NEW MERCEDES FOR BRI­TISH GT3

Motor Sport News - - Headline News - By Rob Lad­brook

Team Abba with Roll­cen­tre Rac­ing will be­come the first team to run the new Mercedes AMG GT3 ma­chine in Bri­tish GT next sea­son af­ter tak­ing de­liv­ery of its new chas­sis.

The Cam­bridgeshire-based squad will field the new 6.3-litre V8-en­gined AMG in the full Bri­tish cham­pi­onship for team head Martin Short and Richard Neary.

The team plans a full win­ter test­ing pro­gramme to in­clude the UK and Spain. The AMG re­places Neary and Short’s age­ing BMW Z4 GT3. Short and Neary are the first pair­ing to sign up to Bri­tish GT’S re­mod­elled all-bronze Am-am cat­e­gory for 2017, which fea­tures ded­i­cated tro­phies at each round. They will also score bonus points to­ward the Pro-am cham­pi­onship for fin­ish­ing in­side the top 10.

Short told Motorsport News: “This is the first AMG GT3 that will race in Bri­tain and it’s an im­pres­sive ma­chine. We con­sid­ered other brands but the pack­age Mercedes of­fers with spares and sup­port sur­passed, in our opin­ion, that of any of the other man­u­fac­tur­ers.

“The AMG is very dif­fer­ent to the Z4. We tested it at Hock­en­heim and it be­came im­me­di­ately ap­par­ent the per­for­mance we had been miss­ing. It’s got a real low-revving slug­ger of an engine with great torque and the car has much stronger aero. The car set up has been de­lib­er­ately aimed at the Am driver. It was in­stantly user friendly and very easy to get to grips with.

“We’ve been ask­ing BGT for a re­mod­elled Am-am cham­pi­onship, so it’s nice they have lis­tened, and we are re­warded for not hav­ing a pro­fes­sional driver in the car. We hope it will en­cour­age other Bronze driv­ers to team up.”

Roll­cen­tre has a rich history, hav­ing run fac­tory pro­grammes for both TVR and Mosler in the UK and in­ter­na­tion­ally. The team also fin­ished fourth in the 2007 Le Mans 24 Hours run­ning a Pescarolo-judd.

The in­au­gu­ral sea­son of the Bri­tish Pro­to­type Cup series will fea­ture a calendar sched­uled in part­ner­ship with the ACO in an ef­fort to max­imise en­tries.

Bute Motorsport has worked with Le Mans or­gan­iser the Au­to­mo­bile Club de l’ouest to put to­gether non-clash­ing cal­en­dars for both the do­mes­tic LMP3 class and the Euro­pean Le Mans Series.

The re­sult is a six-round Bri­tish LMP3 class with no ELMS clashes. The show­piece date will take place at Spa in Bel­gium in June. It is de­signed to act as a warm-up for the Road to Le Mans LMP3 race that sup­ports the 24 Hours later that month.

“A lot of con­sid­er­a­tion has gone into plac­ing dates in co­or­di­na­tion with the ACO,” said Pro­to­type Cup tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor Phil Boland.“lmp3 cars are guar­an­teed to run for at least 6000 miles per sea­son, mean­ing the cars are more than ca­pa­ble of do­ing both cham­pi­onships.”

Mul­ti­ple teams – in­clud­ing RML, United Au­tosports, Dou­glas Motorsport and Tock­with Motorsport – have al­ready signed up for the series.

Roll­cen­tre has its Mercedes AMG

Short and Neary will share the AMG in GT3

The UK pro­to­type series will run over six rounds next sea­son

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