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Mercedes Joins 2017 IMSA GT Daytona Class, Unveils IMSA Drivers Lineup and GT3 Race Cars
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Mercedes Joins 2017 IMSA GT Daytona Class, Unveils IMSA Drivers Lineup and GT3 Race Cars

Mercedes-AMG will be joining the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, with its three hardcore GT3 race cars in the GT Daytona category. The GT3 racing cars, which is based on the Mercedes-AMG GT S road car, will be powered by naturally aspirated, 6.3-liter V8 engines.

The Mercedes division, which will provide team support through its Customer Support Program, has confirmed three GT3 race cars for the upcoming 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

The manufacturer has partnered with Riley Motorsports for the two GT3 variants, while the third GT3 car will be run by customer AMG team SunEnergy1 Racing.

The first team will be a pair of entries, which will come from Riley Motorsports under the leadership of team owner and director Bill Riley. The teamwork will include a joint two cars racing effort, with the first GT3 running under the AMG-Team Riley Motorsports flag and the second one for the WeatherTech Racing campaign.

The No.33 AMG-Team Riley Motorsports car will be driven by Jeroen Bleekenmolen and Ben Keating, while the No.50 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 will be shared by co-drivers Gunnar Jeanette and Cooper MacNeil.

The second team will come from SunEnergy1 Racing, led by team owner and Australian racer Kenny Habul, will also campaign a Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the 2017 WeatherTech Championship. Habul will also team up with another stock car racer, whose identity is still unknown. Mercedes-AMG said it will announce additional teams to compete for the North America campaign next year, likely in the upcoming 2017 Pirelli World Challenge.

In addition, the German manufacturer will also provide at-track support at every racing event next year, along with the launch of its technology and logistics facility in North Carolina, which said to be operated by its partner Riley Motorsports.

Also in the AMG racing news is the much-awaited debut of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 racing variant, which is expected to be released this year. The three hardcore-looking Mercedes-AMG GT3 variant will compete in the IMSA-sanctioned GT Daytona class.

Founded in 1967, Mercedes-AMG is the high-performance division of German automotive giant Mercedes-Benz that independently designed and manufactured Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Based in Berlin, Germany, Mercedes-AMG is an independent engineering firm that specializes in performance improvements and customizations for Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

Image Credit: Nascarking/Wikimedia Commons

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