Head of Mercedes-AMG customer racing Stefan Wendl says he’s confident in the performance of its current GT3 model, despite not opting for an Evo kit for next year.
The German manufacturer, which introduced the Mercedes-AMG GT3 in 2016, is the lone remaining mainstream GT3 manufacturer to have not introduced either an all-new car or Evo kit in the last 12 months.
While having evaluated the possibility of an Evo for 2019, Wendl said they ultimately ruled against it due to both customer feedback and the recent results the car has achieved in competition globally.
“At the end, we promised our customers who bought cars in 2016 onwards that this car is fixed for a minimum of three years,” Wendl told Sportscar365. “Then we will see.
“We negotiated an Evo kit earlier at the end of the year.
“At the end of the year we do a recap of the season, ups and downs, back and forth, and we get some feedback from our teams.
“We strongly believe that we have enough performance in the [current] car.
“The car is BoP’d, as all the cars, and there are more cars which get more performance, which is fully OK.
“It means that there is no clear reason to make a change out of performance point. This is, for most of the manufacturers, the biggest point to make a change.”
Wendl Indicated they will again re-evaluate the possibility of an Evo for 2020.
He said they remain committed to supporting the current Mercedes-AMG GT3 base model for at least the next three years.
“We will always have a close look to the competition, how this develops, and it’s a unique situation,” he said.
“In 2016 nearly all GT3 manufacturers came with new cars. There were several manufacturers bringing updates, Evo kits, year by year.
“Now, Porsche, they have the Evo and a new car in a three-year period.
“For me, it’s very interesting how the whole system reacts on it. It’s not only to bring a car with better performance. How it gets BoP’d afterwards is a big factor. We will see and decide for next year.”
When asked when a new-generation Mercedes-AMG GT3 could debut, Wendl said it will depend on the production car product cycle.
Mercedes-AMG is set to reveal its track-inspired GT R PRO at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Wednesday.
“This is quite clear,” Wendl said. “We were waiting for the announcement of the production car, when there will be the followup to the GT.
“This is also early enough when we negotiate the followup GT3 model.”
More than 120 current-gen Mercedes-AMG GT3s have been produced, according to Wendl.
Wendl: Mercedes-AMG Committed to Global Customer Support Network
The growth of Mercedes-AMG’s customer support network has now enabled teams to compete globally under the same model, according to Wendl.
While initially starting in Europe, the manufacturer’s trackside support debuted in North America in 2017, while being introduced into Asia this year and growing its base in Australia.
“This is how we want to deliver a network which works the same everywhere.” Wendl said. “This is for us fundamentally the base for going more internationally with racing.
“Having teams like Strakka, European teams racing in IGTC, SunEnergy1 racing in Europe, it means that the customer needs to rely on a system.”
Wendl said teams were previously more-or-less “alone” when competing outside of Europe.
“Sometimes we had some concept like sending a container to Dubai, but not everywhere,” he said.
“We said: ‘OK, if we want to grow, we have to deliver anywhere in the world more or less the same service. They can rely on engineering service and they can rely on spare parts.’
“This is a very important thing in selling cars.
“For a team, if they have to calculate to buy another car on top to have spare parts available, or if they can rely on spare parts being on track.”