10 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing Teams at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

10 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing Teams at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

05.07.2019: ...in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Head North for Annual Trip to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Repeat IMSA Race Wins on the Line for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing Teams This Weekend at Can


...in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Head North for Annual Trip to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
 


Repeat IMSA Race Wins on the Line for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing Teams This Weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park




 
 
 

Following victories last weekend at Watkins Glen International and last year at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP), Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing teams look for a pair of repeat race wins this weekend in IMSA’s annual appearance at the 2.459-mile CTMP road course, July 5 – 7.




Two Mercedes-AMG GT3 teams compete in Sunday’s two-hour and 40-minute IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race. On Saturday, eight Mercedes-AMG GT4 entries compete in the two-hour IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race.



Sunday’s weekend highlight IMSA WeatherTech Championship race will be televised live from CTMP on the NBC network beginning at 1 p.m. EDT. The telecast is the first for IMSA on the flagship NBC network as part of IMSA’s new and long-term partnership with NBC Sports.
 


Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and the No. 33 Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 team are the defending CTMP race winners in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship GT Daytona (GTD) class.
 


The team’s 2018 victory was a near-perfect combination of team strategy, great driving and Mercedes-AMG GT3 performance. A repeat race wins this weekend would be ideal for the No. 33 team after being taken out in unavoidable contact incidents in the two most recent IMSA WeatherTech Championship GTD rounds at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Watkins Glen International.
 
 

 
A second Mercedes-AMG GT3 is entered at CTMP – a track still known to many by its original name, “Mosport” – for co-drivers Gar Robinson and Lawson Aschenbach. The No. 74 Lone Star Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 team is in the middle round of a select schedule of five GTD races this season.
 


Both Robinson and Aschenbach have seen success at CTMP. Aschenbach co-drove to the 2017 GTD win at CTMP and swept both rounds of last year’s World Challenge GT4 race. Robinson finished second to Aschenbach in one of those races at the wheel of a Mercedes-AMG GT4.
 


Saturday’s featured two-hour IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race has eight Mercedes-AMG GT4 teams entered in the top-tier Grand Sport (GS) class.
 


The No. 35 Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4 won the most recent IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race last Saturday at Watkins Glen International. The win was the first of the season for the Mercedes-AMG GT4 in IMSA and the first for co-drivers Jim Cox, Dylan Murry and Bleekemolen and the Riley Motorsports team in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge competition.
 
 

 
With Bleekemolen joining the team only for the year’s four-hour races at Daytona and Watkins Glen, Cox and Murry co-drive the No. 35 as a duo for the rest of the season.
 


Watkins Glen was the third consecutive Michelin Pilot Challenge race in which the No. 35 was the top performing Mercedes-AMG GT4. Cox and Murry co-drove to a second-place finish at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in May and finished fourth at Sebring International Raceway in March.
 


The Winward Racing/HTP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT4 team swept the front row in qualifying at The Glen only to encounter race-ending trouble after running one-two in the opening hour.
 


The team looks for a turnaround at CTMP with The Glen polesitter Indy Dontje co-driving the No. 33 Winward Racing/HTP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT4 with Russell Ward. Christian Hohenadel co-drives the No. 57 Winward Racing/HTP Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT4 with Russell Ward’s father, Bryce Ward.
 
 


 
Reigning GS class champions Owen Trinkler and Hugh Plumb are another team looking for a change of fortune at CTMP in the No. 46 TeamTGM Mercedes-AMG GT4. The No. 46 competes alongside the sister entry of team owner and driver Ted Giovanis and Guy Cosmo in the No. 4 TeamTGM Mercedes-AMG GT4.
 


Murillo Racing also brings a two-car Mercedes-AMG GT4 team to Canada. Longtime co-drivers Jeff Mosing and Eric Foss team in the Murillo Racing No. 56 Mercedes-AMG GT4, while Mosing’s brother, Brent Mosing, shares the team’s No. 65 Mercedes-AMG GT4 with Tim Probert.
 


The No. 6 Atlantic Racing Team Mercedes-AMG GT4 of Canadian co-drivers Danny Kok and Philip Holtrust is also entered at CTMP after making its debut and only previous IMSA GS start in this race last year.
 


Practice sessions for both series take place Friday and Saturday morning at CTMP. Qualifying for the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge GS class takes place after final practice Saturday morning at 10 a.m. EDT to set the stage for that afternoon’s two-hour race, which is scheduled to start at 1:55 p.m. EDT.
 


Qualifying for IMSA WeatherTech GTD is Saturday at 11:35 a.m. EDT. Sunday’s schedule begins with a 20-minute WeatherTech Championship warmup session at 9:30 a.m. EDT, with the green flag set to drop for that afternoon’s two-hour and 40-minute WeatherTech Championship race at 1:05 p.m. EDT.
 



Ben Keating, Driver – No. 33 Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3:
“One thing I love to quote is ‘I love the tracks that love me back.’ We have always had, in our Viper days and now with our Mercedes-AMG GT3, good experience and good setup for Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. I love this track. It takes courage to do a quick lap, and its high risk and high reward. Courage has never been my problem, as was evident in the first lap of the race at Watkins Glen. You drive through the smoke, have a 50-50 shot of getting through, and I chose wrong.



Mosport is a place that rewards that kind of courage and rewards a really great setup. The car is on edge the whole way around the track, and for whatever reason the guys at Mercedes-AMG Team Riley have always nailed the setup at Mosport. There is no better example than last year. I feel like about once every five years you have that situation where you make that one small change in the car and it just becomes magic. That’s what we had last year.”
 




Jeroen Bleekemolen, Driver – No. 33 Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3:
“We all love Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. It’s a great track to run, we know what to do, we know the setup, so we should show up there in a strong way and hopefully fight for the win again. Usually the Mercedes-AMG GT3 is really good in the high-speed corners and there is plenty of those there.



Hopefully that will do us some good again. A normal, clean race with long green flag runs makes it easier and less of a gamble for our team and car, but anybody can have a great day and be a bit stronger. This is a really tough field, but I know if we have a great day it will be tough to beat us.”




Gar Robinson, Driver – No. 74 Lone Star Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3:
“Mosport is one of my favorite tracks in North America. Add a 6.3-liter naturally aspirated V8 Mercedes-AMG GT3 and how could this get any better? We have had a couple races to iron out the wrinkles and I think it’s time for a big performance. I wouldn’t want another car to go into battle with other than the Mercedes-AMG GT3. This is going to be a great combination.”
 



Lawson Aschenbach, Driver – No. 74 Lone Star Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3:
“Canadian Tire Motorsports Park is a place that challenges the driver and the car in all the right ways. Big elevation changes, major g-forces and high-speed corners showcase the speed and grip of GT3 machinery. It’s a one-of-a-kind track in North America and I know every driver looks forward to heading ‘North of the Border.’ The track should suit the Mercedes-AMG GT3 well with long, fast corners. It’s not easy to compete against full season entries, but I'm confident in our group that we will have a car to battle for a podium spot.”
 
 


Jim Cox, Driver – No. 35 Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4:
“We were pretty positive coming into Watkins Glen and now we are absolutely elated. It’s going to be the first time Dylan and I have raced at Mosport. We went up there for a little testing a few weeks ago. We both like the course and we are really looking forward to it. The Mercedes-AMG GT4 is great in any conditions but hopefully we can have a nice sunny day.”
 
 
 

Adam Saal - photos Mercedes






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05.07.2019 / MaP

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