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Strakka Announces Switch to Mercedes-AMG; IGTC Debut

Strakka Racing announces switch to Mercedes-AMG GT3 machinery for 2018 and IGTC debut…

Photo: Strakka Racing

Strakka Racing has confirmed that it will make the switch from McLaren to Mercedes-AMG machinery next season following a challenging first year in GT3 competition, while also making its Intercontinental GT Challenge debut.

The British squad is expected to run three Mercedes-AMG GT3s in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup as well as making its first appearance in the Intercontinental GT Challenge as a Mercedes-AMG Performance Team.

Strakka’s IGTC debut at the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour in February will be its first non-European race since its final FIA World Endurance Championship season in 2016.

“It’s great for Strakka to be back on the world stage and competing at venues such as Bathurst and Laguna Seca,” said team founder Nick Leventis.

“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 move comes after a difficult season running four McLaren 650S GT3s in the Blancpain GT Series in which it finished 12th in the overall teams standings.

“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.

“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.”

The team will take delivery of its first chassis later this month with testing set to commence before the end of the year. 

It is yet to announce any drivers but racing director Jay Davenport has confirmed that the lineup will consist of existing drivers and factory Mercedes-AMG pilots. 

“From initial discussions, there is real interest in the programme, especially with the Intercontinental GT Challenge,” he said.

“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.”

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist focusing on European series for Sportscar365. Kilshaw was the founder of WorldSportsCar.co.uk and is a member of the Autosport Academy. Contact Jake

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Dan

    November 6, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    Well so much for the strakka P1 program. Looks like McLaren will need a new factory team for next year.

  2. jason

    November 6, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    I read a forum post speculating HTP might consider a move to the Acura NSX, for whatever that is worth.

    • Issac

      November 6, 2017 at 3:57 pm

      Doubt it, they are German team and they tried going to Bentley for a year and they didn’t like it. Their strength and success has been with AMG and i doubt they’ll leave without a really good reason.

    • Binky

      November 6, 2017 at 5:56 pm

      If Honda gives them a lot of money/support to introduce the NSX in Europe, while at the same time it’s getting more crowded at the top of the AMG customer table, the move wouldn’t be that shocking.

      Assuming the rumor is valid, it would also signal how serious Honda are being.

  3. Bob

    November 6, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    Just me or does McLaren seem unable to keep a team with them for more than a year?

    • Issac

      November 6, 2017 at 4:06 pm

      It isn’t just you, they haven’t been able to keep the same team running their factory entries for more than a season. It was ART, then Von Ryan, then Garage 59, then Strakka, now answers on post card for who’ll be next. The only team who has solidly run Mclarens for more than a year is KPAX in PWC and most of that success was due to Alvaro Parente, the go to factory driver. Pretty sure that is the only bright spot in McLaren GT various programs this year, GT3 at least.

      Problem is the McLaren is a hard car to set up for multiple drivers and near impossible for real AMs to drive. That partially explains why KPAX has been so successful.How many privateer pro am cars are there? Not many. I like the McLaren 650S GT3 but it’s not a customer car and that’s what GT3 is supposed to be.

  4. vanillachinchilla

    November 6, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    bummer was hoping to see them back in P1

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