The Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 has been talking the talk this year, but come January 14th, 2011, it will also get to walk the walk at its first racing event of the year. Three cars will be entered in the challenging 24-hour race in Dubai (UAE): two from private team Black Falcon and one by Heico Motorsport.
The sixth annual 24-hour race in Dubai is held on the 5.39-kilometer Grand Prix circuit of the Dubai Autodrome. Ninety cars will be taking their place at the starting line, including the three Mercedes models. Upon completion of the race, the Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 will hope to get cleared by the FIA to compete in the FIA GT3 Championship.
The SLS AMG GT3 features a new front apron with a splitter, a bonnet with central cooling air vent, wider front and rear wings, sideskirts with cooling ducts for the rear brakes, a rear diffuser, and an adjustable rear aerofoil. The race car will be powered by the same 6.3-liter V8 engine, but tuned to deliver an impressive +600 hp.
The 2011 Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 is priced at € 334,000 and its first deliveries will be made towards the end of February 2011.
Press release after the jump.
Three Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3s will be at the starting line for the 24-hour race in Dubai (UAE) on 14 January 2011. This first test event in 2011 also marks the completion of the development programme for the racing version of the gullwing model. The three cars are being entered by the customer teams Black Falcon and Heico Motorsport. The 24-hour race in Dubai will serve to accumulate test kilometres and fine-tune the SLS AMG GT3 before deliveries begin at the end of February 2011.
The SLS AMG GT3s will compete with high-calibre international sports car competitors in Class A6. The private team Black Falcon is entering two cars: start number 7 will be driven by Thomas Jäger (Munich, aged 34), Jan Seyffarth (Querfurth, 24), Kenneth Heyer (Wegberg, 31) and Sean Paul Breslin (London/Great Britain, 31). The cockpit of start number 8 will be shared by Ralf Schall (Dornstadt, 41), Timothy Pappas (Boston/USA, 37), Bret Curtis (Valencia/USA, 44) and David Horn (Steinbach, 37). The customer team Black Falcon has taken part in every 24-hour race in Dubai since the inception of the event in 2006.
The SLS AMG GT3 with start number 9 entered by Heico Motorsport will have Bernd Schneider (Bottighofen/Switzerland, aged 46), Lance David Arnold (Duisburg, 24), Andreas Wirth (Heidelberg, 26), Brice Bosi (Luxembourg, 24) and Christiaan Frankenhout (Amsterdam/Netherlands, 28) behind the wheel.
Race starts at 2 p.m. (local time) on Friday, 14 January 2011
The official starting time is 2 p.m. (local time) on Friday, 14 January 2011. The 24-hour race on the 5.39-kilometre Grand Prix circuit of the Dubai Autodrome is being held for the sixth time in 2011. Around 90 cars are expected to take part, with drivers and teams from more than 30 countries registering for this long-distance race.
One victory and one third place in the autumn 2010 VLN races
As part of the development and test programme that started in June 2010, the customer sport version of the gull-wing was entered in three VLN races (VLN = Association of Nürburgring Endurance Cup Organisers) in autumn 2010. The ninth VLN race was won by Thomas Jäger and Christopher Haase in the Mercedes -Benz SLS AMG GT3 entered by Black Falcon, and in the tenth race Bernd Schneider and Christian Mamerow (Mamerow Racing team) achieved third place overall.
Bernd Schneider and Thomas Jäger have absolved the entire development and test programme for the SLS AMG GT3. With five championship titles in the DTM, one in the ITC and one in the FIA GT Championship, Bernd Schneider is one of Germany’s most successful racing drivers. Jäger was a DTM driver for Mercedes-Benz from 2000 to 2003. Last year he won the championship title in the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany, and in 2010 he took part in the ADAC GT Masters (Germany). Like Bernd Schneider, Thomas Jäger is a member of the instructor team at the AMG Driving Academy. Since 1 October 2010, Jäger has also acted as a coordinator for the AMG customer sport department. As the central point of contact, he supports the customer teams in all organizational and technical matters.
Deliveries commencing from end February 2011 after FIA homologation
Production of cars intended for customers began at the end of December. After homologation and definition of the "Balance of Performance" by the FIA, deliveries of the SLS AMG GT3 will commence at the end of February 2011. The selling price is € 334,000 (excl. VAT)/€ 397,460 (incl. 19 % VAT).
SLS AMG GT3 integrated into AMG Driving Academy from 2011
In the coming year, customers of the AMG Driving Academy will be able to drive the SLS AMG GT3 on the racetrack themselves during selected events. The programme for 2011 envisages that only SLS AMG GT3 cars will be used for the "Masters" level, the most demanding level in terms of driving skills. With these unique events, the AMG Driving Academy will be offering a motor racing experience at first hand, and at a previously unattained safety level, from 2011.