endurance race in the motorsports season 2012 takes place in the Belgian Ardennes. As in 2011, several SLS AMG GT3 Customer Teams will participate in the 24-hour race of Spa-Francorchamps (28th to 29th July 2012), which is the highlight of the Blancpain Endurance Series. Besides Black Falcon, the Belgian team KRK Racing and the British team Preci-Spark will also participate.
Further successes of the SLS AMG GT3 of the 2012 season summarized (Europe):
- International GT Open: In a close fight, the German duo Kenneth Heyer and Jan Seyffarth (both GER) of the team Seyffarth Racing managed to leave its competitors behind in the races of the Nürburgring event and achieved two class victories.
- French GT Championship: The AMG Customer Team Sébastien Loeb Racing with Gilles Vannelet and Frédéric Gabillon (both FRA) comes third in the overall ranking after six out of 14 season races. In the race in Val de Vienne, Gilles Vannelet managed to finish second. Jean-Pierre Champeau (FRA) of Graff Racing won the ninth position twice.
- Iberian Supercars Trophy: José Pedro Fontes / Miguel Barbosa (both POR) of the Team Sports & You come fifth and seventh in the overall ranking after two season races.
- Portugese GT-Championship: José Pedro Fontes / Miguel Barbosa finished among the top three for three times and rank third in the championship after two races.
- Spanish GT Championship: The SLS AMG GT3 of Sports & You had to end the race ahead of time in the second lap in Jamara. An accident stopped the run of Luis Silva and Antonio Coimbra (both POR), which had started from position five. In the third race in Motorland they finished ninth.
- British GT Series: After position nine in Oulton Park, positions six and ten in the Nürburgring races and position ten in Brands Hatch, the twins David and Godfrey Jones of the team Preci-Spark currently come 15th in the overall ranking.
- DMV Touring Car Championship: In the opening race on the Nürburgring, Land Motorsport won the overall second position and came first in class ten (FIA GT3) with Christian Land and Stefan Eilentropp (both GER). In the first race, the Swiss brothers Bruno and Edwin Stucky of ANTeam Motorsport won positions twelve and 20 with their two gullwing cars. In the second race they finished ninth and tenth. Stefan Eilentropp, who replaced Christian Land in the second race, crossed the finish line 15th. Christian Land also managed to achieve another class victory in the second event on the Hockenheimring. With his third overall position in the first race he was thus the most successful gullwing car driver of the weekend as well.
- Endurance Champions Cup: The German Team G-Private Racing entered two SLS AMG GT3s for the Italian endurance series ECC. Jörg Peham, Manuel and Philipp Zumstein (all CH) finished second in the 4-hour race of Imola and rank second after two out of four races. Ranking fourth, their team colleagues Otto Dragoun, Paul Pfefferkorn and Mathias Schmitter (all CH) complete the good team results.
- Touring cars' and GT-Cup Austria: First position for Mario Plachutta (AUT) of Lechner Racing in the GT3 category on the Red Bull Ring.
Further successes of the SLS AMG GT3 in the 2012 season in other countries:
- Australian GT-Championship: Double success for Peter Hackett and Erebus Racing in the fourth race of the season in Winton. In the third race on Phillip Island, Erebus Racing achieved a double victory with Peter Hackett and James Brock (both AUS). James Brock, which currently occupies the second position in the overall ranking, had moreover already managed to win the second position in Adelaide for the Erebus Racing Team. Peter Hackett currently ranks fifth in the championship.
- In the Bathurst 12-hours race the Australian Customer Team of Erebus Racing with Peter Hackett (AUS), Tim Slade (AUS), Jeroen Bleekemolen (NL) and Bret Curtis (USA) managed to finish second.
- Super Taikyu Series (Japan): Three victories and two second positions in three races – results could hardly be better and the PETRONAS Syntium Team has reason to celebrate in view of the achieved points. After three out of seven races, the Japanes customer team confidently takes the lead in the GT-Championship.
- Japanese Super GT Series: On the Fuji Speedway, the AMG Customer Team GREEN TEC & LEON with SHIFT with Hironori Takeuchi and Haruki Kurosawa finished tenth.
- Brazilian GT Championship: Duda Rosa and Cleber Faria (both BRA) of the AMG Customer Team BVA Racing occupy the second position in the overall ranking after three out of nine races. Their team colleagues Vanuê Faria / Renan Guerra (both BRA) rank fourth. Paulo Bonifacio and Sérgio Jimenez (both BRA) of the Team A.Mattheis Motorsport won both races on the Autodromo Internacional of Curibita with the SLS AMG GT3 and currently rank fifth in the championship. In the third race of the season in Interlagos, Bonifacio / Jimenez finished second, ahead of Faria / Guerra. Rosa / Faria ended the race in the fifth position.
Spare parts and technical support with the AMG Customer Sports Portal
Successful races with the SLS AMG GT3 – an excellent performance, high reliability and a fast adjustment of the car's setup to distinct track conditions is the bedrock of this success. But also a professional supply of spare parts and uncomplicated technical support are vital to the achievement of good results.
Uli Fritz, head of AMG Customer Sports: "We offer professional support for all customer teams – not only does this service comprise a thorough introduction and start-up procedure of the car, but also an uncomplicated and fast ordering of spare parts with assistance of the AMG Customer Sports Portal and our on-the-spot service with the supply parts truck on the European race tracks."
The AMG Customer Sports Portal was established for the start of the Customer Sports Program: The internet-based system is available around the clock seven days per week for all AMG Customer Teams worldwide and is available in German and English. The portal offers the possibility to order all spare and wear parts in an online shop. Technical information such as vehicle updates, maintenance instructions or the vehicle manual can be looked at or downloaded. Periodical updates by e-mail inform the teams about news. Thomas Jäger, coordinator of AMG Customer Sports supports the teams as central contact person in all organisational and technical questions.
Moreover, the teams profit from broad evaluation options and run-time recordings of their cars. The AMG Customer Sports Portal has an interactive structure: The customer teams can pass on improvement options to AMG. As a consequence, all teams profit collectively of this. Not only is the high transparency of the internet portal unique, but so is also the permanent development, to which big teams as well as small teams contribute in the same amount worldwide.
In addition to that, a telephone hotline for technical questions is available: On race weekends, it is available around the clock and on non-racing days from 7:00 to 22:00 o'clock.
Service truck with qualified support on the race tracks
AMG Customer Sport also directly supports the European SLS AMG GT3 Customer Teams on race weekends: An AMG service truck provides the teams with the most important spare and wear parts. Additionally, technicians provide help and advice. Moreover, teams can order an exclusive service and have an individually arranged spare parts package delivered to the desired race track.
49 SLS AMG GT3s shipped worldwide
So far, 49 SLS AMG GT3 have been shipped. An individual technical introduction by qualified specialists of the Mercedes-AMG GmbH and the technology and development partner HWA AG. Additionally, the start-up procedure of the car on the race track is always accompanied by experts of AMG Customer Sports. AMG also provides the customer teams with maximum support in questions concerning software and electronics for the SLS AMG GT3. The characteristics of the race version of the gullwing car are the long service intervals and the comparatively low maintenance costs. In order to be able to help the teams relieve their operating budgets, AMG Customer Sports has considerably lowered the price of the 40 most common spare parts by generating an economy of scale.
The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 is developed and produced by Mercedes-AMG in close cooperation with the HWA AG. On behalf of and in permanent coordination with Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, HWA is responsible for the development and the operation of the AMG-Mercedes DTM Team. The characteristics of the close-to-series produced SLS AMG GT3 are its dynamic performance and, above all, its exemplary safety level, which is currently unmatched by other GT3 vehicles.
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