Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) and Mercedes-AMG announced in November that it will compete in North America’s premier endurance racing series for the first time. The Mercedes-AMG Customer Sports Program will enter the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with several top teams. For the upcoming 2017 IMSA season, Mercedes-AMG is partnering with the successful Riley Motorsports team, which will campaign two Mercedes- AMG GT3 race cars. One of the team’s cars will run as “AMG-Team Riley Motorsports,” and one car will run as WeatherTech Racing, with sponsorship from the series’ title sponsor. The AMG Customer Sports team SunEnergy1 Racing will also campaign an AMG GT3 in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
With the entry in the popular series, Mercedes-AMG enhances its motorsport presence within the US market. Previously, the Mercedes-AMG brand was successfully represented in the US by private race teams with the SLS AMG GT3 in the Pirelli World Challenge.
All AMG Customer Sports teams in the US will race the latest version of the naturally-aspirated, 6.3-liter V8 Mercedes-AMG GT3 in 2017.
To further support the AMG Customer Sports Program, Mercedes-AMG has opened a technology and logistics center in Mooresville, North Carolina, which ensures a fast and reliable supply of parts and service for all teams in racing in North America. For direct assistance on-site, Mercedes-AMG will send its own service and parts transporter to all IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Pirelli World Challenge Series races.
Topspeed.com reports the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship consists of 12 events that take place between January and October. Highlights will include the popular Rolex 24 at Daytona (January 26–29), the Twelve Hours of Sebring (March 15-18), and “Petit Le Mans,” which takes place at Road Atlanta (October 5-7). The Mercedes-AMG GT3, the website says, will compete against GT3-spec version of the Porsche 911, Aston Martin Vantage, Lamborghini Huracan, Acura NSX, Audi R8, Ferrari 488, among others, in the GTD class.