Successful weekend for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport
Formula 1: In Bahrain, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas secure the second one-two victory of the season
Intercontinental GT Challenge: Maximilian Götz, Raffaele Marciello and Maximilian Buhk claim runner-up spot at Laguna Seca
Stat-Attack – Bahrain GP: The 999th Grand Prix in the history of Formula 1 produced some thrilling moments and quite a few surprises. In the end, Lewis Hamilton not only registered his first win of the season but also his third triumph at the Bahrain International Circuit. Lewis’s tally of Grand Prix victories in his Formula 1 career now stands at 74. Valtteri Bottas completed the one-two for the team by booking the runner-up spot in the second race of the season. The Finn has now broken through the career 1,000-point mark and leads Lewis in the 2019 drivers’ world championship by a single point. The Bahrain weekend brought the 450th podium finish and 175th victory in the highest echelon of motorsport for a Mercedes-Benz-powered car.
Track debut: Barely a month after being unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, the new Mercedes-Benz EQ Silver Arrow 01 made its first racetrack outing at Varano in Italy. For the team, this marked the next milestone on the way to their race debut in the 2019/20 ABB FIA Formula E season. Following the shakedown of the car on Wednesday, the team completed two more days of testing, putting in a total distance of 527 kilometres. As the Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team prepares to compete in the sixth season of the all-electric racing series, they are drawing on the combined expertise and motorsport experience of the entire Mercedes family.
Podium success and Top Ten placings in the California 8 Hours of Laguna Seca: In the second race of the Intercontinental GT Challenge, Mercedes-AMG Motorsport again made it onto the podium. Following a P3 at Bathurst, the number 999 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Mercedes-AMG Team GroupM Racing finished second at the Laguna Seca Raceway. The result was enough to take the driver trio of Maximilian Buhk (GER), Maximilian Götz (GER) and Raffaele Marciello (ITA) to the top of the drivers’ standings in the international endurance series. The sister car, number 888 Mercedes-AMG GT3 driven by Maro Engel (GER), Yelmer Buurman (NED) and Luca Stolz (GER), came sixth to clinch another Top Ten place and contribute vital points to the team’s challenge for the manufacturer’s title. Mercedes-AMG has further extended its lead in this particular championship to 19 points after two out of five races in the campaign. P10 for the number 43 car entered by STRAKKA Racing and driven by Christina Nielsen (DEN), Dominik Baumann (AUT) and Adam Christodoulou (GBR) meant that no fewer than three Mercedes-AMG GT3s finished the California 8 Hours of Laguna Seca among the Top Ten in a field of 20 starters. Unfortunately, Gary Paffett (GBR), Tristan Vautier (FRA) and Lewis Williamson (GBR) in the number 44 car entered by Mercedes-AMG Team STRAKKA Racing were out of luck. After starting from twelfth place, they looked to be on course for a podium until problems with the steering forced them to retire at the halfway stage. Next stop on the itinerary is the 24-hour race at Spa on the weekend of 25th - 28th July.
Success in the 24H Series curtain-raiser: At Mugello in Italy, the Hofor Racing quartet of Kenneth Heyer, Alexander Prinz (both GER), Michael Kroll (SUI) and Christiaan Frankenhout (NED) driving the number 10 Mercedes-AMG GT3 took victory in the A6-Am class. In the 12-hour race of the 24H Series European Championships, defending champions Charles Putman, Charles Espenlaub and Joe Foster (USA) of CP Racing rounded off an excellent class result for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport by finishing third. The next of five European races will take place at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on the weekend of 19th - 20th April.
Further GT3 and GT4 triumphs at the weekend: There is yet another class victory to report from the opening fixture of the DMV GTC series after the first round of the Dunlop 60 championship. Yuri Wagner (LUX) and Max Koebolt (NED) in the number 19 Mercedes-AMG GT4 entered by Leipert Motorsport saw off the opposition at the Hockenheimring. Wagner also took two second places in his class in the two sprint races of the DMV GTC classification.
There were two more class wins in the Endurance Brasil at the Autódromo Internacional de Curitiba where Team Scuderia 111 celebrated not only the success of Xandy and Xandinho Negrão (both BRA) in the number 8 Mercedes-AMG GT3 but also victory in the GT4 class where the number 3 Mercedes-AMG GT4 driven by Alexandre Auler and Leandro Romera (both BRA) was strongest in its category.
The Mercedes-AMG GT4 also had a gratifying weekend at the Silverstone Circuit where the Fox Motorsport duo of Mark Murfitt and Michael Broadhurst (both GBR) won both 60-minute races in their class on the first race weekend of the Britcar Endurance.
The opening fixture of the 2019 Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia will be hosted by the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia next weekend. The Blancpain GT World Challenge is contested by manufacturers on three continents: Asia (six events), North America (seven) and Europe (five). The new format replaces the three separate championships – Pirelli World Challenge, Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup and Blancpain GT Series Asia. In the battle for the overall title of all three series, each GT3 manufacturer nominates four drivers eligible for points per continent. In the Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia, Christina Nielsen (DEN), Recardo Bruins (KOR), Jeffrey Lee (TWN) and Xu Wei (CHN) are the designated points scorers for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport.
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