Mercedes-AMG GT3 and GT4 Teams Return to Daytona

Mercedes-AMG GT3 and GT4 Teams Return to Daytona

23.01.2019: .....for IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Rolex 24 At Daytona and IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Season-Opening Races Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing Teams Compet

.....for IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Rolex 24 At Daytona and IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Season-Opening Races




 
Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing Teams Competing This Weekend at Daytona in Opening Races of IMSA’s 50th Anniversary Season
 

 

Nine Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing teams have returned to Daytona International Speedway (DIS) for this weekend’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Rolex 24 At Daytona, and IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge races, the opening events of IMSA’s 50th Anniversary Season, January 24 – 27.
 


The No. 33 Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports and No. 71 P1 Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 teams will compete in the 57th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, North America’s premier day-long endurance race, running from 2:35 p.m. EST this Saturday straight through to the checkered flag at 2:35 p.m. EST Sunday.



 
The 57th Rolex 24 At Daytona will be broadcast live in IMSA’s premiere on the NBC Sports Network family of broadcast and online channels. Pre-race coverage and the opening hours of the Rolex 24 air on NBC Sports Network from 2 to 5 p.m. EST this Saturday. Coverage picks up again from 9 p.m. on Saturday to 3 a.m. EST on Sunday, and from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. EST on Sunday for the race finish. Coverage is available in between those time slots online or through a mobile device via the NBC Sports Network App.
 



Seven Mercedes-AMG GT4 teams will compete in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge four-hour opening race that is scheduled to start Friday at 12:15 p.m. EST.
 


The pair of races on the 3.56-mile Daytona road course are the first major events in the year-long celebration of IMSA’s 50th Anniversary season.
 
 

 
The No. 33 Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports entry has finished no lower than fourth in the GT Daytona (GTD) class in the Rolex 24 each of the last two years, including a third-place finish in Mercedes-AMG’s IMSA debut race in 2017.


 
Full-season co-drivers Ben Keating and Jeroen Bleekemolen will be joined at Daytona by first-time team driver Felipe Fraga and returning teammate Luca Stolz, who co-drove the No. 33 last year at Daytona and in the full IMSA North American Endurance Cup (NAEC). The No. 33 team and drivers won the NAEC GTD crown for the second-straight year in 2018. They begin their bid at Daytona for a third-consecutive title this season in the four-race endurance championship that is now known as the Michelin Endurance Cup.
 


Fraga co-drives with Keating and Bleekemolen in the three Michelin Endurance Cup races following Daytona, after Stolz was elevated to a Gold driver ranking during the off-season.


 
Second-year Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing team P1 Motorsports made its GTD debut in last year’s Rolex 24, and is expanding to a full IMSA WeatherTech Championship season in 2019 after a successful NAEC debut in 2018.


 
Team owner and driver JC Perez will co-drive with Mercedes-AMG driver Maximilian “Maxi” Buhk, who returns to the team following a competitive debut in 2018’s season-ending Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. Co-drivers for the Rolex 24 opener include Fabian Schiller and Dominik Baumann, with the Silver-rated Schiller set for the full Michelin Endurance Cup in the No. 71.
 
 

 
Seven Mercedes-AMG GT4 entries will compete in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race. Among these entries are reigning team and driver champions TeamTGM and co-drivers Hugh Plumb and Owner Trinkler. A strong second half of the 2018 season saw Plumb, Trinkler and TeamTGM clinch their first Grand Sports (GS) class title.



 
This championship-winning effort returns unchanged for 2019, with Plumb and Trinkler back at the wheel of the No. 46 TeamTGM Mercedes-AMG GT4 and team owner/driver Ted Giovanis and Guy Cosmo paired up again in the No. 4 TeamTGM Mercedes-AMG GT4.
 


Winward Racing/HTP Motorsport and Murrillo Racing are also back in 2019 with their own two-car Mercedes-AMG GT4 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge GS teams.
 



Bryce Ward and Christian Hohenadel co-drive the full season in the No. 57 Winward Racing/HTP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT4 while Ward’s son, Russell Ward, shares the No. 33 Winward Racing/HTP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT4 this year with Indy Dontje.
 
 


 
Longtime co-drivers Jeff Mosing and Eric Foss return for another season in Murillo Racing’s No. 56 Mercedes-AMG GT4, while Mosing’s brother, Brent Mosing, shares the team’s No. 65 Mercedes-AMG GT4 with Tim Probert and Justin Piscitell.



 
A new for 2019 Mercedes-AMG GT4 entry comes from the same Riley Motorsports team that campaigns the No. 33 Mercedes-AMG GT3. The Riley team has added the No. 35 Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4 to its Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing program with co-drivers Dylan Murry and Jim Cox.
 


The teammates will get an assist from Bleekemolen in the four-hour Michelin Pilot Challenge opener, with the quick No. 33 Mercedes-AMG GT3 driver set for double duty at Daytona this weekend.



 
Official on-track IMSA action begins Thursday at DIS with practice for both series, including a nighttime session for IMSA WeatherTech Rolex 24 competitors from 7 to 8:30 p.m. EST. Another Friday highlight is the 15-minute Michelin Pilot Challenge GS qualifying session at 5:45 p.m. EST.


 
Friday has a final one-hour practice for IMSA WeatherTech Rolex 24 teams at 10 a.m. with the four-hour IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race schedule from 12:15 to 4:15 p.m. EST. The Michelin Pilot Challenge Daytona opener will air on the NBC Sports Network on February 6 at 1 p.m. EST.



 
Saturday’s only on-track activity is the start of the 57th Rolex 24 At Daytona that will see the green flag drop on the twice-around-the-clock race at 2:35 p.m. EST.
 

Jochen Ubler, Adam Saal, photos Mercedes

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23.01.2019 / MaP

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