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Starworks Considering Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 Entry for GTD

Starworks evaluating Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 entry for 2015…

Photo: Marcel ten Caat

Photo: Marcel ten Caat

While having predominately fielded prototype machinery over the years, Starworks Motorsport could go back to its roots in 2015 with a potential entry in the GT ranks.

Sportscar365 has learned that the Peter Baron-led squad, along with car owner Mirco Schultis, are evaluating the possibility of adapting a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 for GT Daytona competition.

The possibility of seeing the gull-winged beast in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in part hinges on the future of the Prototype Challenge class, where the German driver currently competes in a Starworks-run Oreca FLM09.

“We’re waiting to hear what happens with PC for next year. Our backup plan is to maybe bring an SLS over here,” Baron told Sportscar365. “Mirco has a friend that also has one, so we could possibly bring those over.”

Schultis, along with co-driver Renger van der Zande, are fresh off overall victory in the 12 Hours of Zandvoort in a SLS that the gentleman driver purchased from Car Collection Motorsport team owner Peter Schmidt post-race.

They are now evaluating the costs and work involved to adapt the FIA GT3-spec machine to IMSA’s GTD rules, which includes the elimination of driver aids and revised aero.

“We’re already in contact with IMSA about what we have to change [to the car],” Schultis said. “The problem, like always, is who pays for it?

“It’s not like taking off the ABS and traction control. You would need a complete new ECU because it’s all regulated in one system.

“We’re still in talks. Everything is very open. There’s been no deep talks until now. Peter has talked to the IMSA guys. Renger and the Car Collection team have been in contact with the AMG guys.”

It’s unclear, at this early stage, if AMG would be willing to provide assistance for any potential conversion kit, particularly as the current-generation car nears the end of its production.

If Starworks does end up running the SLS, it would mark a return to the GT category for Baron, who campaigned a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car in 2005, when his Florida-based team was known as SAMAX.

Baron, meanwhile, said that its HPD-powered Riley DP should resume testing in the next two weeks with new developments, with the hope of returning to action beginning at Road America in August, ahead of a full-season 2015 campaign in the Prototype class.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John


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