German racer Hubert Haupt has set up his own racing team, ‘Haupt Racing Team’ (HRT) for 2020, which will race as a Mercedes AMG customer team in the Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS), the Nürburgring 24-hour race and the GT World Challenge Europe.
This news comes in the fallout of the news that Haupt’s regular team, longstanding Mercedes AMG customer Black Falcon, will be no longer race professionally.
Haupt’s new team, HRT, will bring together experienced experts with whom Haupt has been able to achieve GT3 success with in previous years which has included three Dubai 24 Hours wins and a second-place finish at the Nurburgring 24 Hours in 2019. Among others, Sean Paul Breslin will be the team principal while Marvin Wagner will be HRT’s technical director. As the chief engineer, Renaud Dufour will co-ordinate all the operational racing activities.
For its participation in the Nürburgring Endurance Series, the GT World Challenge Europe and the 24-hour races, the team will be receiving extended support from Mercedes-AMG. Preparation of the activities and the cars is located in Meuspath near the Nürburgring.
The first outing for the HRT has been scheduled for 27th June: the opening round of the NLS. For the debut, Patrick Assenheimer and Maro Engel will be alternating behind the wheel. In the following races, HRT’s involvement at the Nordschleife will increase to a total of three GT3 cars that will be competing in the NLS season and the Nürburgring 24-hour race (24th-27th September) with extended support from Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing.
In the process, Adam Christodoulou, Manuel Metzger and Luca Stolz will be racing together. Drivers of the two additional GT3 cars will be Nico Bastian, Yelmer Buurman and Hubert Haupt as well as Patrick Assenheimer, Dominik Baumann, Dirk Müller and Maro Engel, the latter being a double starter.
The international debut looks set to take place at Imola where the GT World Challenge Europe will get underway for Haupt and his team on 25th July. In this competition, HRT is also racing with extended support from Affalterbach: Vincent Abril, Maro Engel and Luca Stolz will be competing for points on behalf of the Mercedes-AMG Team HRT.
The team will also be on the grid for the series’ highlight, the 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps (22nd-25th October). For Hubert Haupt, it is the clear goal to have a fully competitive overall package on the grid for both series, one that is in contention for victory from the very beginning. Possible additional race participations, as well as an expansion of the programme with further Mercedes-AMG GT3 cars, will be decided on at a later stage.
“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.”