Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 in the 2011 ADAC GT Masters round one
Good Team Performance in the ADAC GT Masters Season Opener
Oschersleben – The customer teams with the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 in the ADAC GT Masters season opener at Oscherskeben showed a good team performance. In both races on Sunday and Monday, four gullwing cars each finished among the top ten.
Thus, the customer sports programme of Mercedes-AMG with the production-oriented gullwing car gains more and more momentum. Based on the same concept as its standard version, the SLS AMG GT3 stood its ground in the highly competitive field of almost 40 top-class sports cars with good lap times. The best SLS AMG GT3 driver pairing on Sunday were Lance David Arnold/Andreas Zuber (Primajob Team Heico) in fifth place. In the second race, Christiaan Frankenhout/Andreas Wirth (Heico Motorsport) also achieved fifth position.
The SLS AMG GT3 customer teams scored a total of 104 drivers‘ points, more than the drivers of every other brand.
Bernd Schneider, record champion of the DTM with five title wins and today AMG brand ambassador, instructor and test driver for Mercedes-AMG: “The four customer teams entering the SLS AMG GT3 at Oschersleben all did a great job and achieved altogether eight top ten positions out of two races. The SLS AMG GT3 stood its ground in this hard fought race and we now look forward to the upcoming events.”
Qualifying: Grid Positions five and three for new team
Primajob Team Heico which had been launched only a few days before the race took the best grid positions for the SLS AMG GT3 squad. Lance David Arnold qualified the gullwing car fifth for the first race whilst his team mate Andreas Zuber was third in Q2 thus starting the second race from the second row of the grid. Particularly the first part of the 50min qualifying was hard fought: Kenneth Heyer (Black Falcon) was 13th but was only 1.076sec behind pole position time.
Race 1: Good team result
Three SLS AMG GT3s took the chequered flag within one second. Arnold/Zuber (Primajob Team Heico) come home fifth half a second ahead of David Sigacev/Florian Stoll (MS RACING); Kenneth Heyer/Robert Renauer (Black Falcon) followed another 0.4sec behind. Christiaan Frankenhout/Andreas Wirth (Heico Motorsport) finished ninth which meant that four of the seven gullwing cars in the field finished among the top ten. Arnold/Zuber missed a podium finish by eight seconds.
Race 2: Again four SLS AMG GT3s within the top ten
Arnold/Zuber started third from the second row and were fourth after the opening lap. At the beginning of lap four, Zuber spun off into the gravel and dropped to the back of the field. Meanwhile, Mayer/Seyffarth improved continuously and only on lap 14 they made up two positions. When Seyffarth pitted on lap 21 he was third. Mayer resumed in fifth place. During the second half of the race, Frankenhout improved lap by lap and finished fifth, as the best SLS AMG GT3 driver, followed by Sigacev/Stoll. Heyer/Renauer came home seventh like on Sunday; and Mayer/Seyffarth finished ninth. Again, four SLS AMG GT3s finished within the top ten.
Customer Sports: SLS AMG GT3s entered by private teams
The SLS AMG GT3s have been entered exclusively by private teams. Heico Motorsport started with three SLS AMG GT3 cars, Black Falcon with two, MS RACING and Primajob Team Heico with one each.
At Oschersleben, the ADAC GT Masters began its fifth season. Among the field of 38 cars, the SLS AMG GT3 met renowned competitors from seven other brands. Thus, the series is like tailor-made for the SLS AMG GT3 and the Customer Sports Programme Mercedes-AMG started for the gullwing car. Like in 2010, both races are broadcast live on German channel kabel eins which means that the ADAC GT Masters is the only German racing series besides the DTM which can be seen live on TV.