Longtime GT squad GruppeM Racing will return to full-time competition in 2017, confirming Friday a three-car program in the Blancpain GT Series Asia with Mercedes-AMG.
Aiming to build on its past successes, which includes the British GT Championship title in 2004 and a GT2 championship-winning campaign in FIA GT in 2005, the Asian squad is now eyeing a title challenge in Blancpain Asia in its maiden season as an AMG Customer Sports Team.
GruppeM will field a ‘pro’ lineup with experienced British racer Tim Sugden, a former British GT and Porsche Carrera Cup Champion, as the first confirmed driver in the first car.
“We’re all very excited GruppeM Racing is back full-time and the choice to race with Mercedes-AMG is absolutely fantastic,” Sugden said.
“We’re intending to hit the ground running from the first round, we’ve got big aspirations for the team and we’re talking to a number of very quick, top professional drivers.
“The aim is to be winning races and to challenge for the championship.”
Team principal Kenny Chen added: “I am proud to announce that after our successful victories over the years and winning FIA GT outright with Porsche Motorsport, GruppeM Racing is officially back in Blancpain Asia with Mercedes-AMG as the first AMG Customer Sports Team in the series. We are looking forward to a successful partnership.”
The new six-round championship kicks off at Sepang in April, followed by trips to Buriram, Suzuka, Fuji, Shanghai and the all-new Zhejiang Circuit in China in October.
“It’s a great pleasure to welcome Kenny Chen, Tim Sugden and their GruppeM team as the first confirmed entries in the inaugural Blancpain GT Series Asia,” said SRO Motorsports Group CEO Stephane Ratel.
“[It’s] a welcome back in an SRO promoted series since GruppeM competed in the FIA GT Championship, winning the GT2 team and driver titles for Porsche in 2005.
“We wish them similar success with their all new Mercedes AMG car line up in 2017.”