The Silverstone-based Strakka Racing outfit has formed a new partnership with Mercedes-Benz and will field entries in both the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup and the International GT Challenge in 2018.
Having ran with McLaren 650S GT3’s in 2017, the team had a number of issues during the season that prevented Strakka Racing from being as competitive as they would have liked, and team founder Nick Leventis said a change was necessary in 2018 to run Mercedes-AMG GT3’s.
“Regrettably, we suffered a range of issues that prevented us from being competitive in 2017 and despite a desire for stability, a change was necessary,” said Leventis.
“After a thorough review, we feel the opportunity to become a Performance Team for Mercedes-AMG is the perfect platform for the future of Strakka.
“It’s great for Strakka to be back on the world stage and competing at venues such as Bathurst and Laguna Seca. Together with a return to the Endurance Cup, we’ve a got an exciting calendar next season and a partner in Mercedes-AMG that will enable us to fight for podiums and wins.”
The first of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 chassis will arrive at the Strakka factory this month before testing begins in earnest towards the end of the year, with Leventis already having had the opportunity to test at the Circuit Paul Ricard.
“We recently tested the Mercedes-AMG GT3 at Paul Ricard and I instantly felt at home, it gives you everything you need in an endurance car,” said Leventis. “I’m looking forward to getting underway with our winter testing plan.
“From what we saw this year, the Mercedes-AMG GT3 has been quick across a range of circuits and has shown supreme reliability in the long-distance events that will make up our programme in 2018.”
Racing Director Jay Davenport has revealed a number of drivers are under consideration to join the Strakka line-up in 2018, with the 2017 line-up all in contention for a race seat next season.
“From initial discussions, there is real interest in the programme, especially with the Intercontinental GT Challenge,” said Davenport.
“Our tie up with Mercedes-AMG is something which we have kept extremely close to our chest. To be able to announce this today means we now have the full package in place.”
Stefan Wendl, the head of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing insists having Strakka Racing on board can lead to further success in sportscar racing for the manufacturer, with the team likely to be a great ambassador for the Mercedes brand.
“It is a pleasure to welcome Strakka Racing in our Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing family,” said Wendl. “I am fully convinced this team has everything in place to build up a successful future with the Mercedes-AMG GT3.
“Strakka Racing will be a great ambassador for our brand at race events worldwide, especially competing in the increasingly significant Intercontinental GT Challenge.”