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GT News Notebook

New Mercedes to make debut, Thiim drives with Thiim and Australian GT returns to 'The Mountain

New AMG GT3 to race in 24H Series

Mercedes new AMG GT3 (featured), which was revealed last month at the Nürburgring, will make its public race debut this weekend when it takes part in this weekend’s 24H Series round at Portimao.

The car will race in SP4,running under the Mercedes-AMG Team Driving Academy entry. Hubert Haupt, Maximilian Buhk, Kenneth Heyer, Charles Putman and Rik Breukers will drive the car.

The new Mercedes is also due to take part in multiple VLN rounds later this year as part of its development programme before it races in customer hands next year.

The full entry list for this weekend’s 24H Series race can be found HERE >>>.

Australian GT returns to Bathurst

The CAMS Australian GT Championship is set to return to Mount Panorama for the first time since the 2013 season in 2020 as part of the Bathurst 6-Hour weekend for a championship round that is scheduled to include two 60-minute sprint races.

“This is an exciting announcement that will pave the way for a new look championship next year, Australian GT is one of Australia’s premier categories and as such we want all our racing at the best and most exciting circuits in the country, Bathurst ticks all the boxes in spades,” Australian GT category rights holder Jim Manolios explained.

“Bathurst and GT cars are made for each other, there’s no question about that, so from the outset, we always felt the right way forward for Australian GT was to have more racing on the Mountain, and James O’Brien agreed. The round will swing nicely off the back of the inaugural Pirelli AGT SuperSprint set for Challenge Bathurst later this year, a great opportunity for teams to do some valuable pre-season testing ahead of the Easter round next year.”

“There’s no denying there is a great affinity between Bathurst and sportscars,” Yeehah Events James O’Brien added. “The fans have fallen in love with the exotic machinery that circulates Mount Panorama every year during the 12-Hour, so to extend that opportunity to Easter with the return of Australian GT was a perfect fit for us, for AGT and for the fans.”

“Since the Grand Prix we have been in detailed discussions with a range of parties about the future of Australian GT,” Category Manager David Vervaart confirmed.

“Discussions are ongoing, but we expect to make a number of announcements across the coming weeks, as we extend those discussions further in an effort to set the bulk of our 2020 calendar well in advance of the end of this season.”

M1 Procar returns

BMW’s M1 Procar series will make a comeback as part of the upcoming DTM meeting at the Norisring this weekend.

Numerous drivers such as Hans-Joachim Stuck, Marc Surer, Harald Grohs and Jan Lammers will be involved in the historic series’ return. On the Nuremberg street circuit, 14 of the 470 hp mid-engine sports cars will compete once more.

“I’m really looking forward to the revival of the BMW M1 Procar series,” said Stuck. “The combination of the six fastest Formula 1 drivers and cool privateers hasn’t been seen since. Then there is the unique sound of the BMW M1. That is unique to this day. I just want to enjoy the ride. It really doesn’t matter to me whether I finish second, third or fourth. I want to drive the car, hear it and experience it. I’ve won enough races in my life.”

To mark the occasion of the Procar Revival, BMW Group Classic has lined up numerous acclaimed drivers to return to the BMW M1 cockpit. In the 1980 Procar race at the Norisring Hans-Joachim Stuck won ahead of Jan Lammers and Marc Surer, all three legends will be reunited in Nuremberg. Also lining up will be Harald Grohs, who won the first ever race in the DTM 35 years ago at Zolder in Belgium, with a BMW 635 CSi.

Thiim drives with Thiim

Nicki Thiim co-drove a historic Mercedes DTM car at Spa last month with his dad (a former DTM champion), Kurt. It’s safe to say he enjoyed himself!

Adrian Newey to compete in Super Taikyu

Red Bull F1 technical chief Adrian Newey is set to make a one-off appearance in the Super Taikyu championship later this month.

He will drive Team Taioku’s #200 Nissan GT-R GT3 in the race at Autopolis later this month alongside Joe Macari and Ryuji “Dragon” Kumita.

His son Harrison will also take part in the race, racing a Ferrari 488 GT3.