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Mercedes Reveals Track-Ready AMG GT3

"Credible proof of our ambition to lead."

by on Feb.26, 2015

The Mercedes-AMG GT3 will start racing in 2016.

Expect to see some serious track-ready sheet metal make an appearance at the Geneva Motor Show next week, including a track-only offering from Aston Martin, and a dual street and track Cayman GT4 from Porsche.

So, how could Mercedes-Benz be left out of that high-performance pack? It can’t…or won’t, it turns out. Look for the Teutonic maker to bring its own track model to Geneva’s PALExpo convention center in the form of the AMG GT3.

Performance News!

“We are entering a hard-fought and hotly competitive environment with the new Mercedes-AMG GT3,” declares Tobias Moers, the performance brand’s chairman. “You can only give credible proof of your ambition to lead if you’re beating the very best in the game.


McBlog: Splash/Dash

Make that: Nope/Hope

by on Jun.17, 2011

Want to have us clean your windshield and check your oil, too? Dario Franchitti pits at the 2011 Indy 500.

Is it just me or are there more fuel management problems than usual in racing?

Take Chip Ganassi’s team at Indy’s 100th anniversary run. A one-two finish looked to be a lock with either Scott Dixon or Dario Franchitti crossing the line first. Dario had set fastest lap of the race; Scott the fastest lap while leading. Combined they were assured of having led more than half the race already. At worst, with the pair on different fuel strategies, Chip was confident that one or the other of his drivers would be guzzling milk in Victory Lane.

Then the one-two finish turned to five-twelve as the checker dropped. Thanks to bloody running low on gas! (Well, more correctly, ethanol. Indy fuel is E98 with only 2% a gasoline blend.)

News you can use!

The Tarjay folk were not the only team with blips in their fuel strategy – there was splashing and dashing going on in the pits as the end neared. For instance Danica, leading for ten laps, dropped to 10th after a needed fuel stop. A yellow might have made a difference. But in qualifying both Target cars ran out of fuel. Hello! A teaching moment here? Suggestion: replace some computers or the ones paying attention to them. There’s a mis-connect here.


McBlog: Racing, The Great Authenticator

When will we know the Koreans have "arrived"?

by on Apr.13, 2011

The track is where a maker -- as much as a driver -- proves its worth. Photo: Denise McCluggage.

Sam Mitani made a point in his May Road & Track column that resonated through me like a temple gong. I’ll get to that but first you’ll welcome some background. Trust me.

In the first running of the Indianapolis 500 in 1911 Ray Haroun strapped a mirror in his race car instead of toting the usual swivel-necked riding-mechanic to keep him informed on conditions to the rear. That rear-view mirror found its way into road cars and was about the only thing we could cite as argument that “racing improves the breed”. This was in those mid-century days when our carmakers turned vehemently anti-racing, pulling official participation from NASCAR and forbidding any performance numbers like horsepower to appear in ads. Only comfy-ness and, ooh, rich textures on seats and smiley smiley children with tightly-coifed mothers.

The manufacturers those days were quaking in their white-walls lest a suddenly safety–obsessed government would start decreeing all sorts of standards. Government standards were hive-producing in carmakers. (But then Ralph Nader and Joan Claybrook – even before Nader’s ego swelled to its most egregious proportions – might have caused at least minor allergic reactions to anyone fond of wheeled objects.)

Not that improvement of the breed wasn’t something to be wished at that time, particularly by those few of us who had embraced driving as a sport. We were the ones who plastered numbers cut from sticky shelf paper on the sides on our perky little mounts from England, pulled on our knit-back gloves and on weekends cheerfully sped amidst hay bales stacked meanfully on old airports. In post-war years American cars had grown ever more yacht-like, lumbered about on bedspring suspensions and favored interiors upholstered with mouse fur. “Detroit iron” was our disdainful name for these monsters.

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We favored jolting about in much smaller cars, cars that you donned rather than were swallowed by.  Ah yes, many had asthmatic heaters, or none, and sidecurtains that were downright hospitable to rain. But these cars actually stopped within memory of the first application of the brake pedal. They turned corners within then breathtaking inches of where a quick-response steering wheel – the size of a large pizza — bade the skinny tall tires to go. The home-grown puffed-cheek beasts wallowed in the general direction of a chosen course, the steering wheel having required several full turns to influence that choice. The less connection with a road’s surface the more these cars represented Detroit’s intention. The anti-car carmaker ruled.

When did all this change? I would say when Detroit lightened up on trying to anticipate what Washington might want of them and began noticing customers in important numbers were being enticed off the farm by foreign cars. And vaguely wondered why.


Daimler Chief Commits to Formula One for 2009

Conserving cash can wait when it comes to racing, says fan and Mercedes-Benz head Dieter Zetsche.

by on Apr.09, 2009


A Formula One team runs between $100 million and $200 million annually to maintain.

Daimler AG plans to stick with Formula One racing despite the company’s need to conserve cash and in the face of ongoing controversies regarding the conduct of its McLaren Mercedes team.

Dieter Zetsche, Daimler’s chief executive officer, said the company will police the company’s Formula One expenditures more closely and watch budgets more closely, after he was pressed by stockholders at the annual meeting. The maintenance of a Formula One team runs between $100 million and $200 million annually, and several manufacturers have begun expressing doubts about the overall value of  the Formula One racing circuit.

Honda pulled out of the 2009 season to conserve cash by selling its team, the automotive equivalent of selling the crown jewels. While Ferrari took the works title, McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton took the driver’s championship last year.

Several shareholders challenged Zetsche to justify his spending money on Formula One at time when it is losing money and more than one third of the company’s workforce in Germany is working short work weeks. In addition, Daimler is also asking the company’s works council for an additional $2.6 billion in concessions. Daimler has lost significant sums in the past two quarters and faces a liquidity crisis.

However, Zetsche, who considers himself a racing buff, said Formula One remained a valuable tool for the Mercedes brand, which has to spread its limited marketing dollars around the world. (more…)