German sports car driver Hubert Haupt has launched his own team that will compete in GT World Challenge powered by AWS and the Nürburgring 24 this year.
Haupt Racing Team (HRT) will receive support from Mercedes-AMG during its debut season which it will contest with a fleet of Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evos.
Its GTWC Europe Endurance Cup car will be driven by Vincent Abril, Luca Stolz and Maro Engel, who were originally set to drive a Pro-class car prepared by Black Falcon.
The scaling back of Black Falcon’s motorsport activities announced on Thursday morning coincides with HRT’s formation announcement.
HRT’s Nürburgring endurance program will begin in two weeks’ time with Engel and Patrick Assenheimer sharing an AMG GT3 Evo in the NLS season-opener on June 27.
The team is set to contest the rest of the NLS season and the Nürburgring 24 in September with three cars.
One will be driven by Stolz and 2016 winners Manuel Metzger and Adam Christodoulou, another by Engel, Assenheimer, Domink Baumann and Dirk Mueller, and a third by Yelmer Buurman, Nico Bastian and Haupt himself.
Further to the driver confirmations, HRT has also brought on board former Black Falcon team principal Sean Paul Breslin to oversee the team’s operations.
Former Black Falcon senior staff Marvin Wagner and Renaud Dufour have also joined, as HRT’s technical director chief engineer respectively.
“I am really looking forward to the new challenge,” said Haupt.
“Throughout my years in motorsport, I have always had this idea of setting up my own team.
“I know that this involves a lot of commitment and a huge responsibility. But with the future constellation and these top people at my side, I am convinced that establishing HRT is the right decision.
“Especially now, in difficult times for sporting events, I also wanted to give a sign that things are continuing and that I am keeping my faith in the fascination of motorsport.
“I am convinced that, with HRT, we will find our place among the top teams in GT3 racing really soon.”
Other Mercedes-AMG Programs Outlined
Following the withdrawal of Black Falcon and the announcement of HRT’s creation, Mercedes-AMG has affirmed its customer racing programs for the 2020 season.
Further to HRT’s GTWC Europe effort, Mercedes-AMG will support AKKA-ASP at the Total 24 Hours of Spa with a car for Felipe Fraga, Raffaele Marciello and Timur Boguslavskiy.
At the Nürburgring 24, GetSpeed Performance will receive AMG backing for one of its three cars, to be driven by Marciello, Maximilian Götz, Maximilian Buhk and Fabian Schiller.
There will also be five Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evos in ADAC GT Masters spread across HTP Winward Motorsport, Toksport WRT and independent squad Zakspeed.
“We are really delighted and we thank the organizers for bringing motorsport back on the race track thanks to corresponding hygiene concepts and in co-operation with the authorities,” said Mercedes-AMG’s head of Customer Racing Stefan Wendl.
“During our planned activities, we will do everything to ensure that these restrictions will be adhered to and implemented in the best possible way.
“Health and safety of our employees, customers and everyone involved has the highest priority.
“Even though the majority of the races will be held without media representatives and fans on-site, it is an important step back to normality.”