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Black Falcon to Step Back from Top-Level GT3 Racing

Successful Mercedes-AMG factory squad Black Falcon to move away from top-line GT3 racing…

Photo: Mercedes-AMG

Double Nürburgring 24 winner and 2018 GT World Challenge Endurance Cup champion Black Falcon has announced that it will step back from top-level GT3 racing this year.

The decorated German team, which also won the 24 Hours of Dubai five times, is best known for its long and successful affiliation with Mercedes-AMG.

On Thursday it was confirmed that Black Falcon will be scaling back its factory-backed motorsport programs to cope with the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

It now plans to focus its efforts on customer racing at the Nürburgring, in the 24H Series and in single-make competitions such as Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland and Ferrari Challenge.

Black Falcon managing director Alexander Boehm explained that the pandemic had a damaging impact on the team’s ability to continue in professional GT3 racing.

“The last three months were by far the most difficult in the team’s 15-year history,” he said.

“The ban on events affects almost all of our business areas and is currently causing sales losses of over 90 percent.

“We have therefore decided to withdraw from professional GT3 sport until at least the end of 2021, i.e. to do without factory-supported assignments with professional drivers.

“This was a purely mental decision and unfortunately unavoidable for the economic security of Black Falcon”.

The team made its GT3 debut in 2010 when it entered a Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 in that year’s VLN Endurance Series opener, which it won with Thomas Jaeger and Christopher Haase.

Over the years, Black Falcon accrued a total of 14 race wins on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, including two big victories in the 24-hour race in 2013 and 2016.

While the team achieved most of its wins in VLN and the Nürburgring 24, it also had a successful spell in GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS (then the Blancpain GT Series) which it joined in 2012.

Its cross-European program peaked in 2018 when it won the Endurance Cup title with Mercedes-AMG factory drivers Yelmer Buurman, Maro Engel and Luca Stolz.

The same trio went on to finish third in last year’s standings and also claimed an overall podium in the Total 24 Hours of Spa.

Black Falcon originally announced that it would enter two Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evos in the 2020 Endurance Cup, but these have now been withdrawn while the Pro lineup has transferred to a new race team run by former Black Falcon racer Hubert Haupt.

Black Falcon will continue to operate GT3 machinery as part of its new customer racing focus, while it will also work with GT4 cars from Mercedes and Porsche.

The team is also set to continue developing its professional sim racing team which it founded during the global health crisis.

Timo Frings has come on board as the team’s new head of motorsport, while Boehm will stay on as managing director and Niko Driediger will remain as technical director.

Several senior Black Falcon staff, including former team principal Sean Paul Breslin, have moved over to the newly-launched Haupt Racing Team.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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