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The countdown is on: There are only a few days to go before the Formula One season gets underway with the opening fixture in Australia. Preparations are also proceeding apace in the DTM.
This is what happened: Weekend results and facts
News from the Mercedes-AMG Motorsport teams
Facts & Figures: 12-hour race at Sebring (GTD class)
Three questions for Lucas Auer
Social media news: What’s new online?
This week’s important dates and events
This is what happened: Weekend’s results & facts
12 Hours of Mugello: Second place in general classification for IDEC Sport #racing and victory in the A6-Am class for Hofor Racing
12 Hours of Sebring: Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports wins GTD class, with customer team SunEnergy1 sharing podium in third place
StatAttack – Melbourne: Over the past few years, Albert Park in Melbourne has consistently been painted silver. Since 2014, a Silver Arrows driver has started from pole position and one or other of them has stood on the top rung of the podium each time. However, it wasn’t always the same driver: the pole positions were all claimed by Lewis Hamilton, but he was able to convert only one of them into a victory – the other two going to reigning World Champion Nico Rosberg. Following his retirement at the end of 2016, Rosberg will be watching this year’s race as a spectator. Hamilton’s record in Melbourne is impressive: two victories, six podium appearances and five pole positions. Cars powered by Mercedes-Benz engines have secured ten victories and 25 podium finishes.
StatAttack – DTM-Tests: The Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM Team now have two of the three official pre-season DTM test sessions behind them. Robert Wickens, Gary Paffett and Edoardo Mortara completed a gruelling programme in Vallelunga (Italy) last week. They put in more laps than the other two manufacturers on the three days, amounting to a grand total of 2,100 kilometres. Together with the distance covered during the first test week of the year in Portimao, the team has data from no fewer than 4,218 test kilometres to analyse. The final tests before the season opener in Hockenheim are scheduled for the week of 3rd - 6th April.
Mercedes-AMG drivers in 2017: Since the inception of the Customer Sports Programme, Mercedes-AMG Motorsport has been supporting its various customer teams with the services of professional drivers from the Mercedes-AMG driver pool. The teams have the opportunity to recruit these drivers for their #racing commitments around the world. With their special expertise, the Mercedes-AMG drivers are able to assist the customer teams in the tuning of the Mercedes-AMG GT3. The 2017 driver pool includes Maro Engel (brand ambassador), Thomas Jäger, Bernd Schneider and Karl Wendlinger as well as Mercedes-AMG regulars Nico Bastian, Dominik Baumann, Maximilian Buhk, Yelmer Buurman, Adam Christodoulou, Maximilian Götz, Christian Hohenadel and Jan Seyffarth. Peripheral members of the group include Manuel Metzger, Stefan Mücke, Dirk Müller and Edward Sandström.
Mercedes-AMG GT3 registers a maiden victory in the USA: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport is celebrating its first victory in the #imsa WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. After taking third place in the #imsa 24-hour race at Daytona, the Mercedes-AMG entered by Riley Motorsports has now won the GTD class in the 12 Hours of Sebring. The Mercedes-AMG GT3 has thus established itself as a winner in the most prestigious North American sports car series. The victorious Affalterbach-built car was driven by Mario Farnbacher (GER), Jeroen Bleekemolen (NED) and Ben Keating (USA). The success was enhanced by the presence on the GTD podium of the third-placed SunEnergy1 #racing trio of Tristan Vautier (FRA), Boris Said (USA) and Kenny Habul (AUS).
Facts & figures: Sebring 12-hour race (GTD class)
The Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports completed 325 laps in 12:03:15.173 hours, equivalent to 1,955.83 kilometres at an average speed of 178km/h.
The victorious Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports led the race for 208 of the 325 laps.
In taking pole position, Tristan Vautier set a new lap record of 01:59.738 minutes. He was also the only driver in the GTD class to come in under the two-minute mark.
Jeroen Bleekemolen posted the fastest race lap in the GTD class with a time of 02:01.629 minutes. This came on Lap 76.
Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsport top the championship table after two races with a lead of six points. Mercedes-AMG are ahead in the manufacturer’s championship.
Three questions for Lucas Auer
Luggi, we heard yesterday that your uncle has taken over as president of the ITR, which also makes him the supremo for the DTM. What was your first thought when you found out?
Lucas Auer: My initial response was that mum would be happy to have my uncle attending all the races. That means they’ll be seeing each other more often and also that they can reduce their phone bills! I was obviously delighted that Gerhard is now involved in the DTM. Not just because he is my uncle, but because he has a real understanding of motorsport.
Did your uncle talk to you about the DTM before he made his decision?
Lucas Auer: There was no need for him to do that. Gerhard has often attended DTM races quite independently of me and therefore has enough information about the series to form his own picture. He certainly does not need me as an adviser. There also has to be a strict separation. If he were to ask for my opinion, then it would be as #lucasauer the #racing driver rather than his nephew.
Lucas Auer: I think we are going in the right direction with the DTM, but we have to work on making the general public even more enthusiastic about our series. One of the things he might consider is my idea of a night race in Singapore. That would be fantastic.
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