In 2019, the Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing programme again shines with an extremely strong driver line-up. A total of 18 high-quality drivers will be supporting the international Customer Racing and Performance Teams in selected competitions. The ranks of the works drivers include young talents as well as some of the best-known names in motorsport who, with their experience, their skills and their achievements, are also global ambassadors for the performance and sports car brand from Affalterbach. Together with the teams, Mercedes-AMG has put together promising programmes for this year’s season for all its drivers.
- A total of 18 drivers to race for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport
- Reigning champions from Blancpain GT Challenge via IGTC to DTM
- Quick new additions add strength to the existing driver line-up
For its official driver kick-off at the end of March, Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing assembled all its drivers in Affalterbach in preparation for the 2019 GT racing season. The current line-up includes 18 motorsport personalities who have racked up 13 championship titles between them and contributed to nine major endurance racing victories.
The drivers holding exclusive contracts with Mercedes-AMG Motorsport for 2019 are: Maximilian Buhk (GER), Yelmer Buurman (NED), Adam Christodoulou (GBR), Maximilian Götz, Maro Engel (both GER), Raffaele Marciello (ITA), Christian Hohenadel, Thomas Jäger, Jan Seyffarth and new addition Luca Stolz (all GER), the latter ranking among the youngsters in the line-up at 23 years of age. Stolz had his competitive breakthrough in last year’s 24-hour race at the Nürburgring, in which he finished third overall with BLACK FALCON. Moreover, he won the 2018 drivers’ and teams’ titles (GTD class) in the Endurance Cup of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the drivers’ and teams’ titles in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup. This year, Stolz is competing among others in the Intercontinental GT Challenge (IGTC).
With IGTC, Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe and the Nürburgring 24-hour race, reigning Blancpain GT champion Raffaele Marciello has the most comprehensive programme of all the Mercedes-AMG drivers. In the IGTC, that ranks among the primary competitions for the manufacturer from Affalterbach, the other drivers next to Marciello and Stolz are Buhk, Buurman, Christodoulou, Götz, Engel and Jäger. With two season rounds already having been completed, (Bathurst 12 Hour, California 8 Hours) the trio of Buhk, Götz and Marciello is together in the lead of the drivers’ standings while Mercedes-AMG is currently leading the manufacturers’ standings of the intercontinental endurance race series. In the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship, Buhk and Hohenadel will be supporting the North American Customer Racing Teams. Meanwhile, Maximilian Götz will be racing in the ADAC GT Masters, among others with the goal of defending the teams’ title for the MANN-FILTER Team HTP.
Further professionals who are racing on behalf of Mercedes-AMG in selected highlight races and series are expanding the circle of the brand’s exclusive drivers. Among them is Tristan Vautier (FRA), whose aim is to defend his IGTC drivers’ title with the Mercedes-AMG GT3. With focus on the Nordschleife programme (VLN, 24-hour race), the following drivers have been included in the line-up: Lance David Arnold (GER), Dominik Baumann (AUT), Dirk Müller (GER), Renger van der Zande (NED) and, as a new signing, Gabriele Piana (ITA), who, among others, managed to win the Dubai 24-hour race together with Buurman in 2018. The Nürburgring 24-hour race is on the schedule for all the drivers in the line-up.
The additional programme for Gary Paffett (GBR) is also a high-profile affair: the reigning DTM champion and the current Formula E driver of the HWA Racelab team is racing in the endurance events of the IGTC for Mercedes-AMG in the current season. For yet another season highlight, the 2019 FIA GT World Cup, it is planned that next to Maro Engel and Raffaele Marciello, multiple Macau race winner Edoardo Mortara (ITA) is scheduled to race a Mercedes-AMG GT3. The extended Mercedes AMG Customer Racing driver line-up also includes Bernd Schneider (GER) and Karl Wendlinger (AUT), who are involved as brand ambassadors.
Stefan Wendl, head of Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing: “Once again, we have a very strong driver line-up with which we can support our teams all over the world in an optimal way. It is our goal to even top the past year, our most successful season to date. And I am convinced that we can achieve this with these drivers and the highly motivated teams. In any case, the spirit I had the pleasure to experience during our driver kick-off in Affalterbach was simply great. Everybody knows what it is all about and is looking forward to the task at hand. The first results have already been achieved: our double lead in the Intercontinental GT Challenge definitely is a very good start.”
Mercedes-AMG Drivers and their planned programmes for 2019*:
(in alphabetical order)
|Lance David Arnold (GER)||24h Nürburgring|
|Dominik Baumann (AUT)||24h Nürburgring|
|Maximilian Buhk (GER)||IGTC, 24h Nürburgring, IMSA (NAEC)|
|Yelmer Buurman (NED)||IGTC, Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, 24h Nürburgring|
|Adam Christodoulou (GBR)||IGTC, 24h Nürburgring|
|Maro Engel (GER)||IGTC, Blancpain GT Endurance Series, 24h Nürburgring, FIA GT World Cup|
|Maximilian Götz (GER)||IGTC, 24h Nürburgring, ADAC GT Masters|
|Christian Hohenadel (GER)||24h Nürburgring, IMSA|
|Thomas Jäger (GER)||IGTC, 24h Nürburgring|
|Raffaele Marciello (ITA)||IGTC, Blancpain GT Series Endruance Cup, Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe, 24h Nürburgring, FIA GT World Cup|
|Edoardo Mortara (ITA)||FIA GT World Cup|
|Dirk Müller (GER)||24h Nürburgring|
|Gary Paffett (GBR)||IGTC, 24h Nürburgring|
|Gabriele Piana (ITA)||24h Nürburgring|
|Jan Seyffarth (GER)||24h Nürburgring|
|Luca Stolz (GER)||IGTC, Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, 24h Nürburgring|
|Tristan Vautier (FRA)||IGTC, 24h Nürburgring|
|Renger van der Zande (NED)||24h Nürburgring|
* subject to last-minute changes
Press release Mercedes-AMG ; picture Jean-Baptiste Lassaux/Sport-Auto.ch