> German manufacturer sets the pace for a third season
Mercedes-AMG’s Official Safety Car partnership with Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia entered its third year during 2019’s season opener at Sepang on April 6/7.
The German manufacturer supplied SRO Motorsports Group’s original Asian outpost, Blancpain GT Series Asia, with Safety and Medical Cars in 2017 and ’18, and will continue doing so now that the rebranded championship has become one-third of SRO’s new global GT3 sprint racing platform.
The AMG GT C and GLC 43 AMG both took centre stage in Malaysia where a 30-car entry kicked off the new season. A range of AMG models will continue controlling the pace and overseeing medical matters at the remaining five rounds across four countries, starting at Chang International Circuit in Thailand next weekend.
AMG’s involvement also extends to the championship’s entry list. Indeed, 10 of its GT3 and GT4 models – one third of the event’s total – competed at Sepang where one of its Official Performance Teams, Craft-Bamboo Racing, kicked off the new campaign by winning Race 1.
Equally, Mercedes-AMG has committed to SRO’s new-for-2019 Blancpain GT World Challenge concept, which compares the performances of manufacturers across its sprint racing series in Asia, Europe and America.
Guido Brormann, Manager AMG Regional Sales South East Asia: “With the enthusiasm for GT racing spreading across the region and having six drivers from Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore in Mercedes-AMG cockpits, the continuation of our Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia partnership in 2019 clearly underlines the ambition to further extend our footprint in the surrounding countries.
“The first weekend at Sepang witnessed an all-time high number of Mercedes-AMGs competing in GT3 and GT4, which confirms the importance of Asia’s leading GT category to the manufacturer. Customers, friends of the brand and our fans are encouraged to join us at a Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia round: it’s the best opportunity to come so close to professional motorsport in the region.”
Benjamin Franassovici, Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia General Manager: “I’m delighted to see Mercedes-AMG’s world-renowned products officially dictating the pace once again in 2019. We have built a strong relationship with AMG off-track over the last two years across a region where the manufacturer is synonymous with luxury, style and performance. It’s essential for Asia’s biggest GT championship to have suitably capable Safety and Medical Cars, and that is exactly what we will have courtesy of AMG as the series enters a new era in 2019.
“AMG also recognises the benefit of its partnership with Asia’s biggest GT championship. Almost 70% of our drivers come from the region, while TV coverage – especially across China – has increased dramatically this year.”
Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia’s 2019 campaign continues at Buriram in Thailand on May 11/12 before also visiting Suzuka, Fuji (both Japan), Yeongam (South Korea) and Shanghai (China).