Getting back into the groove…

After an absence from these pages, it is time to get back to it.  The good news is that there is much to talk about.  For starters, let’s include a variety of links:

Motorwerks Magazine – check out the story on page 96 written by Morgan Haber leading up to the Bathurst 12 hours.  Morgan would drive a BMW M6 in the race.  The issue was somewhat delayed, so the preview story ended up coming out just after the race.  Fortunately, we were able to contribute some photos in support of the story.20170203-076a9563

The Southwest Star – 1Q 2017 – Rabbit the First, a story of a Benz-Mercedes in the midst of an engine restoration.    What a fascinating car and story.  Special thanks to Jay Leno for the tour of the car and some of its historical documentation.

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The Southwest Star – 1Q 2017 – Travelogue from the 2017 Bathurst 12 Hour race.  A truly remarkable event.  If you have the slightest inclination of attending, read this story for some thoughts and tips.  We expect to have a photography tour of the event shortly.

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On the hunt for 1997 Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR #0006

In May 2006, the Porsche Owners Club held an event at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA.  While I’m sure the Porsches were fun, there were two cars in the corner of one garage that caught my eye.  One was a Pagani Zonda and another was a 1997 Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR.

What does it take to compete with a Zonda?  I knew the CLK-GTR it was special at the time (V-12 engine!) and took the photos below, but didn’t quite realize how rare it was.  Apparently it is only one of seven made and one of four made for the 1997 racing season.  Aside from that, it is apparently the only one in private hands.

Race history for chassis 0006 can be found here.

The car looks like it was a no sale at the Pebble Beach Gooding auction in 2005 with an estimate of $1.2m-$1.5m.  Link here with a little more info.

It may have run up the hill at Goodwood in 2012 and 2014 in 1998 livery as described in this post.

Without looking to intrude on the current owner, does anyone know where the car lives today?

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The Southwest Star 4Q 2016

Hot off the virtual presses – check out the 4Q 2016 issue of The Southwest Star:

And More!!

Santa Delivers new GT3 cars

If you’ve been paying attention to social media, you’ve seen that some teams have been posting pictures of their brand new race cars as they’re being delivered.  The past week or so has seen a lot of new hardware delivered to waiting race teams and more deliveries are coming soon.  Some cars are only shown by their teams after they’ve received their new colors, but there is something about the bare carbon presence of a brand new race car.  We’ll also be watching for delivery of new customer AMG GT3 cars as deliveries are set to begin in the coming week.

Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan (via Bryan Sellers Twitter)

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Team Seattle Porsche 997 GT3 R in the shop and at Sebring (via Ian James Twitter)

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Magnus Racing Audi R8 LMS at Sebring (via Magnus Rracing Twitter)

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Turner Motorsport BMW M6 in Munich (via Turner Motorsport Facebook)

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Frikadelli Porsche 997 GT3 R (via Sabine Schmitz Facebook)

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ROWE Racing to BMW for 2016

With Mercedes AMG on the verge of delivering a new GT3 race car for the 2016 season, it was a surprise (to this scribe, at least) to see the announcement that SLS stalwart ROWE Racing is moving to the BMW M6 platform for 2016.  The withdrawal of the Marc VDS team apparently provided an opening for a factory favored slot in the BMW stable.

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The white and yellow ROWE Mercedes AMG SLS GT3 team usually has run 2 cars and has been consistently competitive in events like the Nurburgring 24 hours.  A podium in 2014 is probably not a fair reflection of the team’s strength.

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The ROWE Racing colors look quite distinctive on the BMW M6.  BMW Motorsport apparently saw what they liked at ROWE and there is a real opportunity for good results in 2016.Front_24hNBR_ROWE2

This news provides the perfect opportunity for a photo gallery from the past few years of ROWE Racing Mercedes cars at the Nurburgring 24.  Enjoy!

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Window shopping for race cars

Always interesting to see what is for sale and how much money is being asked by sellers.  Just for giggles, have a look at these goodies courtesy of Racecarsdirect.com:

Reynard 2KQ that ran at LeMans in 2000 for €198,000.

2015 Audi TTRS that claimed multiple SP3T class VLN wins at the Nurburgring for €135,000.

Private collection of Adrian Reynard of eight open wheel cars.   Includes BAR Formula One cars from 2002 and 2003.  POA.

2001 Arrows A22-03 Formula One car for €85,000. Does not appear to be running.

2013 Mercedes AMG SLS for £180,000 run in British GT and undergoing a rebuild.

2012 Porsche 997 GT3 Cup for €89,000 with 25 hours on the engine and 5 hours on the gearbox.

2013 championship winning BMW Z4 GT3 for £180,000.  Ran ELMS, Blancpain and British GT with upgrades.  Extensive spares.

2014 Viper GT3-R run by Black Swan Racing in Pirelli World Challenge events for USD$500,000.  Includes extensive spares and is ready to race.

1995 Simtek Formula One car driven by Jos Verstappen for £115,000.

2012 McLaren MP4-12C GT3 for €158,000.  Blancpain Endurance and sprint history.  Some spares included and more available.

2012 Mercedes SLS GT3 with extensive race history, including Nurburgring 24 and many other races.  Updated to 2014 specs.  Car Collection owned in Germany.  €210,000.

Abt Racing 2013 Audi R8 LMS ultra GT3 for €150,000.   They also have three other Audi R8 race cars for sale as well.

2014 Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS Ultra for €225,000.

2013 Mercedes SLS GT3 for USD$295,000.  Car is in Australia.

2015 spec Marc VDS BMW Z4 GT3 car – second overall at the 2015 Nurburgring 24 for €250,000.  If the car would have finished one place better, surely it wouldn’t be for sale – let alone at this price.

These listings might suggest that the recent listing of the Falken Tyres 997 GT3 car on Mobile.de with an asking price of €500,000 is perhaps a bit ambitious.

With the new AMG GT3, Porsche 991 RSR, Audi R8, Ferrai 488 and BMW M6, there are lots of previously enjoyed GT3 cars for sale.  Happy shopping!

IMSA Daytona Test notes

Once again, Marshall Pruett is a journalistic machine.  He continues to turn out high quality pieces on open wheel and sportscar topics.  The latest is a rewind on the IMSA test at Daytona posted on Racer.com.  Marshall has lots of goodies about people, tires, testing, Balance of Performance and development.

Perhaps the most potentially disappointing tidbit is the note that a deal between IMSA and either Aston Martin or Mercedes is unlikely which means no customer GT cars on the IMSA grid in 2016.

DragonSpeed brought two SLS models to the test and TRG had an Aston Martin in action as well.  (Incidentally, the Sportscar365 team posted several reports on the test.  If you haven’t read the Tuesday notebook or the Wednesday notebook, they are both worth a read.   The site also features photo galleries like this.  Dailysportscar also has posted a photo gallery from the test.)

AMG has said that their order books for the new GT3 are busy and existing customers are first in line, so they weren’t expecting to have cars available – at least early in the season.

It could still be an interesting IMSA season with a new Audi, a gaggle of Lamborghinis, a new BMW M6 platform, a new Porsche 911, a new Ford GT, the new Ferrari 488, the return of the Viper, and other news, but hopefully the Aston Martin and Mercedes can find their way to the grid at some point.  The more the merrier…

 

IMSA Daytona Test News

Cars haven’t turned wheels on the track, but lots of IMSA news coming out of Daytona today.  Some exciting, some disappointing.  Here we go…

First, the disappointing – for now at least.  The new Mercedes AMG GT3 will be at the test, but will not be on the grid for the early part of the 2016 IMSA season.  The good news is that there is a lot of interest.  Mercedes will deliver cars to existing customers who put in orders early, which means no AMG GT3 at the Rolex 24.  The silver lining also may be that Mercedes sounds interested and the issue is just a matter of logistics.  The other good news is that DragonSpeed intends to be at Daytona with two Mercedes SLS GT3 cars, so hopefully they’ll make the Rolex 24.

Second, Turner Motorsports will be running to BMW M6 GT3 entries in the GTD class.  Turner had an October test at Sebring with the car and will take delivery of its twin M6 models in December.

Third, Corvette Racing is adding some deep talent to its enduro driver line ups in the form of Marcel Fassler and Mike Rockenfeller.  Both are more recently known for success with Audi, so it is a little surprising that they haven’t ended up in Audi GTD entries if they were going to spend time in IMSA.  However, Fassler has prior Corvette GT experience and Rockenfeller has run with several times in a Corvette DP.

While not connected to the GT class, Starworks announced that Indycar driver Jack Hawksworth will join the team for the Rolex 24 in their PC class entry. Jack has prior PC experience in 2015 with another team and will be in the car during the test at Daytona to get acquainted with the team.

Want to see some photos and read some other odds and ends from Daytona?  Check out Sportscar365.com for Monday news and notes.  We should expect to see more comprehensive coverage from multiple outlets starting Tuesday.

“722” Mercedes 300 SLR

Excellent story by John Brooks at Driving Line on the iconic Mercedes 300 SLR and, in particular, the car that won the 1955 Mille Miglia in the hands of Stirling Moss and navigator Denis Jenkinson.   The car was displayed at this year’s Techno Classica in Essen, Germany.  The “722” nomenclature comes from the departure time for the car at 7:22am.  As they say, read the whole thing.

The car enjoys a privileged place in the Mercedes Museum in Stuttgart.  Perhaps not fine photography, but the photos below from a November 2008 visit to the museum shows 722 nestled among many other iconic cars from Mercedes motorsport history.

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Buying a race car direct from the Mercedes Museum?

With a hat tip to Jalopnik for the pointer, did you know that you can buy a Mercedes directly from the museum?  Did you know that you can by a 1998 Mercedes CLK-LM race car that was used in pre-qualifying at LeMans?  Chassis 001?  Yikes. Of course, the price is available upon request, but you’d probably show up with a bucket full of Euros or Deutschmarks.   The website is Alltime-stars.com and has other cars for sale and more to come.  The cars are varied in their history and condition.  For the Mercedes Benz fan, this may be a site to keep an eye on.  For the auto racing fan, a look at a CLK-LM is a rare treat.  With that, have a look at some favorite photos from the site – there are 53 total photos, so have a look at the rest if you’re interested. Enjoy!

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