Additional race outings for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo are planned for later this year according to head of customer racing Stefan Wendl, who has been pleased with the “good feedback” already received by the car.
Unveiled at this year’s Nürburgring 24, the new-for-2020 GT3 model made a successful 24-hour race debut in the 24H Series powered by Hankook round in Portimao.
Running in the SP4 category as an unhomologated car, Maxi Buhk, Rik Breukers, Charles Putman, Kenneth Heyer and Hubert Haupt completed 704 laps, ahead of several GT3 cars in the A6 and A6-Am classes.
Wendl explained the objective of the race was to test the car’s improved cooling system.
“The outcome was good,” he told Sportscar365. “The car ran 24 hours without a single issue.
“We got a BoP that was not made to hit the top-five [overall]. This is what Creventic told us before but this was fine for us. We are thankful to Creventic for giving us a chance to drive an unhomologated car.
“It was a good show for our customers who joined us. We got really good feedback.”
Next up for the car is a 35-hour endurance test at the Slovakia Ring, scheduled for September.
“Every time we make several things new on the car we prove it for 35 hours,” Wendl said. “Even if we maybe only changed 10 percent of the car, there’s still things we want to prove.
“We chose the track because it delivers a really good mix of corners and curbs in medium to high speed. And this is what we’re searching for in testing.”
Wendl confirmed the car will also contest several end-of-season VLN races for further race validation prior to its full customer rollout.
“At the moment we’re focusing on the single long-distance test and at the same time, parallel with the second car, we go into FIA homologation testing,” he said.
Early January Homologation Targeted
Wendl said they anticipate to have the GT3 Evo homologated by the first week of January, as one of the first cars to benefit from the FIA’s newly streamlined homologation process.
An official dyno test is scheduled for next month, followed by FIA wind tunnel testing leading up to the car’s certification several months earlier than previous GT3 models.
“We expect homologation for Jan. 1,” said Wendl. “This is what we’re working really hard for and we made everything possible based on experience from the past years.
“The FIA worked out a different schedule because Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini all had problems running with temporary homologations in Daytona, which was not good.
“I think it’s better for the whole competition that all the cars are homologated and the paperwork is available and tested from the FIA.
“This was not so nice this year in the situation. That’s why we’re working very hard. The FIA changed their schedule and made everything about 2-3 months earlier.
“We hope this means that all manufacturers will get the stamp on the homologation earlier.”