NEW MERCEDES FOR BRITISH GT3
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