Further success for the SLS AMG GT3 in Baku season finale: AMG customer team claims Pro-Am and Gentlemen titles in the FIA GT Series
The ‘Baku World Challenge’, the invitation race on a street circuit in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, brought further success for the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3. The event, also the season finale of the FIA GT Series, saw Sergei Afanasiev (RUS) and Andreas Simonsen (SWE) secure the FIA GT drivers’ title in the Pro-Am class with their racing gullwing of the HTP Gravity Charouz team with starting number 2. The title in the Pro-Am team classification also went to the HTP Gravity Charouz outfit. In the Gentlemen standings, AMG customer sport team HTP Gravity Charouz was equally successful with the teams’ title and the drivers’ crown for Petr Charouz and Jan Stovicek (both CZE).
Particularly the first half of the one-hour championship race was packed with action. In the close battles on the opening lap, Sergei Afanasiev in the SLS AMG GT3 with starting number 2 was one of the drivers who was hit by an opponent, which forced the Russian to retire, just like British driver Benji Hetherington with the SLS AMG GT3 with starting number 62 run by the Fortec Motorsport team. Petr Charouz, who shared the HTP Gravity Charouz team’s SLS AMG GT3 with starting number 3 with Jarek Janis (CZE) in the season finale, also retired in the opening stages of the race already. Driving the gullwing with starting number 1, Maximilian Buhk (GER) and Alon Day (ISR) led the race for a long time and finished the race on fourth position.
Drivers’ and teams’ titles in Pro-Am and Gentlemen classes won
Winning the drivers’ and teams’ titles in the Pro-Am and Gentlemen classes of the FIA GT Series means further success for the SLS AMG GT3 in GT racing under the patronage of the FIA, motorsport’s worldwide governing body. Last year, AMG customer team ALL-INKL.com won the drivers’ and teams’ titles in the FIA GT1 World Championship with the racing gullwing.
Since making its competition debut in autumn, 2010, the SLS AMG GT3 has become firmly established in the GT3 segment and has been quite successful. So far, 68 cars were sold. With various titles in international championships such as the ADAC GT Masters, FIA GT3 European Championship and the FIA GT1 World Championship as well as over 110 victories in race series all over the world, the competition version of the gullwing demonstrated its extraordinary performance in an impressive way. The endurance race wins in the Bathurst 12 Hours and the 24-hour races in Dubai, at the Nürburgring, Spa-Francorchamps and Barcelona in particular showed the competitiveness of the racing gullwing this year. Thus, the SLS AMG GT3 achieved the “Grand Slam” with four consecutive victories in the GT3 endurance racing classics in 2013.
Norbert Brückner, team principal, HTP Motorsport: “We started the season finale with high expectations and with the title wins in the drivers’ and teams’ standings of the Pro-Am and the Gentlemen class, the event brought us the success we had hoped for. Many thanks to the entire team that has contributed to this great result with its continuous effort.”
Uli Fritz, head of AMG customer sports: “The unique range of success by our customer teams with the SLS AMG GT3 this year doesn’t stop. After the many race wins all over the world, the drivers’ and teams’ titles in the Pro-Am and Gentlemen standings of the FIA GT Series are a reward for strong performances throughout the season. Congratulations and thanks to our customer teams who have run the SLS AMG GT3 in such a successful way.”